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Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"Bisexuality is about three centuries overdue . . . nevertheless, here it is: a learned, witty study of how our curious culture has managed to get everything wrong about sex."
-Gore Vidal
Paperback, 624 pages
Published February 28th 2000 by Routledge (first published 1995)
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Joe S
Nov 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory
I will now officially join the horde of college sophomore sorority girls who kissed a chica once in a bar and promptly added this book to their shelves. *sigh*

Marjorie Garber is my workhorse. Does someone not believe cultural studies is a legitimate discipline? Enter Marjorie Garber. Does someone need a concrete example of discursive fields? Marjorie Garber. Need an accessible primer in how cultural studies should be done? MG. Tired of agreeing to sexuality's constant either/or constructions? MG
Oct 11, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Takes half the book to begrudgingly (!?) admit there's a difference between a person's gender identity and partner preference, pretends Freud is still relevant or okay, and ultimately can't get over the idea that bisexuality is some sort of Joycean riddle to be unlocked and solved/resolved. Put down the comp lit readers and just deal with the fact that some people of any gender date others of any gender. Also there's no need for it to be written so formally. ...more
Shannon Wyss
Exhaustively and meticulously researched. Garber's book presents historical and contemporary (through the early '90s) views of bisexuality. I continually struggled with what appears to be her contention that bisexuality *is* a problem, as opposed to being something that is a problem culturally. I kept thinking i was misreading her. But then she kept making statements to the effect of the former. And to me, bisexuality as an experience is, in some ways, pretty simple. Regardless, an extremely inf ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that was struggling with what it wanted to be, and as a result, ended up poorly organized but interesting. Some parts are Bi history, which I found very very interesting, but other parts reflect that the author is definitely an English professor. There are long drawn out sections of literary analysis and criticism, examining the life and work of numerous bisexual authors, questioning their bisexuality and their work. Then there were sections of popular cultural discussion, keepin ...more
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
I read this book when I was first learning about bisexuality, when I was just figuring out that I am bisexual and trying to decide what that meant for me. It was a huge book, with so much information, both informative and overwhelming.
Jan 06, 2008 marked it as to-read
Just look at that cover alone- sexy. ; )
Sep 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: myself, and girls who are cool by my standards. and some boys too.
i do not know, i have not read it yet!
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sexuality, queer, bisexual
This is a thought-provoking and comprehensive cultural study of bisexuality. The first chapter alone is worth the price of the book, with its theoretical (but accessible) definition of bisexuality, bi invisibility, and the problem of sexual identity politics rooted in a sexuality that is, by definition, fluid. Garber problematizes the word 'queer', examines schools and single-sex education, tackles what the myth of Tiresias teaches us, discusses the lives & loves of famous bisexuals like Vita Sa ...more
James M.
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gore Vidal's recommendation, right there on the cover of the paper edition, says it all. Dr. Garber (a Ph.D. not M.D.) writes well and covers her subject inside and out, primarily on the theme that human sexuality is so fluid categorization of a person as heterosexual, homosexual, or even bisexual simply confuses the issues and poorly serves the persons who "fit" the ersatz description. The sections on the Bloomsbury group, on Freud's embrace of the ideas of Fliess, on androgyny (vis-a-vis bisex ...more
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Immensely readable and fascinating. All of this is still very relevant, even a couple of decades later - Garber's analysis is just super neat to read and doesn't lose its currency, particularly in an age where bisexuality is still discussed with hesitation and trying to pin people down. I love the argument that bisexuality is more of a narrative than an identity. Sexuality is such a weird, slippery thing, and Garber dissociates sexuality's practices, feelings, and identifications by ...more
Ginger K
Bisexuality in literature, history, boarding schools, psychology, biology... This book makes the invisible and marginialized visible. Every chapter added more to my list of books I need to read (and I've even gotten around to a few of them). It's definitely one I mean to re-read; I suffered informational overload the first time through. ...more
Trish Perdue
Probably deserves a 4, just was not on target with what I was hoping for. A long book, rather academic and heavy on history, but very approachable. Written in 1995, and sadly, many things that should have changed have not.
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Sometimes hugely theoretical, but fascinating and entertaining nonetheles.
Simon M.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth reading for the variety of material discussed alone. The author is very interested in etymology and will sometimes abandon an argument to pursue how the circumstances affect the use or perception of a particular word. It often reads like a textbook and highlights some excellent concepts regarding the nature of eroticism.
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Marjorie B. Garber (born June 11, 1944) is a professor at Harvard University and the author of a wide variety of books, most notably ones about William Shakespeare and aspects of popular culture including sexuality.

She wrote Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety, a ground breaking theoretical work on transvestitism's contribution to culture. Other works include Sex and Real Estate:

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