# Lecture 012

Lens: use Text B to illuminate something didn't already know about Text A

• is not similarity, difference

Process:

• That something turns out to carry consequences for my overall reading of Text A (thesis/argument)

• Applying Text B (my lens) in this way also reveals something small but significant about Text B

Example

The concept of the imagination is ambiguous throughout Venus in Furs: at times, the imagination appears as passive as a battleground that external forces fight to occupy and control; at other times, the imagination appears to drive the action as if it is another character. Any theory of sexuality that seeks to explain Venus in Furs thus must be able to explain the ambiguity over the imagination. Foucault’s theory of the inescapable knowledge-power of sexuality comes close to being able to explain Sacher-Masoch’s ambiguous concept of the imagination, but applying Foucault in this way highlights Foucault’s own difficulty situating the imagination within his theory.

• I read Venus in Furs (Text A) and noticed that the imagination is ambiguous

• I read Foucault (Text B, my lens) (3) to better understand the imagination in Venus in Furs

• Foucault helped explain why an ambiguous imagination is an appropriate way to look at sexuality

• but (5) applying Foucault to the imagination tells me that Foucault’s own theory is challenged when he has to account for the imagination.

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