RESTORATION:A POLITICAL MANIFESTO FOR RE-CLAIMING PRE-WOLFENDEN GAY FICTION FOR THE NOW:WRITTEN IN HYBRID/QUEER PROSE

QUEER: DIFFERENT

OTHER

QUEERING THE PITCH

DISSOLVING THE BINARY POLARIZATIONS OF NORMATIVE V.NON-NORMATIVE IDENTITIES AND WAYS OF THINKING/BEING/READING/WRITING;USUALLY APPLIED TO THE FIXED IDENTITIES OF LESBIAN, GAY, HETEROSEXUAL AND, SOMETIMES, BISEXUAL, AND THE OVERTHROWING THEREOF.

FLUIDITY OF IDENTITY, PARTICUARLY IN REGARD TO SEXUAL ORIENTATION

PLAYING ROLES/GAMES-EG CAMP OR MEN DRESSING AS WOMEN OR VICE VERSA(KNOWN AS “PERFORMATIVITY” IN QUEER THEORY LANGUAGE)

MORE WIDELY: OPPOSITIONAL(TO THE DOMINANT TRENDS IN SOCIETY/POLITICS-THE HEGEMONY)

So, Queer Theory= a way of interpreting(the hermaneutics) text and forms of communication/art, which looks, in Derridean deconstructionist way{of which, more later}, at what is NOT said, what is implied, inconguities between different parts of the text or art form, but which, applied properly and non(anti-heteronormatively reductively),needs to be evidence-based: eg. unpublished(homoerotically explicit) diaries, (Forster), published usually after the author’s death if they died roughly pre or just after Woolfenden, which can be read in conjunction with the text itself to illuminate and provide a critical evidence-base for SUB-TEXTUAL and PARALLEL textual readings of a work, using the Derridean notion of what is NOT disclosed(beacuse of censorship/illegality/internalized oppression), either KNOWINGLY or unconsciously.

Of course, SOME(not ALL) critics, who are frightened of this sense of other/differance, will always find ways to BLOCK it, sometimes in a systemically heterosexist or homophobic way: that is where we need the evidence; where it is destroyed(eg Hopkins’ early diaries) we are in trouble(though, in HIS case, “Epithalmion” in particualar,but many other poems too, gives OVERT {explicitly homoerotic DIRECT} evidence).

PLEASE DO NOT BE DEFENSIVE WHEN/IF YOU READ THIS; THIS DOES NOT NEED,OR INTEND,TO BE A SITE OF CONTESTATION; IT IS ABOUT, ULTIMATELY, EQUALITY;ONCE THE GAY OR AND/OR THE QUEER IS (RE)INTRODUCED IN THE CANON,AND SAME-SEX MEANINGS ARE RE-CLAIMED, THERE WILL BE NO REAL NEED FOR THIS “NON-(hetero)NORMATIVE” DISCOURSE.

And, remember, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and /or queer experience is as conducive to being extrapolated out to UNIVERSALITY of experience, as is any experience of  any minority group; or, more pertinently, of any MAJORITY group; so, if we concentrate on elliciting gay/homoerotic/ queer interpretations, we are not being seperatist, “obsessive” or exclusive, we are just saying our experience matters too, not more, but EQUALLY, and is as capable of extrapolation to universality(by which I take it is meant universal truths regarding the human condition;for example re love, death)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

“homonormativity”{I made up this word!}(the implication that some gay people see the world as ALL gay)is as offensive as is heteronormativity(that is,assuming that every culture has always been predominantly heterosexual).

Don’t go defensive! (addressed to some,BUT  BY NO MEANS ALL, readers!)-we only want equality,NOT to gaify the whole world!).

