Lot's Daughters: Sex, Redemption, and Women's Quest for Authority

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Stanford University Press, 2005 - Literary Criticism - 432 pages
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Lot’s Daughters explores the relationship of fathers and daughters and of older men and younger females in history, life, art, and culture. This ambitious, daringly original book shows how humanity has remembered and been formed by Lot’s daughters—how the shocking biblical text describing the crucial relationship between that patriarch and his daughters has haunted the human imagination and shaped history and behavior right down to the present.

Robert Polhemus terms this ongoing human drama—the mutual attraction between young females and older males—the “Lot complex,” and illustrates his theory with a wide-ranging series of portraits that analyze and dramatize the lives and work of famous men and women who, in very diverse ways, have made the world care more deeply about the destiny of daughters.

In witty, probing chapters on an entertaining selection of daughters that includes women as varied as Lewis Carroll’s Alice, Shirley Temple, Mia Farrow, and Monica Lewinsky, Polhemus tells the story of men’s ambivalent desire for young women and of women’s quest for authority. It is an indispensable work on male-female relations.

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Lot's daughters: sex, redemption, and women's quest for authority

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Polhemus (humanities, Stanford Univ.; Erotic Faith: Being in Love from Jane Austen to D.H. Lawrence ) takes the incestuous biblical tale of Lot and his daughters and creates a theory he calls the Lot ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Robert M. Polhemus is Chair of the English Department and Joseph S. Atha Professor in Humanities at Stanford University.

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