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No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive…
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No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Series Q) (vuoden 2004 painos)

– tekijä: Lee Edelman (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
217195,163 (3.63)1
In this searing polemic, Lee Edelman outlines a radically uncompromising new ethics of queer theory. His main target is the all-pervasive figure of the child, which he reads as the linchpin of our universal politics of "reproductive futurism." Edelman argues that the child, understood as innocence in need of protection, represents the possibility of the future against which the queer is positioned as the embodiment of a relentlessly narcissistic, antisocial, and future-negating drive. He boldly insists that the efficacy of queerness lies in its very willingness to embrace this refusal of the social and political order. In No Future, Edelman urges queers to abandon the stance of accommodation and accede to their status as figures for the force of a negativity that he links with irony, jouissance, and, ultimately, the death drive itself. Closely engaging with literary texts, Edelman makes a compelling case for imagining Scrooge without Tiny Tim and Silas Marner without little Eppie. Looking to Alfred Hitchcock's films, he embraces two of the director's most notorious creations: the sadistic Leonard of North by Northwest, who steps on the hand that holds the couple precariously above the abyss, and the terrifying title figures of The Birds, with their predilection for children. Edelman enlarges the reach of contemporary psychoanalytic theory as he brings it to bear not only on works of literature and film but also on such current political flashpoints as gay marriage and gay parenting. Throwing down the theoretical gauntlet, No Future reimagines queerness with a passion certain to spark an equally impassioned debate among its readers.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:aarondishy
Teoksen nimi:No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Series Q)
Kirjailijat:Lee Edelman (Tekijä)
Info:Duke University Press Books (2004), 206 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (tekijä: Lee Edelman)

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I have to say, I've had this book talked up to me so much by various people that the actual reading was rather disappointing. I mean, the concept of "queer antifuturism" was probably explained to me for the first time in a couple of sentences about a year ago. Having spent an hour and a half to actually read the book, I don't feel like it's particularly given me all that much that those sentences hadn't already. And honestly, it's a lot more interesting listening to, say, Alexis Lothian relate it to the Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica than to read fifty pages on Hitchcock which really only serve to belabor the point.

I know many people feel frustrated or angry by the book, and I don't quite get that. I think partly my straight privilege insulates me; after all, Edelman isn't screwing around with my identity--although I'm not sure if I would be upset if he were. (Which is easy to say when he isn't.) As a straight white college-educated middle-class American Christian male, I have privilege on pretty much every axis you can imagine--I suppose the closest analogy would be if he had posited geeks as the group exemplifying the unravelling of societal fabric. And indeed, Edelman does seem to go beyond even queer as a destabilizing identity so that what he ends up with is a psychoanalytic anti/category about which I am sometimes left wondering what exactly it has to do with actual LGBTQ people who exist in the world. He has absolutely nothing to say about how the death drive relates to the lived experience of any actual queer people, to the point that the link he makes seems rather arbitrary. Why not geeks? Or atheists? Or people who wear white after Labor Day?

I mean, I read God and the State in high school and complained that Bakunin wasn't anarchist enough because he still believed in natural law. (I also wrote IDIOT in big letters over a picture of Kant in high school, of course, and went on to recant that position even the picture still hangs on my wall.) I'm sympathetic to the claims about the existence of the underlying social and psychological order and the need to transgress it. It's not that I particularly think that Edelman is wrong about anything, or that I disagree with him. I just find very little of what he has to say, as correct as it may be, to be all that interesting at the end of the day. ( )
1 ääni Alixtii | Aug 19, 2008 |
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In this searing polemic, Lee Edelman outlines a radically uncompromising new ethics of queer theory. His main target is the all-pervasive figure of the child, which he reads as the linchpin of our universal politics of "reproductive futurism." Edelman argues that the child, understood as innocence in need of protection, represents the possibility of the future against which the queer is positioned as the embodiment of a relentlessly narcissistic, antisocial, and future-negating drive. He boldly insists that the efficacy of queerness lies in its very willingness to embrace this refusal of the social and political order. In No Future, Edelman urges queers to abandon the stance of accommodation and accede to their status as figures for the force of a negativity that he links with irony, jouissance, and, ultimately, the death drive itself. Closely engaging with literary texts, Edelman makes a compelling case for imagining Scrooge without Tiny Tim and Silas Marner without little Eppie. Looking to Alfred Hitchcock's films, he embraces two of the director's most notorious creations: the sadistic Leonard of North by Northwest, who steps on the hand that holds the couple precariously above the abyss, and the terrifying title figures of The Birds, with their predilection for children. Edelman enlarges the reach of contemporary psychoanalytic theory as he brings it to bear not only on works of literature and film but also on such current political flashpoints as gay marriage and gay parenting. Throwing down the theoretical gauntlet, No Future reimagines queerness with a passion certain to spark an equally impassioned debate among its readers.

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Duke University Press

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