Byron's Othered Self and Voice: Contextualizing the Homographic Signature

Byron's Othered Self and Voice: Contextualizing the Homographic Signature

Byron's Othered Self and Voice: Contextualizing the Homographic Signature

Byron's Othered Self and Voice: Contextualizing the Homographic Signature

Synopsis

Abigail F. Keegan is Associate Professor of English and Women's Literature at Oklahoma City University.

Excerpt

Virginia Woolf wrote that it is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple (108); likewise, being a homosexual simply, and perhaps especially purely, is fatal because no such possibility of inscription exists. in this study of George Gordon, Lord Byron's Oriental Tales, my intention is to contribute to a liberationist politics of producing a legible homosexual difference to counter what has been a long history of unremarked or imperceptible representations. My reading of Byron's Tales develops a sense of the influence homosexual practice and desire had on the development of his writing, particularly on the evolution of the Byronic hero. My intellectual debt implicit throughout this writing is to the work of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Lee Edelman, Louis Crompton, and numbers of gay, lesbian, feminist and queer scholars whose studies of sexualities may one day make possible what Jacques Derrida calls a “sexual otherwise” where, as he describes it, “there would be no more sexes, there would be one sex for each time. One sex for each gift. a sexual difference for each gift” (Women 199). Or, as Monique Wittig writes, there might be “as many sexes as there are individuals” (119). Our theories of sexuality are always and rightly under revision, and our determinations of the past can help with our movement toward a sexual otherwise.

We have punished sexuality for centuries, made it our whipping boy, our streetwalker, our burning fag. in order to come to new understandings of sexuality, and certainly sexualities less inflected with such extreme divisions as the terms heterosexual and homosexual have implied, explorations of how sexuality has been produced within discourse can help us . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.