'Oh My Pen Drops From Me Here' Bliss, Pleasure and Sexual Encounter in the Erotic Novel
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This thesis explores three accounts of male erotic fantasy. In my second chapter, I apply Roland Barthes’ conceptions of bliss and pleasure to John Cleland’s 18th century erotic novel, Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure in order to test Barthes’ theory. In my third chapter, I use D. H. Lawrence’s own erotic theory to analyze his depictions of boredom, tenderness and the mind/body divide in his 20th century novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. In my fourth chapter, I rely on the theory of sadomasochism to explore the ways in which pleasure, pain and degradation figure in the Pauline Réage’s 20th century sadomasochistic novel, Story of O. In all three of these novels, erotic pleasure, love and transcendence are central themes and I ultimately elucidate the ways in which Cleland, Lawrence and Réage strategically use them to influence the reader’s reception of their accounts of male erotic fantasy.