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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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.

The meaning of the I was very fascinated with the way the author expressed they way in which the closet was stablished her point of view and understanding of the closet as an epistemology. What charm, compared to this chrism of the gratuitous, can reside in the all too predictable tears epistemolovy women, of gay men, of people with something to cry about?

I got about halfway through and I honestly don’t care.

Published October 16th by University of California Press first published Mar 27, Jeremiah rated it really liked it Shelves: This makes for a reading experience that is as highly interesting as it can be frustrating. The changed world, at least in the western geographies, produced other markers of identities, other ways of being in the world.

Additionally, she theorizes that “male homosexual panic became the normal condition of male heterosexual entitlement” A virtuoso reader of novels and of predicaments, she illustrates colset literary and cultural criticism, at its best, can be. Epistdmology so doing, she has produced an essential antihomophobic text, the one every straight person had better read.

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Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Still, this was eye-opening in many ways. What is the origin of this? Nonetheless, it is probably precisely those readers who could learn the most from Epistemology of the Closetwhich reestablishes Sedgwick’s position as one of the most important thinkers in American gay studies.

Epistemology of the Closet attacks the question of what makes epistrmology human sexuality.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Part of the problem is that I haven’t read a lot of the texts by dead white men that kosofskky analyzes, and that made some of the later chapters incredibly difficult to get though. To prove this obvious but overlooked fact, Sedgwick lists a series of things “that can differentiate even people of identical gender, race, nationality, episteomlogy, 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”.


Feb 22, John Gardner rated it it was coset. In her preface, Sedgwick examines the book both personally and historically, as she analyzes the first wave of the AIDS epidemic and its influence on the text. I batten on every sentence.

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

I like theory and academicalness as much as they next girl see “N. Her works reflect an interest in queer performativity, experimental hhe writing, non-Lacanian psychoanalysis, Buddhism and pedagogy, the affective theories of Silvan Tomkins and Melanie Klein, and material culture, especially textiles and texture. As explained in the book, some women, according to Sedgwick, call themselves ” lesbians ” yet they do not identify at all with the term “gay”.

I have been recently seeing a guy from Venezuela who is only in the process of coming out. Works from the likes of James, Wilde, Proust, Melville, among other are looked at as means to examine how sexual issues have been addressed in literature, and how such works represent a greater context that speaks epishemology factors that shape the manner in which sexuality is defined. Return to Book Page. As is ksoofsky my problem, it is difficult to review a book so seminal a self-conscious word choice, not ignoring the potential for “germinal” clsoet be used as a synonym and so fundamental to so many strains of thoughts.

Am I missing out on an experience that is supposed to shape me?

James Russell Lowell Prize Nominee Ti Fairly early on Sedgwick characterizes this project, in lieu of a warning of sorts, as ‘not pellucid’. The closet functions much like an “outer secret, the secret of having a secret” —if one wve a secret knowledge, “it means all the more that everyone around him does” This is a tour-de-force examination of epistemological questions as they arise from and pertain to the closet – in which homosexual may live sheltered, private lives.

In Epistemology of the ClosetSedgwick argues that standard binary oppositions limit freedom and understanding, especially in the context of sexuality. Sorry, that person’s shelf is private.


Dorian Gray serves as an examples of how the ‘homo’ aspect of ‘homosexuality’ came to be perceived via the by now common place Double them of the picture itself. Given how non-pellucid Sedgwick herself is, it is not surprising that Henry James should feature so prominently. For a feminist who liked playing with words, the radical potential in this appealed. Like the term “homosexuality”, the term “gay” produces mixed results. I would recommend the introduction and first chapter to everyone seriously, everyonebut the rest of the book only to those working academically on sexuality in literature.

It is not only “us” versus “them” – gay versus straight, there is such a broad range of internally directed hatred, judgment and shaming within the gay community.

Epistemology of the Closet

As Christians, I believe this is important for us to understand. In the ancient past, homosexuality was a fairly common and accepted passtime, though socially constructed in such a way. And bad liars at that because all the smug straight people are laughing up their sleeves at the “poor” “pathetic” “closeted” My feelings toward this book are laced with resentment and I haven’t even read it yet. In the introduction, Sedgwick presents axioms — “assumptions and close from a long-term project of anti-homophobic analysis” — that inform her book’s project.

La Rochefoucauld wrote “There are some people who would never have fallen in love if they had not heard there was such sedgick thing” – does the same go for hate as goes for love? Account Options Sign in. Contents Epistemology of the Closet. So entrenched in contemporary concerns are her readings that the question “what’s the point?

It will not be an easy read.

Epistemology of the Closet – Wikipedia

Whether she realizes it is also likely to turn off potential readers who would otherwise gladly explore the ideas expoused in said text is another question. All people are of equal worth, because all are created in the image of God. Feb 05, Jamie Bernthal tne it really liked it.