HOMOSEX(UALITY) AND THE DOPPELGANGER; G>A>Y (“GOOD AS YOU”){INCLUDING REFERENCE TO SEBALD}: A BELLETRISTIK (DOUBLE!)TAKE, BY STEVEN BENSON

1, Homosex allied with/equated with “narcissism” in psycho-analytic tradition(hetero-normatively constructed); thereby implied as an incomplete, arrested development. The literary trope of the uncanny doppelganger(for instance in Gothic novel), though it can be queered(ie. positively skewed; torquere=to twist),sets up the homoerotic as a (partially, but sometimes breaking through the heterosexualised surface text) silenced counterpoint: the viola of the textual orchestra. A little tiresome,but thanks to Kosofsky Sedgwick “Between Men”(1985; early!) for elucidating as the beast in James’s “jungle”; and to Helen Finch in “Sebald’s Bachelors:Queer Resistance and the Unconforming Life”(2013)- where would we be without her rightful claiming of the Sebaldian narrators’ queer lineage and extant life in Sebald’s prose fiction-but sad/anger-provoking we have to wade through all this faecal matter of the heterosexist inheritance to actually get to a Good as You (G.A.Y) space. So,according to this patronising, power-based “discourse”, us lesbian gay and bisexual people(yes, because of Tony Blair, from 1999, we have been acknowledged as people, with{nearly} full human rights, in this country anyway) are looking for a “mirror-image” of ourself/ves via other members(!) of the same sex; which, presumably, renders us self-orientated(by definition) and incomplete. This is risible, but ultimately unfunny and very grave, insidious homophobia and fluid -gender -role phobia. They have been running scared for many many years.

IN ACTUALITY, lesbian, gay and bi sexual people often look for OPPOSITES in others, just like heterosexuals: be it hair colour, a different physique, height et al. “What do gay/lesbian people do in bed?” brings this to a head(!), as if, physiologically, any kind of sexual congruence is contested (even,implied, impossible). Perhaps heterosexual people were dropped when they were children(as in on their heads or abandoned); or their mothers/fathers made them like that (Cf. the tables-turned “heterophobic”{NOT; it needed doing} part tongue -in-cheek “Heterosexuality”{as constructed”} published by Gay Mens Press(ed.Hanscombe and Humphreys. 1987))). SO, STOP THE PATHOLOGISING and the “casual” homophobia: it damages people’s lives. I aver strongly that, also, reduction to gender identity dichotomies (“male” v. “female” genitalia, and psychological identities) is itself risible and offensive and hetero-gender-normative; it is offensive to trans people.


So, I got all that out of my system; SO

What is the G. A. Y(“Good as You; people forget it was established as a power-reclaiming acronym)/lesbian/gay/bisexual positive re-appropriation of “doppelganger”/”double”?. De-{heterosexistly} programming my consciousness and sense of self, I say:

  1. It is the brother/sister{to be gendered!]/companion/friend/comrade we all look and yearn for, whatever our sexual orientation or gender identity or asexual orientation/agender identity. Cf Whitman’s Calamus poems.
  2. It is our object of SEXUAL desire too (not incommensurate with the friend trope!).

 

I am tired of having to RE-FRAME, for psychological/emotional health (and, sometimes, survival) heterosexist/heteronormative/gender-normative discourses in a positive way, which can lead to an equalisation (but queer in sense of difference) of the orientations and gender “norms”; nay, what about a FOREGROUNDING of lgbtq+ discourses, turning the tables,like the groundbreaking Gay Mens Press book(op.cit); that is what the weak ones are afraid of(though I have compassion for those who have the courage to start on the {lifelong] coming out/transitioning process): that we MIGHT become, in social terms and interactions, WHOLE people, sans having to hide parts of ourselves, important parts; without shame or embarrassment…. not the vehicles for the wounded’s {closet queens} projections onto us, and introjections INSIDE us, of their compromised sexual orientations and gender identity insecurities.

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I had been going to write more re the Sebaldian narrator’s explorations with doubles/doppelgangers; it is interesting to unpick; but the self-actualised G.A.Y/queer part of me cannot really be bothered; and I really wish, as I have said before, that Finch’s assertion that non-masculinised/non heteronormative/” gay bachelor”/bachelor(what about re-appropriating the abjected single person{ eg “spinster} as well?) modes,which are definitely explored by Sebald and his narrators and characters, DO offer a “flight of resistance” and that we see the doppelganger as the start of a runway to that take-off:)

Please reference{ as well as Finch and Eric Santner(“Creaturely Life”,2006); the only otherĀ  two have really explored this area in Sebald studies}, my own :

https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/wg-sebaldcritics-responsenon-response-to-the-large-amount-of-homosocialityclose-male-friendshipsand-of-homosexualbisexual-characters-in-his-work-with-particular-reference-to-the-character-of-h/

and

https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/what-is-homospectrality-and-how-to-avoid-itby-steven-benson/

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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)
This entry was posted in "Pride", alterity, doppelganger, ecriture cuir, gay, gay affirmative writing, gay literature, life mirrors art, Phenomenology, queer, Rant, Re-envisionning, Sebald, Self-actualisation, tropes, uncanny other, Uncategorized, Utopia, working outside hegemonies. Bookmark the permalink.

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