In this Book

End of Dissatisfaction?, The
summary
Exploring the emergence of a societal imperative to enjoy ourselves, Todd McGowan builds on the work of such theorists as Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Zðizûek, Joan Copjec, and Theresa Brennan to argue that we are in the midst of a large-scale transformation—a shift from a society oriented around prohibition (i.e., the notion that one cannot just do as one pleases) to one oriented around enjoyment. McGowan identifies many of the social ills of American culture today as symptoms of this transformation: the sense of disconnection, the increase in aggression and violence, widespread cynicism, political apathy, incivility, and loss of meaning. Discussing these various symptoms, he examines various texts from film, literature, popular culture, and everyday life, including Toni Morrison’s Paradise, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and such films as Dead Poets Society and Trigger Effect. Paradoxically, The End of Dissatisfaction? shows how the American cultural obsession with enjoying ourselves actually makes it more difficult to do so.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Copyright page
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  1. Contents
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: Psychoanalysis after Marx
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Chapter One. From Prohibition to Enjoyment
  2. pp. 11-40
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  1. Chapter Two. The Decline of Paternal Authority
  2. pp. 41-58
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  1. Chapter Three. Embracing the Image
  2. pp. 59-74
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  1. Chapter Four Shrinking Distances
  2. pp. 75-94
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  1. Chapter Five. Interpretation under Duress
  2. pp. 95-120
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  1. Chapter Six. The Appeal of Cynicism
  2. pp. 121-136
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  1. Chapter Seven. The Politics of Apathy
  2. pp. 137-154
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  1. Chapter Eight. A Missing Public World
  2. pp. 155-176
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  1. Chapter Nine. Explosions of Incivility, aggressiveness, and Violence
  2. pp. 177-190
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  1. Conclusion. From Imaginary Enjoyment to Its Real Counterpart
  2. pp. 191-196
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 197-232
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 233-238
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