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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She explores in particular works by Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Proust, and Herman Melville, contrasting their real lives with their written works.

Epistemology of the Closet – Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick – Google Books

Where did all this hate even come from? In fact, on my second reading of these chapters, I tried to read them as if I were not familiar with their works, they are still accessible.

What was this about? Part oof this analysis implies that the closet is something that functions where others “think they know something about one that one may not know about oneself ,” which grants them excitement and power And while such binaries or oppositions are present in life, things are not always as clear cut.

You dip into the Phaedrus often? This reading thought me be proud and not live in the closet of society or allow anyone whom I love, whether queer, straight, white or colored.

Sedgwick is not writing a pop history book for anyone interested in LGBT studies. The reality of the matter is that the full on closet value and definition, in sedgiwck personal point of view, is the hegemonic heteronormative cushion for society to exclude and excuse other forms of existence. Though requiring focused attention on the part of the reader, Sedgwick’s seminal text reveals a virtuosic deconstruction and reassembling of of thf cultural conversation around homosexual identity and the persistent power of the closet in 20th century thought.

My feelings toward this book are laced with resentment and I haven’t even read it yet. We live in such an insecure society, and everyone is in one closet or another, and many of them are made of glass: University of California Pr Amazon. When I think of me-as-Robert now, it is with a hint of defiance, rather than confusion, sedvwick alone shame. The closet functions much like an “outer secret, the secret of having a secret” —if one has a secret knowledge, “it means all the more that everyone around him does” As a group we parade and champion acceptance, but behind the confines of our paper partitions, we do not often accept one another for our variations on the same theme.


Sorry, that person’s shelf is private.

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 epistekology as an epistemology. This is definitely a good analysis of the function of the closet in homosexuality.

The meaning of the closet in a broader way to was that it was the locking of our identity as a sexual being.

Epistemology of the Closet

It shows a young boy standing next to a young girl, both wearing dresses complete with frills and ruffles. 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 towards factors that shape the manner in which sexuality is defined.

I see a lot of people taking issue with this book because it’s difficult to read, and so I want to dispel a misunderstanding right up front: Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. It draws on French philosopher Michel Foucault’s writings on sexuality and his notion that bodies are given meaning by discourse and social structures of epistemoology and power.

All people are of equal kosoffsky, because all are created in the image of God. The reality that gay women and men have been subject to the heteronormative social structures, producing a disheartening amount of pain, compulsive sexuality, and rigid identity boundaries-the equally unpleasant reality that straight I concede that this opinion comes from an undergrad who has seldom encountered literary theory in a classroom setting shame, shame, shamebut from what I gather–“affect” is intuitive.

Feb 09, Nocturnalux added it Shelves: The book pics up again with the last two chapters which come back ccloset the brilliant analysis that appeared in the introductory chapters. Topics Gender A book that changed me.

Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

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. Sinners, and Jesus Christ. This book examines the emotions provoked by the AIDS epidemic that was widespread at the time. I really enjoyed this book since it presents such an important and useful work of modern Queer theory, but also because it goes beyond the realm of such theory, and towards the idea that the concept of sexuality and its identification is an ever changing issue that is greatly affected by the social and political factors present within any era.


La Rochefoucauld wrote “There are some people who would never have fallen in love if they had not heard there was such a thing” – does the same go for hate as goes for love? The changed world, at least in the western geographies, produced other markers of identities, other ways of being in the world.

Beyond the quality of the close readings, Sedgwick establishes theoretical formulations that deserve endless consideration. Feb 15, l. May 11, Stef Rozitis rated it liked it Shelves: 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.

The book, of course, demands patience. Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news. Apr 05, Khush rated it it was amazing. But I wonder if I am missing out on some important rites and rituals as a homosexual, being so readily accepted?

sedgick For much sedgwik my adult life, I have felt a special burden for ministry to homosexuals. Given how non-pellucid Sedgwick herself is, it is not surprising that Henry James epitsemology feature so prominently. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. In countless personal gay narratives, one often hears ‘Epistemology of the closet’ is an informative and interesting book. 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 dve personhood as gender had been for centuries.

It was prompted, my parents think, by a local farmer’s son called Robert, who I was drawn to as a child. And that the closet was rested to protect us from the harm of those whom didn’t understand us, or wouldn’t welcomes us. Sedgwick seems very aware that this is her approach inbuilds the main theme of instability of possible semantic attributions into the very fabric of the text itself so that it becomes structural in more senses than one.

Loading comments… Trouble loading? For instance, for multiple reasons, modern cities do not control human bodies and desires in the way agrarian societies do. But Oooooooh what a difficult read! I saw the potential, then, in queer as it was intended: