Opacity and the Closet interrogates the viability of the metaphor of “the closet” while utilized to 3 vital queer figures in postwar American and French tradition: the thinker Michel Foucault, the literary critic Roland Barthes, and the pop artist Andy Warhol. Nicholas de Villiers proposes a brand new method of those cultural icons that bills for the queerness in their works and public personas.
Rather than interpreting their self-presentations as “closeted,” de Villiers means that they create and install efficient thoughts of “opacity” that withstand the closet and the confessional discourse linked to it. Deconstructing binaries associated with the closet that experience persevered to persuade either homosexual and directly receptions of those highbrow and dad celebrities, de Villiers illuminates the philosophical implications of this displacement for queer concept and introduces new how one can take into consideration the gap they make for queerness.
Using the works of Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol to have interaction one another whereas exploring their shared old context, de Villiers additionally indicates their queer appropriations of the interview, the autobiography, the diary, and the documentary—forms in general associated with fact telling and authenticity.
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Extra resources for Opacity and the Closet: Queer Tactics in Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol
Winnicott, Carol Mavor reads Barthes’s textual content and intertexts (Werther and Winnicott) as completely queer: “Queerly, boyishly, Barthes wears his love for Werther and his love for his mom on his sleeve. . . . Barthes comes out in A Lover’s Discourse as a queer guy whose courting along with his lover mirrors the challenge of the child who, with out transitional gadgets, believes that the breast continues to be less than his magic keep watch over. ”83 therefore, Mavor reads the maternal love in A Lover’s Discourse and digital camera Lucida as queerly gendered, instead of genderless or sexless. yet needs to we examine A Lover’s Discourse as a “coming out”? regardless of Barthes’s characterization of the sweetheart as within the “crucible of which means” whereas obsessing in regards to the different, in A Lover’s Discourse he additionally proposes the opportunity of a distinct moral relation to the opposite: “It isn't really actual that the extra you're keen on, the higher ; all that the motion of affection obtains from me is purely this knowledge: that the opposite isn't to be identified; his opacity isn't the monitor round a mystery, yet, as a substitute, one of those facts within which the sport of fact and visual appeal is completed away with. ”84 This passage shows the opportunity of love as a nonepistemological ethics opposed to interpretation. And it's the following that Barthes offers us the main said deﬁnition of opacity. In Roland Barthes through Roland Barthes, we additionally ﬁnd “matte” caliber in human relationships deﬁnes Barthes’s personal ethics of which means (again with regards to a undeniable Orientalism). He recollects, “In Morocco, they obviously had no picture of me; my efforts, as an excellent ecu, to be this or that got no answer: neither this nor that used to be lower back within the kind of a ﬁne adjective; it by no means happened to them to gloss me, they unwittingly refused to feed and ﬂatter my image-repertoire. at first, this matte caliber of human relationships had anything laborious approximately it, yet steadily it got here to appear a triumph of civilization or the actually dialectical type of erotic discourse. ”85 hence, he imagines “the perfection of a human dating during this emptiness of the picture: to abolish—in oneself, among oneself and others—adjectives. ”86 hence, for Barthes, a moral method of the signal (an ethic of the empty signal) implies a moral method of MATTE FIGURES seventy nine human relationships, within the hopes of escaping what he calls the imagesystem (or the traps of the Imaginary, the image-repertoire). Barthes’s moral method of that means is usually tactical, and will depend on the location. In an interview with man Scarpetta, Barthes admits that “nonmeaning is instantly recuperated by way of which means (as the that means of nonmeaning). . . . which means can't be attacked head-on. ”87 He explains to Pierre Boncenne: “Given this framework, we stumble upon a moral query: may still one fight or no longer? should still one fight to wear down which means, damage it, transmute it . . . or may still one shrink back from this fight? i feel that the solutions to those questions can merely be tactical ones, and they is determined by the way in which one judges our present old state of affairs and the wrestle handy.