The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.
"Neither culture nor its destruction": eros in literature
This thesis addresses the subject of eros and eroticism in literature and language, asking about the role of desire in learning, friendship, speech, and the written word, and suggesting that knowledge and language can be sensuously empirical matters of flesh, bliss, and music. The title, “neither culture nor its destruction,” is a quote from Roland Barthes’ The Pleasure of the Text, and I am interested in performing something of a double gesture by addressing what may loosely be called “erotic” subject matter, while at once using eros as a figure around which to critically explore the functioning of desire within various social institutions and experiences. Primary critical sources are Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, and Jacques Derrida, with whom I closely examine several different personifications and manifestations of eros, emphasizing its role as a force heterogeneous to the law as a matter of both affirmative and dangerous transgression. Eros is a prelinguistic passion and energy rupturing the rational subject, defying sociolinguistic codes, and stylistically and rhetorically functioning by its blurring of literary genres.