Since the late s, queer studies and theory have become vital to the intellectual and political life of the United States. This has been due, in no small degree. BOOK REVIEW. Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick*. Reviewed by Mark Reschke**. In the s, homophobic attacks from many fronts. : Epistemology of the Closet, Updated with a New Preface ( ): Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: Books.

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To prove this obvious but overlooked secgwick, Sedgwick lists a series of things “that can differentiate even people of identical gender, race, nationality, class, and ‘sexual orientation’ — each one of which, however, if taken seriously as pure differenceretains the unaccounted-for potential to disrupt many forms of the available thinking about sexuality”. Sedgwick uses the writings of these authors to point out examples in other pieces of famous literary text that help propel her argument about the binary behind the homosexual identity and how language serves to define that binary.

The binarisms she ascribes to a section oftentimes did not fully come out of her following analysis of them. That said–if you’re familiar with with this style of writing, ksofsky questions Sedgwick is asking and the theories she’s presenting in this book are really fascinating.

In the ancient past, homosexuality was a fairly common and accepted passtime, though socially constructed in such a dpistemology.

I wish I had ov the books she discussed in it! In Epistemology of the ClosetEve Kosofsky Sedgwick explores the epistemology of the closet, the dominant metaphor for understanding gay male identities in the 20th century. This has been due, in no small degree, to the influence of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s critically acclaimed Epistemology of the Closet.

It will be intensely rewarding to some and perplexingly frustrating to others. One thing that can be safely said, Epistemology of the Closet is not, at all, pellucid. Through readings of Melville, Nietzsche, Wilde, James, and Proust, Sedgwick shows how questions of sexual definition are at the heart of every form of representation in this century. Working from classic texts of European and American writers – including Melville, James, Nietzsche, Proust, and Wilde – Sedgwick analyzes a turn-of-the-century historical moment in which sexual orientation became as important a demarcation of personhood as gender had been for centuries.


A big jump here Therefore, even today, the industrially developed world is far more evolved when it comes to the rights of minority sexualities, whereas in the pre-industrial societies, the term ‘closet’ is irrelevant because the homosexual man has not arrived there.

Axiom 1 — and I still smile at its devastatingly brilliant simplicity — is “people are different from each other”. Issues of articulation, of silencing and pacifying homosexual tensions give it an extra sense of relevance.

This is a tour-de-force examination of epistemological questions as they arise from and pertain to the closet epistejology in which homosexual may live sheltered, private lives. And she offers an ambitious range of examples and techniques for pursuing the antihomophobic project in newly imaginative, assertive, and trenchant ways throughout contemporary culture.

Her theory is based heavily in a post-Foucault structure with a post-Stonewall, post-AIDS crisis lens through which to view the pluralities of sexuality. Feb 22, John Gardner rated it it was ok.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Judith Butler showed me the transformative power of the word queer

It’s difficult to overestimate the down-to-earth magnetism epistdmology influence of Sedgwick, and ‘Epistemology’ has everything for which she’s rightly still at the top of her field, years after her death. The changed world, at least in the western geographies, produced other markers of identities, other ways of being in the world. Also it was especially hard to understand her chapter on ‘Billy Budd’ which might be caused by my sedgick of having read the novel.

Through readings of Melville, Nietzsche, Wilde, James and Proust, the author argues that the vexed imperatives to specify straight and gay identities have become central to every important form of knowledge of the 20th century. While Sedgwick does frame each author and summarize each work minus Proust’s, which is understandablethe reader is expected to know them fairly well along with Foucault and have the particular texts fresh in their memory.


But I wonder if I am missing out on some important rites and rituals as a homosexual, being so readily accepted?

Epistemology of the Closet

This book addresses the idea that there are two views that guide sexual identity and desire: I batten on every sentence. Time and time again one finds oneself going back a few lines to disentangle the semantic bog strewn across very long paragraphs riddled with often obscure terms.

I was a bit taken aback by the rather brash out-casting in this day and age, and a bit shocked that there is still so much hatred and misunderstanding in the world today. Apr epistemoloy, Khush rated it it was amazing.

Epistemology of the Closet – Wikipedia

Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity Yet it took only 17 years for that same court to strike this decision down. Beyond the quality of the close readings, Sedgwick establishes theoretical formulations that deserve endless consideration. The basis for the answer to this question comes from Sedgwick’s understanding and examination of queer theory, which she describes for her readers.

Working from classic texts of European and American writers — including Herman Melville, Henry James, Marcel Proust, and Oscar Wilde — Sedgwick delineates a historical moment in which sexual identity became as important a demarcation of personhood as gender had been for centuries.

English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire epistemoolgy Lists with Closte Book. The book’s main theme deals with the relationship between feeling, learning, and action. I have on the most gorgeous deep blue velvet trouser clozet, a white frill-collared shirt, and a terribly serious expression. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book I liked as much as this one for the first pages.