Heroic Desire: Lesbian Identity and Cultural Space
"Lesbians are adept at constructing survival strategies. Our being in this world exacts a cost, and our identities mutate to incorporate and resist that cost. The reality of our world is our relentless demand for presence, an occupation of space which we have colonized for ourselves, in the name of a configuration of desires we call 'lesbian', -- the more reflective we can become about these tactics, the more powerful is our rhetoric of existence".
This book is concerned with the ways contemporary lesbians have taken up imaginative and material space. It describes the mechanics of presence, how modern lesbians have produced a discursive space which offers a refutation to the closet. Identities are produced, expressed, and authenticated by and through space. Understanding "real" and metaphorical spatial structures helps us to discover new sites of presence and resistance. Some famous spaces, such as New York, Paris, and Berlin, have been constitutive of modern gay and lesbian identities. Social spaces teach us something about the relations of domination and subordination around us, and we have seen recently in that struggle "to be", a growing politics of location and locatedness.
Space is also taken imaginatively. Our narratives, which have become moral and political handbooks, provide role models for building and consolidating identities and communities. By processes of interpretation, drawing from literary and cultural theory, the author displays ways in
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... journey as myth was written by Joseph Campbell in 1949 in The Hero with a
Thousand Faces.n Campbell's study uses psychoanalytic models to interpret
what he describes as transcultural myths of rites of passage, which he distils into
Lesbian-authored fictions of the period set in the Village, like Ann Bannon's
Beebo Brinker series (1957-62), are less-sensationalist syntheses of the
available discursive constructions of 'lesbian',44 but still depend on that myth of
the eroticized ...
Before the morbidification of female friendship by the sexologists, these erotic
fervours were subtly condoned, servicing marriage whilst quietly and
paradoxically subverting the myth of the 'sexless' white bourgeois Woman.
Although all these ...
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