The Libidinal Economy of Martin Amis’ Money: A Suicide Note

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This research can be broken into four interrelated analyses. Firstly, the libidinal economy of Martin Amis’ Money: A Suicide Note is analyzed. Here, the concept of libidinal energy is defined by referencing Jean Baudrillard and Jean-François Lyotard. The chapter then moves to Samo Tomsic's theory of libidinal economy in order to analyze John Self's erotic (mis)adventures. The aim of the first chapter is to give the theoretical framework a solid grounding as a method of literary criticism in Money. The second chapter, “John Self: Sublimation and Desublimation of Bodies and Landscapes,” uses Herbert Marcuse's analysis of the "one dimensional" or desublimated reality of post industrial societies. Marcuse's work proves to be very useful in solving puzzles pertaining to John's life and sexuality. More care is provided to show how such a phenomenon as desublimation affects (distorts, rather) John's perception of the landscape surrounding him. Additionally, by employing Cecilia Åsberg's study of posthuman feminism, the research proceeds to claim that the people in the world of the novel are slowly but surely being cyborgified, which is expressed in the novel by the merging of the technological human-element with what we casually refer to as 'nature'. This approach also serves to buttress the work of Herbert Marcuse as it is employed in the reading of the novel. Moving on, the chapter depicts John Self as a specifically post-industrial character archetype that Marcuse speaks of, a "Marcusian deadbeat," so to speak. The third chapter deals with John's phenomenological monologue concerning broken toys as well as its relationship to consumerism in a post industrial society. The analyses provided aim to shed some light on the Martin Amis' use of Heideggerian concepts, mainly that of "broken tools." However, there is quite the theoretical introduction at the beginning of the chapter which spans about one page and a fifth of a page. Such maneuver eventually turned out to be necessary in order for this research to remain unambiguous about its claims. The fourth chapter moves to analyze the 'amorphous' state of the world around us, as Martin Amis calls it in an interview with John Haffenden. This unsolvable problem, for Amis, is outlined in the fourth chapter by examining the semantic changes that some of the words undergo throughout the text. Additionally, the work of Jacque Derrida is used as to shed light on the nature of Amis' 'amorphous' narratives. As a final result, the congregation of all four chapters sheds light on the repercussion of the bad libidinal economy of the novel's post industrial world, as to conclude that the world of the novel is dominated by the following: A chaotic yet institutionalized exertions of libidinal energy, a society that live in a desublimated mode of expressing said energy, a Marcusian consumerist culture that is cyborgified via its post industrial landscape, and a phenomenologically as well as linguistically amorphous state of existence

Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, Martin Amis, Money: A Suicide Note, Herbert Marcuse