The Mythology of Transgression: Homosexuality as Metaphor

By Jamake Highwater | Go to book overview

TRANSGRESSION AS SENSIBILITY 7

Narcissus is never ourselves; he is always the other one who cannot see us.

Paul Zweig, The Heresey of Self-Love

Sterling. I couldn't shield him with raw silk, and tassels, and tiebacks. The limits of style.

Paul Rudnick, Jeffrey

In the mid- 1960s, when Howard Becker wrote Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, the metaphor of the "other" was just beginning to emerge as an ideological theme in the liberal American conscience. Enlightened people had always known about the estrangement, inequality, and victimization of a number of marginal persons and groups, but until the civil rights and youth movements of the 1960s, the full extent of disempowerment was not recognized, and the connections between such disempowerment and social conflicts and tragedies in the United States were almost entirely written off by the majority as the reckless and unlawful behavior of various outcast groups and individuals. The awakening of Americans, particularly young Americans, to the inequities of "outsiders" was deeply disillusioning at the same time that it pointed out the fallacy of social congruity in the United States. Since the days of Ozzie and Harriet, skepticism and cynicism have steadily overwhelmed the fabled "equal-

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The Mythology of Transgression: Homosexuality as Metaphor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Outside the Walls 1 3
  • 2 - Inside the Walls 23
  • 3 - Beyond the Walled City 31
  • 4 51
  • Transgression as Deformity 5 71
  • Transgression as Science 6 99
  • Transgression as Sensibility 7 149
  • Transgression as Culture 8 185
  • 9 - Transgression as Revelaton 221
  • Notes 239
  • Bibliography 241
  • Index 247
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