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

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Abstract

This article reads Angela Carter’s The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman (1972) as resonating with current theoretical discourses on accelerationism, particularly in its contemporaneity with writers said to be accelerationism’s point 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. In Infernal Desire Machines , this tension is worked out through the regulation of sexuality and desire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-365
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Women's Writing
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • essay
  • Angela Carter
  • accelerationism
  • libidinal economy

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