Queer Sexualities in French and Francophone Literature and Film


Volume Editor:
The steady development of queer theory over the last two decades has provided useful analytical tools and the will to dismiss the watchdog of heteronormativity. Modes of reading have evolved, as this volume of FLS amply attests. Following Bill Edmiston’s introduction to the volume — a concise and informative history of queer theory — the fifteen articles reveal, not surprisingly, significant diversity. One deals with queerness in the context of medieval writing where allegorical and euphemistic expression were understood to be irreconcilable. Another treats translations in Early Modern France of an Ovidian fable that had an inconvenient lesbian dimension. Rousseau’s fixation on his bottom (e.g., for spankings) points to a queer streak, while Gautier’s Mademoiselle de Maupin enhances the theme of sexual misidentity with ornamental figures. The queerness of Sand’s La Mare au diable emerges in the course of a contrasexual reading. A musicologist investigates the possibility of a lesbian esthetics of music in a work by Erik Satie, while a literary scholar finds evidence of Proust’s “outing” in Jean Santeuil. Other articles address the sense of gender transformation wrought by sodomy, a revised view on the writing subject in Jean Genet’s fiction, the queerness of heterosexuality in the works of Michel Houellebecq, and recurring motifs in recent fiction produced by “gay Paris.” Two of the articles treat activism and esthetics in film.

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Michael A. JOHNSON: Sodomy, Allegory, and the Subject of Pleasure
Lise LEIBACHER-OUVRARD: Divergences et Queeriosités: Ovide moralisé ou les mutations d’“Iphis en garçon” (XIIe-XVIIIe)
Pierre ZOBERMAN: A Modest Proposal for Queering the Past: A Queer Princess with a Space of Her Own
Angela N. HUNTER: Rousseau’s Queer Bottom: Sexual Difference in the Confessions
Guri Ellen BARSTAD: Mademoiselle de Maupin: Fluctuations identitaires et sexuelles
James F. HAMILTON: Gender Convergence in Sand’s La Mare au diable, a Contrasexual Reading
Samuel N. DORF: “Étrange n’est-ce pas? ” The Princesse Edmond de Polignac, Erik Satie’s Socrate, and a Lesbian Aesthetic of Music?
Outing PROUST: Nathan Guss
Ed MADDEN: The Anus of Tiresias: Sodomy, Alchemy, Metamorphosis
Elizabeth STEPHENS: Queer Writing: Homoeroticism in Jean Genet’s Fiction
Hélène FLECKINGER: “Nous sommes un fléau social”: Cinéma, vidéo et luttes homosexuelles
Philippe C. DUBOIS: Révélations intimes: Vers une cartographie queer du Sud-Ouest
Douglas MORREY: Stop the World, or What’s Queer about Michel Houellebecq?
Lawrence R. SCHEHR: Recto/Verso: Mapping the Contemporary Gay Novel
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