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Extra info for Male Trouble: Masculinity and the Performance of Crisis

Sample text

Lacan also observes evidence of this incomplete identity formation in analysis. ’120 In The Psychoses (1955–6) he understands compulsive, Performing Male Trouble 33 repetitious behaviour as an insistence on the signifier, or ‘the insistence of speech’121 that binds the subject to the Law. Later still, in The Other Side of Psychoanalysis (1969–70), Lacan relates this repetition to the death drive, and the desire to go beyond the limit of knowledge, that is, the return of jouissance,122 or the will to exceed the pleasure principle and seek death.

Drawing inspiration from all the synoptic Gospels, as well as from extra-biblical material in the 36 Sacrificial Masculinity 37 form of Sister Anne Emmerich’s devotional book The Dolorous Passion of Christ,5 Gibson avowed that his film would provide the most explicit and ‘realistic’ representation of the last twelve hours in Jesus’s life that the world had ever seen. Gibson’s resolute beliefs, coupled with the film’s grotesque violence, became the main contexts for critical debate upon the film’s release.

14 This association between national stability and gender and sexual normativity is explicitly foregrounded in the following statement from the 40 Male Trouble American Society for the Preservation of the Family: ‘The family unit is under attack by dark and conspiring forces who desire to redefine the bond of marriage to include same-sex partners. ’15 For the purposes of contextualizing The Passion further within this climate, it is worth noting Mel Gibson’s own contributions to these homophobic circulations.

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