Eroticism in Olesha's "Conspiracy of Feelings" Term Paper

Eroticism in Olesha's "Conspiracy of Feelings"
An analysis of the theme of eroticism in Yury Olesha's "Conspiracy of Feelings and an explication of the sexual counter-revolution referred to in the play.
# 154025 | 5,537 words | 10 sources | 2014 | CA
Published by on Oct 01, 2014 in Drama and Theater (World) , Literature (Russian)

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From the Paper:

"This paper explores the theme of eroticism in Yury Olesha's play The Conspiracy of Feelings and attempts to identify in what sense the "conspiracy" referred to in the title is a "sexual counter-revolution." After a clarification of the use of the term "eroticism," an overview of Olesha's biography is provided, focusing on those elements that contributed to his development as a writer. The paper then examines Olesha's statement regarding the theme of the play, which he identified as "the battle for passionate commitment." A link is drawn between passion and eroticism, which is in turn associated (in Freudian psychology) with Eros, the Greek god of sexual desire, who stands in opposition to Thanatos, the god of death, who is also alluded to obliquely in the play, in the phrase "king of the dead" in Scene 7. This discussion is followed by a detailed scene-by-scene analysis of the erotic elements in the play, an analysis that reveals that Olesha eroticizes not just the human body, but food, religion, and even death. Special attention is paid to Olesha's use of the "carnival," a device identified by Mikhail Bakhtin as one of the defining features of the play, and reference is made in particular to the carnival's subversive, sexual, and aggressive aspects. Finally, it is suggested that the sexual counter-revolution is the movement against the mechanizing tendencies of the Russian Revolution of 1917, which inaugurated the new socialist order, with its emphasis on utilitarianism and its neglect of the erotic and passionate aspects of life. The paper concludes with the observation that even though the counter-revolution failed in Olesha's play, in real life it eventually succeeded with the collapse of the former Soviet Union, just over two decades after the Olesha's death."

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