On Sexuality and Power

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Columbia University Press, Aug 14, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 224 pages
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It is widely supposed that the most suitable partner will be someone very much like oneself; gay fiction and cinema are often organized around this assumption. Nonetheless, power differentials are remarkably persistent -- as well as sexy. What are the personal and political implications of this insight?

Sinfield argues that hierarchies in interpersonal relations are continuous with the main power differentials of our social and political life (gender, class, age, and race); therefore it is not surprising that they govern our psychic lives. Recent writing enables an exploration of their positive potential, especially in fantasy, as well as their danger.

On Sexuality and Power focuses on the writing of the last thirty years, revisiting also Whitman, Wilde, Mann, Forster, and Genet, and reassessing the very idea of a gay canon.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Taxonomies
9
3 Fantasy
32
4 Power
54
5 Gender
84
6 Age
113
7 Class
137
8 Race
160
9 Fiction
187
Notes
191
Index
213
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About the author (2012)

Alan Sinfield teaches in the English Department at Sussex University. He is the author of Out on Stage: Lesbian and Gay Theatre in the Twentieth Century and The Wilde Century: Effeminacy, Oscar Wilde, and the Queer Moment, among other books. He lives in Brighton, UK.


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