Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire” as Want to Read:
Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  438 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most influential texts in gender studies, men's studies and gay studies," this book uncovers the homosocial desire between men, from Restoration comedies to Tennyson's Princess.
Paperback, 244 pages
Published May 20th 1993 by Columbia University Press (first published April 15th 1985)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Between Men, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Between Men

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the first books that opened the new theoretical school of queer theory. As such, it made a lot of people mad back in the day and it is still pissing people off today. Sedgwick claims that the patriarchy has been using women to get closer to men. This is where she loses many people. This is where she lost several people in my grad class (you would think a bunch of English majors would read and pay attention). If people would read on they would see that she goes on to say that using ...more
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Need to read this again to let it sink in properly, but a couple of my tutors have very much subscribed to Sedgwick's line of thought, in part if not in whole, and it all made a lot of sense to me. It's easy to apply it to the Arthurian legends, or to the 'Sagas of Warrior-Poets' in Norse studies...

My perennial problem with literary theory is that people make it sound far too complicated when they write books like this, but this isn't too bad, at least.
Emma Sea
My patience for this kind of needlessly convoluted academic writing has worn thin over the years.
Ralowe Ampu
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
for me this is like part 2 in my quest to read around the canonical. one day i may actually read epistemology of the closet, but for now it's fun to read sedgwick's other work. i guess technically this would be part 3 or 2 1/2 since i've just finished the sylvan tomkins book she co-edited. i'm kind of strung out on affect because it's such a mesmerizing way to describe unsystematically how objects relate to other objects relate to subjects. that fuzzy gloopy metaphoricity that lurks behind the w ...more
Luke Widlund
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Its responsibility and accountability is still incredibly relevant. In fact, I would never go as far to think that Sedgwik's typology of homosociality will ever go out of vogue. However, this text does not lend itself to the widest array of usage considering that the author does use incredibly specific (and interesting) examples to explore her concept.

The current and future LIT educator in me will totally consider photocopying the intro and some portions of the text to offer students as necessar
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-thesis
I shouldn't pretend like I read the whole thing--but this is where the central pivotal idea of my thesis was discovered: triangular structures of power. She says that women are fungible (great word!) and that only the men matter with lots of examples that are less useful if you haven't read the source books. Since I hadn't there was a lot of skimming.

But of the 50% I did read, I would say it's pretty good. Start with the introduction and proceed as you feel necessary. Sedgwick has an annoying ha
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was obviously written with a real passion, genuine enthusiasm, and good intentions. Also, it was one of the first of its kind, so kudos, I’ll give Kosofsky that.

However, the writing style is simply atrocious. As for your possible reaction to the argumentation in the book: it can go either way--you will either accept Kosofsky’s interpretation and like the book, or you will see many of her concepts as farfetched, and remain skeptical.
Dylan Rowen
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A comprehensive study, not only of homosexuality in literature, but "homosocial" desire articulated through love triangles which include the female subject within non-canonical texts. I think I've found some inspiration for my thesis ;-)
Holly Interlandi
Jul 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory, gayness
The theories presented in this book have affected me so much that I can't help applying them to everything I see and/or read. Highly intriguing, and TRUE.
Taneli Viitahuhta
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sedgwick's theory of paranoid cognitive model evolves from here to "Touching Feeling". Once you get the grips of her argument, it's hard not to see homosocial desire as shaping the world. This model of relationship leads to paranoid cognition, as lapsing to oscillation between homophobia and homosexual desire is the shunned, or abject, side of this desire. Her way of demonstration is crucial, because for the bourgeois era literature has been the best way to give shape to inner dialogue and consc ...more
I read this and Sedgwick's other book Epistemology of the Closet. Of the two, Epistemology is better. It is a newer book, and it's clear that Sedgwick's ideas are more developed, more considered, and a little more "modern." There are times in Epistemology that Sedgwick refers to Between Men for further reading, but never is it completely necessary to understand the book. While this book is a fine academic work, you're better off reading just Epistemology.
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: other nerds.
1. I was drawn to this book mostly because I knew there was a chapter on The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and that novel needs a good analysis of the race-sex-class dynamics Dickens used. More generally, it's an interesting book. What I didn't expect, but was pleased to find, was how much time Sedgwick spends writing about the role of women in the texts she chooses. I thought that enriched her analysis, although I do think the book would have benefited from a clearer discussion of the role misogyny p ...more
Seph Roofbeams
can't stop thinking abt this book literally life changing
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: university-books
This book was a great place to start reading about gender and queer theory for me. It was at a level that was easily accessible, but did not stay away from definite terms. Her theory of the erotic triangle is very well applied to all the case studies she found throughout the periods. In my opinion, one will even be able to spot the described dynamics in todays gender interaction to a certain extent. Well worth the read!
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: readforschool
Sedgwick uses personal narrative in an interesting way in this foundational queer theory text. I found her to be much more accessible than Butler. Sedgwick explores the idea of "homosexual panic" in both Victorian Lit and contemporary court cases.
Jaykumar Buddhdev
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, glbtqi
on occasions there are flashes of brilliance hidden in nooks and corners of this seminal work, and on occasions, at least for me, the study and analysis seemed a little too forced... however, it is a fabulous work....
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love Sedgwick's writing. This book is heavily influenced by Gayle Rubin's 1975 essay "The Traffic in Women" and looks at the Gothic. She takes Rubin's theories of power and applies to men. Her discussion of male homosexual panic is especially interesting. Great read.
Dec 21, 2010 added it
Shelves: shelved
On missing Frank Kermode: "The graphic schema on which I am going to be drawing most heavily in the readings that follow is the triangle."
Liz Latty
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Oh Eve.
Ginger K
Jun 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, lit_theory
Very dense reading, but worthwhile
rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2009
rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2008
rated it liked it
May 04, 2012
Wendy Gay
rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2012
Catherine Reid
rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2014
Nick Brush
rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2016
rated it really liked it
Nov 26, 2017
rated it it was amazing
May 16, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive
  • Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel
  • Is the Rectum a Grave?: and Other Essays
  • Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography
  • The Greeks & Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World
  • Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History
  • Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture
  • E. M. Forster: A Life
  • Publics and Counterpublics
  • Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England
  • Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex"
  • An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures
  • Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics
  • Love in a Dark Time: and Other Explorations of Gay Lives and Literature
  • Signs Taken For Wonders: Essays on the Sociology of Literary Forms (Verso Radical Thinkers)
  • Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism
  • Homosexuality & Civilization
  • Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick was an American academician specializing in literary criticism and feminist analysis; she is known as one of the architects of queer theory. Her works reflect an interest in queer performativity, experimental critical writing, non-Lacanian psychoanalysis, Buddhism and pedagogy, the affective theories of Silvan Tomkins and Melanie Klein, and material culture, especially textil ...more
More about Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99
  • No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
    $10.49 $2.99
  • Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Castles of Steel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir
    $9.99 $2.99
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
    $14.99 $1.99
  • In the Beginning . . .: Science Faces God in the Book of Genesis
    $8.99 $1.99