Issue 6: Desire

Kate E. O Neill : Female Effigies and Performances of Desire: A Consideration of Identity Performance Lars and the Real Girl.

The Sexual Cyborg

Social identity is in many ways formed and maintained through performances that occur within the public sphere and are validated by the corresponding performances of others. In the film Lars and the Real Girl, a sex doll named Bianca, a cyborg animated by the performances of those around her, comes to function as an effigy figure in her community. Bianca’s object status identifies her as a highly heterosexual, although potentially subversive, signifier of male sexual desire.

Martin Dubois : Hopkins’s confessional notes and desire: a reconsideration

“Is a pen a metaphorical penis? Gerard Manley Hopkins seems to have thought so” (3). Thus opens Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s major study, The Madwoman in the Attic. Gilbert and Gubar are referring to Hopkins’s conception of creativity as an essentially masculine attribute, but the association of pens and penises is also apt in an altogether different sense. For Hopkins seems to have been both attracted and repelled by male bodies and by the act of writing in similar measures. The fear that poems “wd.

Michelle Devereaux : Death and Desire in Swinging London Film

Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion (Filmreference.com)

“A man should pray to have right desires, before he prays that his desires may be fulfilled.”


“I want it, I want it, I want it—you can’t have it!”

-The Who

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


This paper will address how the interpersonal relations depicted in Angela Carter’s novel The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman are represented as affecting the development of the self. Focusing upon the first-person narrator and his love-object, it will consider the manner in which the characters are portrayed as detecting elements of themselves within the people that they desire, and look at how sexual attraction and romantic love are shown to influence the dynamics of identity-forming encounters.

Homay King : The Shanghai Gesture

This essay concerns an Orientalist trope that I call “the Shanghai gesture.” This cinematic trope involves a movement whereby seemingly marginal Asian set dressing in Hollywood film ends up functioning as a load-bearing narrative element.

Syndicate content

The spring 2008 issue of Forum explores the concept of desire as a force inspiring works of art within a variety of cinematic and literary genres.