The Real Desire is a collection of essays, written over the last ten years by Robyn Ferrell, who is now Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. This collection is for the general reader as well as the academic and student.
In The Real Desire, the lenses of art, philosophy, sensuality, and the dreamscape invite us to explore the many guises of desire. A childhood interwoven with Aboriginal history, the banalities of buying real estate, discussion of lingerie, writers and writing, and feminist analysis of some of the great philosophers of the past.
Robyn Ferrell has brought together in one volume essays of discovery – “Pinjarra 1970”; rites of passage – “Kingdom of God” and “Feminine Arts”; disillusionment – “Paris Does Not Exist”; and critical analysis – “Hemingway’s Typewriter” and “Real Desire”.
Robyn combines the clarity of journalistic prose with the rigor of academic analysis. These essays are written for general interest as well as academic investigation.
Before he offered, it had not occurred to me that he could want what I wanted. Or, rather, that he could give this shape to what I wanted; an erotic definition. Because philosophy tutorials had been such a cerebral pleasure, like the cold light of stars. His skin, too, was cool and he continued to have a sylvan quality, only now under the influence of passion he had become a satyr or minor forest deity. from Feminine Arts
In Europe, the place of art in things becomes suddenly much clearer. There, one can see the old power under the new, like the original timber beneath the paint. In the grand architecture, the very place, that overbearing grandeur makes it not possible to avoid consciousness of the necessity of art in a world of an ancien régime; the consolation and subversion, the reflection art provides. from Paris Does Not Exist
They say that a dream of water refers to deep feeling. Aesthetics is that branch of philosophy which considers feeling. It deals with beauty, art, sensibility, passion. It would deal, if it could, with love. It is a quixotic enterprise, like reclaiming land from the sea. The tides of feeling are governed by a force we do not get to command; but we must make some effort for fear of being drowned in it. from Interpretation of Dreams
Paperback, 210 x 138 mm, 196 pp
Literary essays, 1st edition
ISBN: 1 92078701 1
RRP $aud 27-95
Short-listed NSW Premier’s Prize
Robyn Ferrell worked as a journalist on the Sydney Morning Herald before doing her doctorate in philosophy at the University of New South Wales. Now she is the Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. As well as her books, Robyn is the author of numerous academic and journalistic articles.
Robyn is drawn to the creative breadth of essays, which can be didactic or elliptical, erudite or impassioned, and in which you can tell stories, gossip, advance speculations and explore feelings. Robyn has been a student of desire for as long as she has been a writer. The two have always accompanied each other – feeling and analysis, theory and expression, world view and personal opinion.
Robyn’s earlier books
Genres of Philosophy (Ashgate 2002)
Passion In Theory (Routledge 1996)
The Weather and Other Gods (Frances Allen 1990)
Co-editor, Cartographies: Post-structuralism and the Mapping of Bodies and Spaces (Allen & Unwin 1991)