ARCHIVAL PEREGRINATIONS:META AND TANGENTS.BY STEVEN BENSON.

Thanks to Chris Madden, my archivist-in-chief, for catalysing these random musings:)

{this is a list}

  1. An archive(?),a catalogue(?) a list(?), a marginalia-ised/personalised list(?).
  2. A gay man’s (personal) gay/queer book archive or alternative nomenclatures above.
  3. Other approximate synonyms: assemblage, constellations (books circling round each other-and heteronormativity- in rhizomatically connected patterns)
  4. I do not want to be (overly) concerned with defining “archive”(though that is a noble task:)). Chris is more than able to do that glorious task; rather, I, personally, FEEL my archive: an alternative to the sign: which is made up of the signifier (“archive”) not quite/accurately matching up to the signified(a gaggle of queer/gay books, riotous, with attempts at organisation but overflowing categorization, like queerness itself!).
  5. Ergo, LIFE, which books reflect (and vice versa), is not always sequential/linear/categorisable; nor is thought itself. Life and thought are-more often and truthfully-tangential, contrapuntal, contingent (sometimes); layers running concomitantly and in parallel. The LIFE archive- of gay books mirroring a gay life{ever so gay/what a gay day}-reflects that polyphonic approach.
  6. Hence-possibly-Chris’s (here https://digitalragandbone.wordpress.com/2017/09/16/archiving-time-2/ ) musings and (understandable) uncertainties,as to whether to order or not to order or in WHICH order; and his similar concern(a creative, freeing one)- inspiring these very thoughts now- re nomenclature(s).
  7. Chris raised the point-sensitively aware of the grave {sic!} implications of an archive- that this is not some morbid reckoning of something finished/in the past; nay, it points towards the future: of MORE gay/queer texts acquired (and hopefully catalogued!), of links between past, present and FUTURE, as gaps are filled in the collection but also in LIFE, MY/Steve’s Life; and, Chris’s life too.Traces (to use derridean, Munozian, Benjamin-esque) analogies, “blasted forth ” from the past into the future; not so much detritus as  building blocks of the future: for example, the typical “coming out against adversity{homophobia/heterosexism}” narrative of many gay books (especially the GMP imprint, which, significantly, started this archive, as if under its own volition)is a modus vivendi for gay men now/today as they/we navigate our tortuous (and sometimes tortured, because of heteronormative forces)passage through life, particularly at the start of that restless voyage as we have to decide WHO we are; and define ourselves AGAINST prevailing norms. That takes an adventurer; this archive, and the cataloguing thereof, is a (JOINT) adventure between myself and another gay man, Chris; though the seas are not stormy lol. And, my book emporia(Blackwell’s small but quirky treasure-trove and mammoth ordering ability, but spending limit: £25 per week!), Henry Bohn, Amazon (sorry, Chris!), the lesbian feminist Utopia of News from Nowhere, et al, are rich veins for FURTHER/FUTURE nougats of treasure:). Bibliophilia and bibliomania are self-renewing. So onwards… and athwart….
  8. POLITICAL POLEMIC. WARNING PRO GAY CONTENT : now… listen up… queer/gay books are harder to happen upon (as opposed to googling/Amazoning wildly and determinedly); serendipitous gay/queer text browsing/acquiring (unless you are lucky enough to live near the gay Mecca that is “Gays the Word” in London!) must,like gay/queer identity ITSELF, be a delving, a digging, a forging. The explication is obvious: the hs: hegemony, heteronormativity, heterosexism and homophobia (there are few gay books in Henry Bohn Books). Then, Waterstones say “we don’t want to ghettoise them” but have few books with gay content; and the ones there are are hidden in shelves and heterosexualised market-led blurbs , where gayness is “incidental” (ok , perhaps in an ideal world , it SHOULD be, but, even in the UK, we do not live in an ideal, equal world, so the “gay niche” in bookprinting and selling is very necessary, as it is in identity formation; in fact, as  you know, I EMBRACE my gay identity https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/my-gayqueer-aesthetic-a-phototext-constellationpsychogeography-part-1-the-living-room-lives-by-steven-benson/  and https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/you-are-always-going-on-about-being-gayit-a-cathartic-not-verycontrolled-p-rant-by-steven-benson/ and https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/gayqueer-tracearchiveconstellation-a-photo-mimesis-by-steven-benson/ and https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/first-principleswhat-is-gay-and-what-is-a-gayqueer-family-by-steven-benson/ ). I think (CAVEAT:SOME, not all! ) heterosexuals are SCARED: they do not want to remember their collusion in oppression https://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/institutions-for-merseyside-lgbt-creative-writing-group-mixed-genre-by-steven-benson/ )
  9. Well, if a gay/queer person wants to emulate non-gay people, that is (I say sans sarcasm) their RIGHT(as it is their right to marry; it is a choice- we do not ALL have to do it; its not {mere} homonormative imitation of heteronormativity); BUT
  10. I do not (mainly) want that: for myself anyway: I would much rather be a gay gay(or, as a gay friend, affectionately, called me and another gay man, “major gays”:P:))
  11. I went off at a major{sic!} tangent there lol; but the political antihegonomic ramifications of a PRO-(yes PRO) gay/queer identity DO mirror a (mainly) unsatisfied need for it, today in the UK, in gay male and queer and lgbt imprints and “marketing” (though Blackwells Liverpool proudly has an LGBT Book Group which ONLY reads lgbt-content books): gay books for gays:P. It sounds like a slogan:)
  12. Finally and (mainly) unconnected with the above:- I have just realized how archiving/cataloguing and bibliomania/philia(lest we psychiatricize it!) are but two sides of the same coin: I buy ; ergo I need to contain, so I archive/catalogue (Veni, vidi, vici). Though I LIKE my books on my pouffe/puff, I do not want to be (wholly) buried in books…….{NEXT: Random RADICAL randomness in archiving}
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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", a la recherche Benjamin gay queer archive assembalge, alterity, Birth of reader, camp, ecriture cuir, gay, gay affirmative writing, gay archive, gay literature, life mirrors art, psychogeography, queer, Queer archive, queer constellations rememberances straightqueer, queer geography, Queer wrting, Rant, Re-envisionning, reader response theory, Rememberances, revolution, safer spaces(guidelines), Self-actualisation, SPECTRAL PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY, Stream-of-consciousness, Uncategorized, Utopia, working outside hegemonies. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ARCHIVAL PEREGRINATIONS:META AND TANGENTS.BY STEVEN BENSON.

  1. wolflin says:

    Reblogged this on Attic Fantasist and commented:
    Thus spake the archon!

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