Innocence and Rapture

The Erotic Child in Pater, Wilde, James, and Nabokov

  • Authors
  • Kevin Ohi

About this book


Taking as its focus the erotic child in decadent aesthetics, this book explores the sexual and political stakes of an aestheticistexperience of rapture. Ohi examines the power of the work of art to transport, to disorient, to move, to extort the equivocal pleasuresof self-loss. He also explores how the beautiful child offers partisans of 'art for art's sake' an emblem for the ecstatic and erotic, even the queer possibilities of art. Aestheticism's erotic child is thus in stark contrast to the innocent child of today's ideology, who secures the claims of identity against the very disorientations celebrated by aestheticism. Articulating aesthetic transport through the desiring and desired child, aestheticism interrogates the ideology underpinning sexual oppression.


aesthetics child death identity ideology Renaissance work

Bibliographic information