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Material TransgressionsBeyond Romantic Bodies, Genders, Things$
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Kate Singer, Ashley Cross, and Suzanne Barnett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621778

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621778.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 14 June 2021

John Barnet and the Materiality of Desire in James Hogg’s Justified Sinner

John Barnet and the Materiality of Desire in James Hogg’s Justified Sinner

Chapter:
(p.233) Chapter Ten John Barnet and the Materiality of Desire in James Hogg’s Justified Sinner
Source:
Material Transgressions
Author(s):

David Sigler

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789621778.003.0011

This chapter examines a neglected scene in James Hogg’s novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, in which the church groundskeeper John Barnet is fired for insubordination. Barnet, like an earlier version of Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” makes innuendoes about his employer’s sexual history and refuses to deny spreading rumors about the paternity of the boss’s son. The ensuing confrontation becomes an allegory of labour relations and a parable about the materiality of desire. The chapter analyzes Barnet’s innuendo through the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan, who similarly saw desire as having a certain materiality.

Keywords:   James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, John Barnet, Jacques Lacan, Labour relations, Desire, Materiality, Paternity, “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, Innuendo

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