Abstract

Abstract:

Brian Glavey's The Wallflower Avant-Garde rivals Peter Bürger's account of the historical avant-garde. Where the historical avant-garde in Bürger glowers with an oppositional stare, Glavey's wallflower avant-gardists deploy shyness to inaugurate a new aesthetic: queer ekphrasis. Because ekphrasis crosses and inhabits two media simultaneously at the same time that it occupies neither, Glavey understands it as crucially circumventing the deadlock between dualistic modes of thinking (particularly the homo/hetero binary). The queerness of this version of ekphrasis comes not only from its evasion of homo- and heterosexuality, but from its "nonsovereign" relation to identities, attachments, and positions. Glavey's argument sparkles with wit, and bubbles with intellectual pleasure.

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