From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Female Perversions: The Temptations of Madame Bovary is a treatise on "female perversions" by North-American psychoanalyst and author Louise Kaplan first published by Nan Talese in 1990. Like its title suggests the work invokes Emma Bovary and builds on the work of Bovary connoisseurs Tony Tanner (Adultery in the Novel) and Mario Vargas Llosa (The Perpetual Orgy). Recommended for readers interested in the pleasure of cultural criticism grounded in psychoanalytic theory. The book was the basis for a 1996 German film with the same title by Susan Streitfeld.
From the publisher
- Distinguished psychoanalyst and author Louise Kaplan scrutinizes the world of sexual perversions and exposes the misconceptions behind them in her masterful study, Female Perversions. Her effort earned the book a nomination for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Kaplan's general thesis is that perversions are as much a function of gender role identity as they are of sexuality. Her thesis also maintains that the predominantly male medical profession has created and perpetuated many of the myths of perverse female sexual behavior. The book outlines various types of perverse behavior--fetishism, voyeurism, exhibitionism--and then analyzes each type outside of society's traditional perspective. As she expounds on her theory, Kaplan invokes Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. She sees many parallels between the plight of Emma Bovary and the perception of female perversions in society today. Kaplan writes lucidly, offering an enlightening insight into the provocative and complex issue of female erotic expression to a range of readers.