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ExhaustionA History$
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Anna Katharina Schaffner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172301

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172301.001.0001

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(p.72) 4 Sexuality

Anna Katharina Schaffner

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on conceptions of sexuality in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the idea that so-called 'perverse' sexual activities (such as masturbation, homosexuality, and sexual excess) lead to the exhaustion of precious and non-renewable life-energy. It discusses sexological writings, degeneration theory, and vampire fiction, which draws on these theories. The literary text discussed in detail is John Sheridan Le Fanu's 'Carmilla'.

Keywords:   sexological writings, degeneration theory, vampire fiction, John Sheridan Le Fanu's 'Carmilla'

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