, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 381–398 | Cite as

Rethinking The Body in Pain

  • Michael McIntyreEmail author
Original Article


This article calls into question two core suppositions of “The Body in Pain”: that pain is sheerly aversive; and that those who inflict pain do so unawares. I argue that these pieties avoid disturbing questions regarding the pain-filled body. The controlled experience of pain is central to any number of practices; many of them place the body in extremis. Conversely, there are practices of pain-infliction undertaken with the expectation of gratification or social validation. Pain, in short, is alluring as well as aversive.


Scarry pain torture sadomasochism Bataille Nietzsche 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International StudiesDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA

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