The bad homosexual: Genet's perverse homo-politics

Stephens, Elizabeth (2012) The bad homosexual: Genet's perverse homo-politics. Sexualities, 15 1: 28-41. doi:10.1177/1363460711432095

Author Stephens, Elizabeth
Title The bad homosexual: Genet's perverse homo-politics
Journal name Sexualities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1363-4607
Publication date 2012-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1363460711432095
Volume 15
Issue 1
Start page 28
End page 41
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Although widely recognized as pivotal texts in the history of homosexual literature, Genet’s novels occupied a largely negative position within gay criticism of the 1990s, by which they were seen to reproduce heterocentric, even homophobic assumptions about same-sex desire. This article argues that Genet’s contentious decision to articulate homoerotic desire within the space of a heteronormative language is one necessitated by the structural constraints of language itself. Metafictively drawing attention to the absence of a language in which to communicate homoerotic desire, Genet represents his narrators and characters as locked in a closet of heteronormative language. His strategic response to this silencing is to appropriate and recontextualize heterocentric and homophobic discourses in ways that problematize their assumed heteronormativity. In contrast to the gay critical focus on whether Genet himself has internalized heteronormative assumptions about his sexuality and subjectivity, Genet’s texts remind us that the question is not simply an individualized one of what the author him/herself thinks, but rather how s/he might articulate expressions of desire within a language that seems designed to erase such expressions of difference.
Keyword French literature
Jean Genet
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 09 Feb 2012, 16:21:04 EST by Dr Elizabeth Stephens on behalf of Centre for History of European Discourses