Violence, Death, Sex and Psychoanalysis in Dennis Cooper’s The Dream Police.

  • Pedro Antonio Férez Mora
Keywords: The Dream Police, queer theory, sexual violence, perversion, Lacanian psychoanalysis, the Real


This essay will explore's the mirroring of erotic desire and violence that Dennis Cooper undertakes in his poetry anthology The Dream Police (Selected Poems 1969-1993). Drawing mainly on Jacques Lacan and Georges Bataille, it will be argued that sexual violence is the vehicle which Cooper uses to liberate eroticism from what in psychoanalysis is known as the Symbolic —the order of the human mind ruled by sociocultural prescriptions. This liberation is productive of alternative knowledge about Cooperian subjects and their vicissitudes in desire, especially the poietic metaphorization of their sexual drives. On articulating this view, this piece of research departs from the critical line that conceives Cooper’s violent ars erotica as either an elicitor of nihilism or the annihilation of otherness.

Author Biography

Pedro Antonio Férez Mora
Universidad de Murcia