Tendencies

Overview

Combining poetry, wit, polemic and dazzling scholarship with memorial and autobiography, these essays have set new standards of passion and truthfulness for current theoretical writing.
The essays range from discussions of Diderot, Oscar Wilde and Henry James to queer kids, political correctness adn the poetics of spanking. What unites Tendencies is the vision of a new queer activism and thought which, however demanding and dangerous, can also ...

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Overview

Combining poetry, wit, polemic and dazzling scholarship with memorial and autobiography, these essays have set new standards of passion and truthfulness for current theoretical writing.
The essays range from discussions of Diderot, Oscar Wilde and Henry James to queer kids, political correctness adn the poetics of spanking. What unites Tendencies is the vision of a new queer activism and thought which, however demanding and dangerous, can also be intent, inclusive and fun.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A leading practitioner of gay studies, Sedgwick The Epistemology of the Closet offers an illuminating and provocative collection of essays, many reprinted from academic journals, on subjects as varied as the politics of health care, the popularization of ``queer theory'' as an academic discipline and its harassment by PC-bashing journalists and Sedgwick's own diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Sedgwick turns an unflinching eye on the dynamics of gender and identity that fail to fall into neat, heterosexual categories. She contends that the literature of James, Wilde and Cather call for a reading that is sensitive to the dissonances and ironies of a love that dare not speak its name; she interrogates the ``naturalness'' of heterosexual identity in literature and popular culture. The opening essay, for instance, invokes ``the utopian bedroom scene of Chuck Berry's immortal aubade : `Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news.' '' Though steeped in the jargon of academic cultural studies, Sedgwick's essays offer forthright cultural analysis and an autobiographical intimacy that will prove accessible and germane for a general audience. Dec.
Library Journal
This collection of essays is a meditation on sexuality in literature and life and on the artificial categories imposed on people because of their sexual orientation. The idea that the ``two available categories heterosexual and homosexual are not symmetrically but hierarchically constituted in relation to each other'' is just one of the brilliant thoughts Sedgwick has to offer in examining the works of Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Diderot, and Willa Cather. What she has to say deserves attention, but the ideas presented here will remain inaccessible to all but a handful of Sedgwick's own colleagues. Her writing is witty yet turgid, and the essays overall are slow and difficult reading. This first volume in a new series focusing on the theoretical aspects of gay and lesbian studies is not recommended except for special collections. Sedgwick Between Men , Columbia Univ. Pr., 1986 is Newman Ivey White Professor of English at Duke.-- Patricia Sarles, Brooklyn P.L.
Booknews
Sedgwick (English, Duke U.) offers 12 essays, most previously published, on queerness, the unabashed expression of homosexuality in men and women. Among them are "Tales of the Avunculate: The Importance of Being Ernest, Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl," and "How to Bring your Kids up Gay: The War on Effeminate Boys." Paper edition (unseen), $15.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822314219
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Series: Series Q
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,057,498
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is Distinguished Professor of English, CUNY Graduate Center. Her many publications include A Dialogue On Love (Beacon, 1999); Fat Art/Thin Art (Duke, 1994); Tendencies (Duke, 1993); and Epistemology of the Closet (California, 1990).

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