What is at stake in male homo/heterosexual definition? Grounded in gay theory and politics and offering new paradigms for them, Sedgwick's book explores the consequences for our culture of a radical shift in turn-of-the-century Euro-American discourse: the moment when each person, in addition to having a gender based on the male/female dichotomy, ...
What is at stake in male homo/heterosexual definition? Grounded in gay theory and politics and offering new paradigms for them, Sedgwick's book explores the consequences for our culture of a radical shift in turn-of-the-century Euro-American discourse: the moment when each person, in addition to having a gender based on the male/female dichotomy, also came to have a sexuality based on the particular dichotomy, homo/hetero. Through readings of the work of Melville, Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Proust, Sedgwick shows how questions of sexual definition are at the heart of every form of representation in this century. She further shows that the work of all modern disciplines needs to apply a specifically anti-homophobic analysis if it is to avoid being fundamentally flawed. Sedgwick combines theoretical sophistication and personal revelation in this contribution to gay theory and debate.
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Publishers Weekly, 1990-11-02 The homosexual closet, by Sedgwick's yardstick, is ``the defining structure for gay oppression in this century.'' She disagrees strongly with those who separate gays and straights as ``distinct kinds of persons,'' with no common humanity. Her close readings of Melville's Billy Budd , Wilde's Dorian Gray and of Proust, Nietzsche, Henry James and Thackeray bristle with keen observations relating entrenched fears of same-sex relationships to contemporary gay-bashing and obvious displays of heterosexual or ``macho'' attitudes. But Sedgwick ( Between Men ) does not prove her overstated thesis that homo/hetero distinction obtains with gender, class and race in determining ``all modern Western identity and social organization.'' Obtuse, cumbersome, academic prose limits the appeal of this treatise. (Dec.)
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