“Desiderio in Search of a Master”: Desire and the Quest for Recognition in Angela Carter’s The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman

  • Helen Butcher University of Chichester


This essay examines the manner in which desire and Hegelian recognition intersect in Angela Carter’s 1972 novel, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman. After providing a brief description of Hegel’s famous account of the interaction between the lord and the bondsman, the essay goes on to discuss the manner in which the novel invests the figure of the love-object with the potential to become an ideal master. The image of the reflecting eye, which recurs throughout Carter’s text, is then analyzed as an enactment of, and a commentary upon, the desiring gaze.
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