By Jason Edwards

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is likely one of the most important literary theorists of the final 40 years and a key determine in modern queer thought. during this attractive and encouraging advisor, Jason Edwards exhibits the effect that Sedgwick’s paintings maintains to have on writers, readers, and literary and cultural thought this present day.

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Additional info for Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

Sample text

At its most flexible, the inversion model might allow for the fact that the roles could be reversed. But the presumption is always ‘one man, one woman’, whoever happens to be taking the role of man or woman at any given time. And what the inversion model has very little explanatory power in relation to is same-sex couples in which both parties appear to be masculine or feminine, butch or femme. As a model, then, inversion imagines that sexuality and gender map onto each other in two particular and perhaps even contradictory ways.

But lacking the sense of legal and cultural immunity shared by the aristocracy and their more bohemian associates, lower-middle-class men inclined towards same-sex eroticism tended to be more marked by denials, rationalisations, fears, guilts and sublimations, as well as by an improvisatory resourcefulness valued in other contexts by their entrepreneurial class. Indeed, Sedgwick noted, the biographies of lower-middle-class men inclined towards queer eroticisms were full of oddities, surprises and apparent false starts, and there was not a particularly strong sense of a sexuality or predetermined erotic trajectory.

They might have been able to imagine their single-sex schools, clubs, political institutions and armies, as well as at least penetrative same-sex eroticism, as potentially virilising. They might have perceived the exclusion of women from their intimate lives in the same virilising terms, rather than perceiving their choice of a male object as feminising them. Nevertheless, on leaving school, many such men seemed also to have identified same-sex eroticism with childishness and, consequently, as a mark of powerlessness; with shame, scorn and denial, although, Sedgwick notes, perhaps without the virulence of twentieth-century homophobia.

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