Free market of desire: Libidinal economy and the rationalization of sex in The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article reads Angela Carter’s The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972) as resonating with current theoretical discourses on accelerationism, reflecting a contemporaneity with writers said to be its points of origin: French theorists of libidinal economy writing in the early 1970s, especially Jean-François Lyotard. Considering the novel in the context of Carter’s work of this period, I argue that Infernal Desire Machines registers a shift in governmental and economic policy from the organized welfare statism of the postwar years to a society that resembles the neoliberal state Britain will become under Thatcher, prefigured in the novel as a kind of libidinal economy; for, in Infernal Desire Machines, this tension is worked out on the planes of sexuality and desire and the regulation thereof.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-365
JournalContemporary Women's Writing
Volume9
Issue number3
Early online date13 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2015

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Free market of desire: Libidinal economy and the rationalization of sex in <i>The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman</i>'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this