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Innocence and Rapture: The Erotic Child in Pater, Wilde, James, and Nabokov Hardcover – July 28, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Beautiful, judicious, and finely wrought. Ohi’s wonderfully absorbing study shows how 'style' and 'the child' are wed to each other in famous aestheticizing texts: both are a kind of erotic allure, an occasion for rapture, that thwarts assigned cultural contents and luxuriates in disorientations. This is a smart, agile argument, in a book as rigorous as it is relevant to current cultural panics over childhood. With an intelligence as expansive as the sexual possibilities he considers, Ohi drops deep anchors into texts that repay our attention with broad theoretical and political concerns. Keenly, we are shown why embracing the child (with its belligerent mysteries attached to its wandering sexualities) demands the close, imaginative readings Kevin Ohi so brilliantly performs. A distinguished achievement."--Kathryn Stockton, The University of Utah
"We've been blessed in the last decade with several distinguished and profitably subversive books investigating the eroticism evoked by and manufactured into the figure of the child. Kevin Ohi's is the finest of these. The only thing wrong with this book is the modesty of the title, which may not suggest the extraordinary originality and sweep of this irresistibly precise and witty study. We often speak of daring work as "unsettling," and certainly that word could be used here, but Ohi is much more than a rattler. He expands our vision and knowledge, writes not only with precision but generosity, doesn't so much explain as make possible. Ohi is the once-in-the-bluest-moon intellectual who cannot help being persuasive and, in my view, right. He makes us all so much smarter than we were, than we have any right to be."--James R. Kincaid, University of Southern California

From the Back Cover

"We've been blessed in the last decade with several distinguished and profitably subversive books investigating the eroticism evoked by and manufactured into the figure of the child. Kevin Ohi's is the finest of these. The only thing wrong with this book is the modesty of the title, which may not suggest the extraordinary originality and sweep of this irresistibly precise and witty study. We often speak of daring work as "unsettling," and certainly that word could be used here, but Ohi is much more than a rattler. He expands our vision and knowledge, writes not only with precision but generosity, doesn't so much explain as make possible. Ohi is the once-in-the-bluest-moon intellectual who cannot help being persuasive and, in my view, right. He makes us all so much smarter than we were, than we have any right to be."
--James R. Kincaid, University of Southern California

"Beautiful, judicious, and finely wrought. Ohi’s wonderfully absorbing study shows how 'style' and 'the child' are wed to each other in famous aestheticizing texts: both are a kind of erotic allure, an occasion for rapture, that thwarts assigned cultural contents and luxuriates in disorientations. This is a smart, agile argument, in a book as rigorous as it is relevant to current cultural panics over childhood. With an intelligence as expansive as the sexual possibilities he considers, Ohi drops deep anchors into texts that repay our attention with broad theoretical and political concerns. Keenly, we are shown why embracing the child (with its belligerent mysteries attached to its wandering sexualities) demands the close, imaginative readings Kevin Ohi so brilliantly performs. A distinguished achievement."
--Kathryn Bond Stockton, The University of Utah


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