What is the relationship between creativity and perversion? The boundary between the world of art and 'the artful universe of the pervert' is carefully explored in this study. Beyond the banal or picturesque variations in sexual behaviour, there lies an essential dimension of the human condition, a permanent temptation of the mind. It is the wish to escape our limitations, to replace our world with one where all things are possible. Led on by hubris, 'the artful universe' of perversion dethrones God-The-Father and rewrites the Bible. It aims to transmute reality, to revert to confusion and chaos. Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel draws on a wide range of films, plays and writers - including de Sade, Oscar Wilde, and H.G. Wells. Examples from these sources are closely interwoven with clinical case material. Although the author does not conform to the classical analytic scheme, she reviews the psychoanalytic literature and remains faithful to Freud's thought. Emphasizing the relations between perversion, narcissism and idealization, she places the problem of perversion within the endless struggle of humanity against reality.