Epistemology of the Closet
Eve Kosofsky SedgwickISBN: 0520078748; 9780520078741;
The homosexual closet, by Sedgwick's yardstick, is "the defining structure for gay oppression in this century." She disagrees strongly with those who separate gays and straights as "distinct kinds of persons," with no common humanity. Her close readings of Melville's Billy Budd , Wilde's Dorian Gray and of Proust, Nietzsche, Henry James and Thackeray bristle with keen observations relating entrenched fears of same-sex relationships to contemporary gay-bashing and obvious displays of heterosexual or "macho" attitudes. But Sedgwick ( Between Men ) does not prove her overstated thesis that homo/hetero distinction obtains with gender, class and race in determining "all modern Western identity and social organization." Obtuse, cumbersome, academic prose limits the appeal of this treatise.