Leo Bersani

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Leo Bersani (born 16 April 1931) is an American literary theorist and Professor Emeritus of French at the University of California, Berkeley. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992.


  • In giving up an instinctive satisfaction, we simultaneously (1) internalize the authority presumably inhibiting the instinct, (2) increase our sense of guilt by intensifying our desire for satisfaction, (3) submit the ego to the fury of an aggressiveness originally intended for the inhibiting external authority.
    • The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Art (Columbia University Press, 1986), p. 23

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