Abstract

The history of critical and biographical writing about "James and sexuality" in the last twenty years suggests that there is no congruent relation between "gay James" and "queer James." Indeed, the articulation of the former—usually in the context of biographical revision or narrative thematics-would seem inversely proportional to the emergence of the latter, which usually addresses the difficulties of style and narrative form. This essay takes up and develops Leo Bersani's proto-New-Formalist observation that James's is a "richly superficial art" to argue that, in the broad field of "sexuality," gay studies and queer theory have fundamentally different objects of critical desire. That object is imagined by this essay as broadly analogous to the grammatical subjunctive.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6555
Print ISSN
0273-0340
Pages
pp. 248-255
Launched on MUSE
2006-11-15
Open Access
No
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