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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In this work, Leo Bersani addresses homosexuality in modern culture. In his chapters on contemporary queer theory, on Foucault and psychoanalysis, on the politics of sadomasochism, and on the image of the gay outlaw in works by Gide, Proust and Genet, Bersani raises the possibility that same-sex desire by its very nature can disrupt oppressive social orders.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Harvard University Press (first published 1995)
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I largely picked up Leo Bersani's Homos because it is well known in queer theory for the formulation of the anti-social thesis, which posits that there is something inherently anti-social about homo-ness. Some extensive notes:

Bersani's prologue begins by discussing a danger he sees in much queer theory: the critique of the supposed naturalness of straight, gay, and lesbian identities is much needed, but "they are not necessarily liberating" (4) because they often erase sex ("desexualizing discou...more
Brenden O'Donnell
I was prepared to read this book as a prequel to Edelman's _No Future_, and I can't decide if that's what I got. In some ways, Bersani predates Edelman, but in others, he goes much further. Edelman is clearly influenced by Bersani's resistance to dominant social orders via an extremely threatening "outlaw existence" (76). Where they seem to diverge is that Bersani finds this existence compelling, and Edelman finds it mundane.

Bersani pushes for us to see the productivity of existing as queer out...more
Jee Koh
Same-Sex Desire, Again

In this 1995 book, Bersani begins with a stark statement: “No one wants to be called a homosexual.” He is not thinking, primarily, of closeted gay men or women, but the aversion to “homosexuality” on the part of self-identified homosexual activists and theorists.

According to Bersani, queer theorists like Monique Wittig, Judith Butler, and Michael Warner have taken “queer” to delineate political rather than erotic tendencies. In their writing, they have erased the specifici...more
"So, I hear Jean Genet was orally impregnated by imagining himself eating his dead lover's waste, thus allowing him to expel said dead lover as a world of new images and establishing the potential fertility of rimming."

"You don't say?"

"Unfortunately, I just did."

i don't necessarily agree with Bersani and i think a lot of his arguements are purely theoretical reflection; but it's undeniable he brings up some solid questions & puts out some really good turns of phrase
Highlight of my lit theory class.

A week after reading Lee Edelman's book No Future, student remarks to professor (Lee Edelman) that his work is slightly less fascist than Bersani's.
Sep 19, 2007 Carl marked it as to-read
oh, leo bersani, what great titles you have...
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