Epistemology of the Closet

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Author University of California Press $45 (258p) ISBN 978-0-520-07042-4
The homosexual closet, by Sedgwick's yardstick, is ``the defining structure for gay oppression in this century.'' She disagrees strongly with those who separate gays and straights as ``distinct kinds of persons,'' with no common humanity. Her close readings of Melville's Billy Budd , Wilde's Dorian Gray and of Proust, 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. But Sedgwick ( Between Men ) does not prove her overstated thesis that homo/hetero distinction obtains with gender, class and race in determining ``all modern Western identity and social organization.'' Obtuse, cumbersome, academic prose limits the appeal of this treatise. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-520-07874-1
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