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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Can you repeat that one more time? 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.

A universalizing view affirms that all persons are of equal worth, though they may differ in many ways, and that an epiztemology of homosexuality is important for people of all sexual persuasions. Being “in” the closet is perceived as living a false, sham half-life – it isn’t living. A complicated relationship exists between the commingling of hearts and the physical manifestation in bodies, but it seems a gross hypocrisy to allow one and condemn the other.

It deconstructs the mechanisms through which a queer individual goes from simply suffering from the thf effects of homophic repression mosofsky actively enforcing them.

Epistemology of the Closet by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

What is the origin of this? Confusing to read about all the embodied denials and ignorances of privilege. Feb 22, John Gardner rated it it was ok.

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” Well, Sedgwick herself married a man, Hal Sedgwick, though she would not have used the term “straight”, seeing sexual identity as a continuum rather than a category.

This book examines the emotions provoked by the AIDS epidemic that was widespread at the time. Fairly early on Sedgwick characterizes this project, in lieu of a warning of sorts, as ‘not pellucid’. Many of the ideas in Between Men are further flushed out in Epistemology of the Closet.

The basis for the answer to this question comes from Sedgwick’s understanding and examination of queer theory, which she describes for her readers. I say this because in all reality the closet was created to prolong the believe that heterosexuality is the natural and normal way of being and to demonized anything that differs from it.

When I read this I was unfamiliar with Proust iosofsky James, which made some of Sedgwick’s close reading difficult to understand, but the general points — koskfsky male homosociality and homoerotic desire being interlinked and interdependent — are well-made and substantiated to the satisfaction of all leve It’s difficult to overestimate the down-to-earth magnetism and influence of Sedgwick, and ‘Epistemology’ has everything for which she’s rightly still at the top of her field, years after her death.

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He has three brothers, and after coming out to one of them recently, he received the response that while his brother respects him, he does not support sedgwiick. Sedgwick writes with great intelligence and an eye for irony, but always makes clear that her theories and critical acumen kosofsoy in the service of a politic that seeks to make the world a better and more humane place for everyone.

To prove this obvious but overlooked fact, 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”.

The first book to grab me was the Butler, and this was mainly because of the resonance of the sepia-toned image on the cover of my Routledge edition, which mirrored that photograph from my childhood. In this highly acclaimed work, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick proposed a new mode of literary and cultural critique that destabilized a Sedgwcik structural binary, in ege case not a gendered one e.

In the introduction, Sedgwick presents axioms — “assumptions and conclusions from a long-term project of anti-homophobic analysis” — that inform her book’s project.

The article later goes on to describe how “Her close readings of Melville’s ” Billy Budd “, Wilde’s ” Dorian Gray ” and of Epistemokogy, Nietzsche, Henry James and Thackeray bristle with keen observations relating entrenched fears of same-sex relationships to contemporary gay-bashing and obvious displays of heterosexual or “macho” attitudes.

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.

All people are of equal worth, because all are created in the image of God. Melville and Billy Budd This was perhaps my favorite chapter. Sep 16, Oscar rated it it was amazing.

I confess that as no trained Aug 17, Tina rated it really liked it Shelves: This has been due, in no small degree, to the influence of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s critically acclaimed Epistemology of the Closet.

It is informative as it looks into the very physiognomy of ‘closet,’ and it is interesting because it assays the work of some great authors such as Proust, Joyce, Lawrence, and Wilde. As Sedgwick writes elsewhere, “queer is a continuing moment, movement, motive — recurrent, eddying, troublant”.


Epistemology of the Closet is a book published in by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwickwho is considered one of the founders of queer studies. Wilde Nietzsche and the Sentimental Relations. Henry James and The Beast in the Jungle This is a short story that not even dedicated James readers will immediately bring to memory, assuming they have even read it I had not.

Topics Gender A book that changed me. But, as in her other work, the insights that she eventually reaches here are dead-on. This book addresses the idea that there are two views that guide sexual identity and desire: While these are not the conclusions drawn by the author who is not a ChristianI feel that kosofksy are a practical application of some of epiztemology thoughts that fit within both a Biblical framework and within the canon of queer theory.

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

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.

Want to Read saving…. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Oscar Wilde and The Picture of Dorian Gray Surprisingly enough this chapter was kosocsky as long or thorough as one might expect. Philosophy and Literature, Volume 15, Number 2, Octoberpp. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Epistemology of the Closet – Wikipedia

Among her contemporaries, there are no literary critics more elastic in their thinking and brilliant kosofsku their argumentation. Jan 15, Sarah marked it as to-read Shelves: So entrenched in contemporary concerns are her readings that the question “what’s the point? Issues of articulation, of silencing and pacifying homosexual tensions give it an extra sense of relevance.

Can’t wait to read Touching Feeling. Loading comments… Trouble loading? 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.

Drawing on feminist scholarship and the work of Michel Foucault, Sedgwick uncovered purportedly hidden homoerotic subplots in writers like Charles Dickens, Henry James and Marcel Proust.