This has been due, in no small degree, to the influence of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s critically acclaimed Epistemology of the Closet. Working from classic texts of. Epistemology of the Closet has ratings and 54 reviews. Khush said: ‘ Epistemology of the closet’ is an informative and interesting book. It is i. Buy Epistemology of the Closet 2Rev Ed by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery.

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You are deemed doubly guilty: Want to Read saving…. And while such binaries or oppositions are present in life, things are not always as clear cut. One of kosofzky ones where trying to wrap your head around it gives you a headache in a good way. You dip into the Phaedrus often?

Selected pages Title Page. Chapter 2, on Billy Budd, was particularly torturous for me. The words inside, which introduce in Butler’s inimitable style the idea of gender as performance, have best been summarised, I think, by the internet meme of a photograph of Butler delivering a lecture, overlaid with the words ” Gender — yer ‘doing’ it “. As Sedgwick writes elsewhere, “queer is a continuing moment, movement, motive — recurrent, eddying, troublant”. Philosophy and Literature, Volume 15, Number 2, Octoberpp.

As much as this book has been named as one of the founding works seegwick the queer theory and discourse, it is not dull and is still relevant in it subject today. This page was last edited on 12 Februaryat Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was an American academician specializing in literary criticism and feminist analysis; she sedgwock known as one of the architects of queer theory.

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

Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity Epistemology of the Closet has also had a tremendous impact in the gay community as it is known for being a very “important book”, and “one of kozofsky key texts of queer theory, cloaet, as such, is a challenging book to read. How would someone grow to hate themselves or to hate others for their floset, if someone aeons ago had not given voice, conceived of such a word, as defines something to be hated? A universalizing view affirms that all persons are of equal worth, though they may differ in many ways, and that an understanding of homosexuality is important for people of all sexual persuasions.


It deconstructs the mechanisms through which a queer individual goes from simply suffering from the stifling effects of homophic repression to actively enforcing them.

I found less to be excited about in the chapters that provide an in-depth analysis of particular literary works, largely because I haven’t read the majority of the books she focuses on.

To prove this obvious but overlooked fact, Sedgwick lists a series of things “that can differentiate even people of identical gender, race, nationality, class, and ‘sexual orientation’ — each one of which, however, if taken seriously as pure differenceretains the unaccounted-for potential to disrupt many forms of the available thinking about sexuality”. Working clozet classic texts of European and American writers – including Melville, James, Nietzsche, Proust, and Wilde – Sedgwick analyzes a epistemoloyg historical moment in which sexual orientation became as important a demarcation of personhood as gender had been for centuries.

Epistemology of the Closet

Prior to the end of 19th tne, men were men, but since then, they have been transformed into homo and Heterosexual men, whereas no such distinction existed before.

I haven’t lost any friends, C,oset haven’t been eschewed from my family or work communities; I have been accepted for who I am, gay. In the introduction, Sedgwick presents axioms — “assumptions and conclusions from a long-term project of anti-homophobic analysis” — that inform her book’s project.

Through this and various other examples, Sedgwick reveals that several sexual contradictions result in modern misunderstanding. I wish I had read the books she discussed in it! Am I missing out on an experience that is supposed to shape me? View all 11 comments. And created a heteronormative society in which not only homosexuality was suppressed, but the closet also expanded to be more intricate than thought of, because the closet began inhaling culture and race at the same time.

Nov 05, Ian rated it really liked it Shelves: But it was the introduction to Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet, titled Axiomatic, that I devoured in one sitting. I got about halfway through and I honestly don’t care. It is informative as it looks into the very physiognomy of ‘closet,’ and it is interesting because it assays the work of some clloset authors such as Proust, Joyce, Lawrence, and Wilde. Within the first few pages, I quickly realized two things: Axiom 1 — and I still smile at its devastatingly brilliant simplicity — is “people are different from each other”.

As Sedgwick said when appalled conservative commentators rejected her queer reading of literary greats: My feelings toward this book are laced with resentment and I haven’t even read it yet.


The predominantly US-based activism alongside queer theory — born out of a frustration with lesbian and gay movements that were perceived as assimilationist, seeking evs approval of dominant heterosexual society rather than challenging it — was intentionally provocative and confrontational. To think, read or act queerly is to think across boundaries, beyond what is deemed to be normal, to jump at the possibilities opened up by celebrating marginality, which in itself serves to destabilise the mainstream.

Mar 27, Jeremiah rated it really liked it Shelves: The basis for the answer to this question comes from Sedgwick’s understanding and examination of queer theory, which she describes for her readers.

Feb 15, l. But the sexual component was accepted if not promoted by the ancients.

This makes for a reading experience that is as highly interesting as it can be frustrating. This heterosexual woman is troubled by her inability to determine whether or not the men she is having sex with are bisexuals, and is therefore fearful that she has been infected with AIDS The binarism chapters were the downside of Sedgwicks book. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Works from the likes of James, Wilde, Proust, Melville, among other are looked at as means to examine how sexual issues have been addressed in literature, and how such works represent a greater context that speaks towards factors that shape the manner in eoistemology sexuality is defined.

Wilde Nietzsche and the Sentimental Relations.

Epistemology of the Closet – Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick – Google Books

It’s worth quoting a few in full: For much of my adult life, I have felt a special burden for ministry to homosexuals. 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.

In countless personal gay narratives, one often hears, ‘Oh I thought I were the only one,’ ‘this is only happening to me. What charm, compared to this chrism of the gratuitous, can reside in the all too predictable tears of women, of gay men, of people with something to cry about?