Maps of Misreading

Encountering Dense Discourse and Utopian Leanings
Tamsin Spargo on Gender Trouble

The misreading of performativity as choosing gender, like selecting from a wardrobe, may stem from a utopian desire to evade the compulsions of the binary gender system and heterosexuality that Butler identifies, or from the pervasive consumerism of contemporary Western culture, which is structured around the myth of free choice. It may also, it has be said, be connected with Butler’s difficult and sometimes opaque writing style, and with a desire for answers, for tangible suggestions.

Tamsin Spargo
Postmodern Encounters: Foucault and Queer Theory
p. 58

Encountering Refusal to Read: Forms of Resistance
Lee Edelman on No Future

There are many types of resistance for which, in writing a book like this, it is best to be prepared. […] I have somewhat greater sympathy for those who might be inclined to dismiss the book for its language (which they’ll call jargon), for its theoretical framework (which they’ll view as elitist), for its difficulty (which they’ll see as pretension), or for its style (which they’ll find to be tortuous). These objections at least have the virtue of acknowledging a frustration of desire in the face of what is experienced as overpresence of a drive. “Somewhat greater” though it may be, however, my sympathy for even this form of response has its limits as well, I confess.

Lee Edelman
No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive
p. 157 n. 19

Re-encoutering maps, utopias and accessibility
Gjertrud Schnackenberg on Osip Mandelstam

He will be free to look into a succession
Of snowflakes poised on his glove
As if he had idly lifted a kaleidoscope
To his eye and seen street maps
Of harmless utopias succeed one another
In a swift, geometrical blaze,
Like hypothetical maps
Of a village you once passed through,
Though functionaries have made a point
Of sealing off those documents
That mention you.

Gjertrud Schnackenberg
“A Monument in Utopia”
A Gilded Lapse of Time
p. 98

tangible suggestions
I confess
mention you

And so for day 2589

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