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Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (Gender and Culture) Revised ed. Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231082730
ISBN-10: 0231082738
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  • Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (Gender and Culture)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Universally cited as the text that ignited gay studies.

(Rolling Stone)

"In many ways, the book that turned queer theory from a latent to a manifest discipline."

(Voice Literary Supplement)

"Astoshingly powerful... Its insights are breathtaking and its careful attention to history, theory, and politics is exemplary."

(Gay Community News)

"Stunning and original readings."

(Raritan)

Review

"One of the most influential texts in gender studies, men's studies and gay studies."

(Catharine R. Stimpson, New York Times Book Review)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Revised ed. edition (April 15, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231082738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231082730
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on June 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
At the time of its first appearance in 1985 Between Men was viewed as an important intervention into Feminist as well as Gay and Lesbian studies. It was an important book because it argued that "sexuality" and "desire" were not ahistorical phenomenon but carefully managed social constructs. This insight (that actually originated with Michael Foucault) is often viewed as anti-humanist or post-humanist because it argues that men and women are simply the products of patriarchal power relations over which they have no control. By mobilizing Foucault's theories of the history of sexuality Sedgwick re-fashions Feminism and Gay and Lesbian Studies to make it seem as though Feminism and Gay and Lesbian studies are ideally situated to continue those interventions into the history of sexuality begun by Foucault. Sedgwick's own concern in this book is homosocality and this book's contribution to that topic is invaluable and still provides an excellent starting point for any foray into that topic. Her views on homosociality were groundbreaking, however, Sedgwick's book is famous mainly for its introduction which critiques current research agendas (including radical feminist agendas)as well as spells out the research agendas that she feels Gay and Lesbian studies should pursue. Its a twenty page introduction that to this day remains the best synopsis of academic feminisms (especially radical feminism) as well as the best articulation to date of the need for a new kind of discipline that can make use of the best part of existing feminisms and continue to evolve Gay and Lesbian Studies in productive directions. In that twenty page introduction Sedgwick lays out an academic template that has retroactively been labeled Queer Studies. For that introduction this book deserves five stars.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
After establishing a brilliant theoretical framework Sedgwick provides utterly unconvincing and tediously reductive readings of literary works by Shakespeare, Wycherley, Dickens, and others. Read the introduction and then skip the rest.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an essential antecedent to contemporary queer theory, arguing that the development of the public sphere depended upon a sublimated yet necessarily erotic "male homosocial desire." Once we have finished encountered that stunning and revolutionary idea, this is a work of literary criticism that will be of little interest to non-scholars. Sedgwick has proven herself more than adequate to the task of adapting her ideas to a larger academic and educated general audience; indeed, she is one of the most provocative cultural critics of our generation. But not here. I suggest some of Sedgwick's later work, especially "The Epistemology of the Closet" and "Tendencies."
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By A Customer on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Sedgwick brilliantly transformed gay and lesbian studies with this book, a text whose import has not diminished with the transition of gay and lesbian studies from the margins of academia to (at least closer to) the mainstream. While she uses as her framework here English literature, this framework does not bound her theories conceptually. Look, for example, at ch. 1, "Gender Asymmetry and Erotic Triangles". Consider the triangulation of rapist, victim and spectator in representations of rape, such as in Kaplan's film "The Accused" - while she does not explicitly deal with contemporary media and textuality, it can certainly be applied. Certainly, the text could now be updated - there are literally thousands of contemporary examples which could apply, and which could, perhaps make for more accessible reading. However, such a rewriting would not substantially change Sedgwick's ideas, and the challenge of reading and absorbing SEdgwick is something which I have come to enjoy time and time again.
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