Jun 28, 2005

"Enforcing rhetoric of anality" [LINK]

From an essay by Lee Siegel on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, who teaches queer theory at The City University of New York. Here is a passage from a notebook by Henry James, who around the turn of the century, aged 62, hopes to return home from California with plenty of material to write about:

My long dusty adventure over, I shall be able to [plunge] my hand, my arm, in, deep and far, and up to the shoulder — into the heavy bag of remembrance — of suggestion — of imagination — of art.
You can see where this is heading. Here's Sedgwick's interpretation:
[I]n James a greater self-knowledge and a greater acceptance and specificity of homosexual desire transform this half-conscious enforcing rhetoric of anality, numbness, and silence, into a much richer, pregnant address to James's male muse, an invocation to fisting-as-écriture.
(via National Review, 7/4/05)

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