Desire: A memoir
Bloomsbury, $39.99 pb, 192 pp, 9781350023109
In one of my pedagogical fantasies, I design the curriculum for a course called ‘Modern Theories of Desire’. My students read Marx, Beauvoir, Foucault, and Butler. They study Hegel on desire’s organisation of the everyday relationship between the self and the world; some critiques of developmental psychology, a sociology of addiction; Freud, of course. I also screen films – Almodóvar, Wong Kar-wai – set a novel or two, and in class we read poetry. It may seem a whimsical curriculum, but by semester’s end my students have a rigorous working knowledge of ‘ways of thinking about desire’, their assumptions have been questioned, curiosities aroused.