So, to achieve equality in the field of pre-Wolfenden homoerotic literature,or literature which INCLUDES (but not SOLELY) concentrate on same-sex affects in the characters/writing,we need to identify repressed(consciously or not) homoerotic discourses(storylines, characters, metaphors)and restore them to the reading of the texts-Wilfred Owen, EM Forster(I have already written re the semi-overt gay parallel text in “The Longest Journey); Frederick Rolfe(pseudononymously known as “Baron Corvo”!) is a good example of gay hermaneutics(interpretation of text) in action; the young “woman” the narrator, Crabbe, rescues, in “The Pursuit and Desire of the Whole”,is repeatedly described as having a masculine muscular body, though referred to as “her”, the book obviously being based on Rolfe’s life, in especial, his passion for young men, here very uncovertly described, in this androgynous(to say the least) fashion.

Of course, it is very important, as I have written on “Romantic” same-sex  friendships on this blog, to neither assume there is NO physically/sexually homoerotic aspect, nor, equally, that there is, of NECESSITY, that very thing(see blog entry for balanced look at this vexed subject), where it is solely an emotionally close friendship.This is the balance.

WORD DEFINITIONS:

1. NORMATIVITY: THE ASSUMPTION THAT ONE WAY OF LOOKING AT LIFE IS THE “NORM” IN THE SENSE OF MORALLY AND SOCIALLY THE(ONLY) ACCEPTABLE ONE; EG

2.HETERONORMATIVITY: ASSUMING OPPOSITE SEX RELATIONSHIPS ARE SUPERIOR/”NORMAL” OR “NATURAL”(EXCLUSIVELY SO)

3.BINARY OPPOSITIONS/POLARIZATIONS-EG. LIGHT/DARK, IE NO SUNSET, GLOAMING, DAWN, VIZ. NO GREY AREAS

4.SUBTEXTS- LITERALLY BENEATH THE TEXTS; NON-OVERT READINGS/LANGUAGE THAT, IF WE ARE IN THE KNOW, EG AS GAY PEOPLE, ARE DISCLOSING OF ANOTHER (GAY-AFFECTIVE) READING

5. PARALLEL TEXTS-LETS BE QUEER IN ITS WIDEST SENSE; LETS PLAY WITH IDENTITIES; THE “BACHELOR” CHARACTER MAY JUST BE A BACHELOR OR HE MAY BE A CODIFIED PARALLEL READING(MADE NECESSARY BECAUSE OF CENSORSHIP) OF A GAY PERSON/PEOPLE/RELATIONSHIP, EG HOLMES AND WATSON(VERY VERY CONTESTED, PROBABLY BECAUSE THEY ARE SUCH DARLINGS OF DETECTIVE FICTION!)

6. DECONSTRUCTIONISM-POSTING TO COME, ESPECIALLY ON LINKS BETWEEN DERRIDEAN DECONSTRUCTIONISM AND QUEER THEORY. BUT THERE ARE MANY ARTICLES/DEFINITIONS ONLINE.

……………………………………………………………………………………

From spectre

And mourning

(Sebald)

Via Reclamation

And

Restoration,

Towards the

Utopia

Of difference

With

EQUALITY.

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About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
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5 Responses to RESTORATION:A POLITICAL MANIFESTO FOR RE-CLAIMING PRE-WOLFENDEN GAY FICTION FOR THE NOW:WRITTEN IN HYBRID/QUEER PROSE

  1. Merry says:

    What is “pre-Woolfesnden”? When I googled “Woolfesnden” I got your blog!

    Anyway, as far as I understand what you are saying here — all sounds good to me. Love, Merry

  2. Merry says:

    The “s” in “Woolfesnden” maybe is a typo. I see “Woolfenden” in the title. But I can’t figure out what that means either.

  3. Merry says:

    Oh, I found “Wolfenden Report” at Wikipedia.

  4. Wil Saunders says:

    Had a quick look at Frederick Rolfe, a fascinating character about whom I am inclined to discover more. I particularly enjoyed the Auden quote “‘….had every right to be proud of his verbal claws…A large vocabulary is essential to the invective style, and Rolfe by study and constant practice became one of the great masters of vituperation.”

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