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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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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.

Epistemology of the Closet

Proust and A la Reserche By far the most fun chapter to read and probably the one that is both clearest on sections and obfuscating on others. Theory generally really makes my brain hurt, and this book was not the exception. In all reality the closet is a more intricate way of hegemonic suppression towards homosexuals. The book’s main theme deals with the relationship between feeling, learning, and action. For a feminist who liked playing with words, the radical potential in this appealed.

Sep 16, Oscar rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed this book since it presents such an important and useful work of modern Queer theory, but also because it goes beyond the realm of such theory, and towards the idea that the concept of sexuality and its identification is an ever changing issue that is greatly affected by the social and political factors present within any era. In her preface, Sedgwick examines the book both personally and historically, as she analyzes the first wave of the AIDS epidemic and its influence on the text.

And bad liars at that because all the smug straight people are laughing up their sleeves at the “poor” “pathetic” “closeted” “obviously” gay person. About Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. I haven’t lost any friends, I haven’t been eschewed from my family or work communities; I have been accepted for who I am, gay.


On one hand, I feel glad reading, for instance, about the episteme of the ‘closet,’ it gives the impression that mankind is evolving in a linear fashion.

Sedgwick argues that limiting sexuality to homosexuality or heterosexualityin a structured binary opposition, is just too simplistic.

Epistemology of the Closet – Wikipedia

Sep 29, Anh Le rated it really liked it Shelves: Sedgwick describes this book as the exploration of “promising tools and techniques for nondualistic thought and pedagogy. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book I liked as much as this one for sedgqick first pages.

The book, of course, demands patience. When I read this I was unfamiliar with Proust and James, which made some of Sedgwick’s close reading difficult to understand, but the general points — about male homosociality and homoerotic desire being interlinked and interdependent — are well-made and substantiated to the satisfaction of all levels of reader.

To me the meaning of the closet was something referring to fear and exclusion of people whom didn’t for the norm. Also how we all bear otherness in ourselves and xenophobia is fear of BEING the strange rather than a seperated out fear of the strange.

Ti Fairly early on Sedgwick characterizes this project, in lieu of a warning of sorts, as ‘not pellucid’.

I confess that as no trained She’s not fighting “for” “the homosexual” as much as attempting to deconstruct the social binaries that themselves invariably result in concrete binaries. The book proposes the argument that “homosexuality” is a loaded term.

This book addresses the idea that there are two views that guide sexual identity and desire: As is often my problem, it is difficult to review a book so seminal a self-conscious word choice, not ignoring the potential for “germinal” to be used as a synonym and so fundamental to so many strains of thoughts.

Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity Probably everyone should read it, or something like it to show how culture is constituted of open secrets and unacknowledged presences of various types of “others”. It is “the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone’s gender, of anyone’s sexuality aren’t made or can’t be made to signify monolithically”.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was an American academician specializing in literary criticism and feminist analysis; she is known as one of the architects of queer theory.


Ideas of self-blindness and internalized homophobia that goes so deep it becomes destructive of the self are presented with the typical overabundance of verbosity but are convincing for all that. Though requiring focused attention on the part of the reader, Sedgwick’s seminal text reveals a virtuosic deconstruction and reassembling of of our cultural conversation around homosexual identity and the persistent power of the closet in 20th century thought.

May 29, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: Oct 22, Patricia rated it it was amazing Shelves: I have been recently seeing a guy from Venezuela who is only in the process of coming out. This is a very accurate assessment, both in terms of content and regarding the form of Epistemology of the Closet. University of California Press- Literary Criticism – pages.

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

Philosophy and Literature, Volume 15, Number 2, Octoberpp. I like theory and academicalness as much as they next girl see “N.

Return to Book Page. But, as in her other work, the insights that episteology eventually reaches here are dead-on. May 11, Stef Rozitis rated it liked it Shelves: Around this axis Sedgwick works out an analysis of seminal no pun intended texts in queer literature. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

This book reflects the huge AIDS crisis among gay men in the s, and the forms of homophobia around at that time – to understand some of the tonalities and cognitive structures of eipstemology book you must know the context.

It is not only “us” versus “them” – epistemolovy versus straight, there is such a broad range of internally directed hatred, judgment and shaming within the gay community.

Epistemology of the Closet: