From Odysseus and the Sirens' song to Oscar Moore's 1991 novel A Matter of Life and Sex, the relationship between death and desire has obsessed the Western imagination. In exploring this infatuation, cultural critic Jonathan Dollimore has created an ambitious and strikingly original work. From the Greeks to the postmodernists, in the sufferings of the early Christians and the writings of the death-obsessed Jacobeans, in the legacy of the nineteenth-century European philosophers such as Hegel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, in the works of the great modern novelists Joseph Conrad, Thomas Mann and D. H. Lawrence, in Freud and Bataille, the powerful theme reverberates: death inhabits sexuality - traumatically, lethally, ecstatically.
'Dollimore [is] a clear, honest and insightful interpreter... the book offers much for anyone who has ever shivered at the thought of encountering darkness as a bride.'
Bill Saunders, Independent on Sunday