Thursday, March 22, 2007

Odd sentences one never imagines oneself cited in conjunction with

Volcanic anticipation tickled Andrew’s body while he was putting on his faded Replay jeans, tight Emporio Armani white singlet that accentuated the sculpted beauty of his torso, and worn out French army boots.

There's more, including a long chem(ically assisted) sex session, over at Contaminated Life, a blog related to architecture and fashion design at RMIT University (Melbourne). Somehow it all relates to what I once wrote about the under-appreciated Middle English classic Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle (admittedly, a much less queer narrative than the Andrew narrative). Who knew that medieval studies had so much to say to "disciplinary purity, bodily taboos, and radical sustainability."

Actually ITM did. It's what we are all about (except for the radical sustainability -- I haven't a clue what that is).

3 comments:

Karl Steel said...

admittedly, a much less queer narrative than the Andrew narrative

I beg to differ. In relation to the norm, Andrew is--so far as his sex and drug use goes--an inexcluded other. He's the very image of excess through which the norm imagines itself as the site of just measure. Not so for Gawain. He's not a creature of the border brought into the norm only through interdiction and fantasy. Bracketing for the moment Gawain's standard role as the most excessively violent and sexual of Arthur's knights (do I have that right?), as a knight, Gawain is the very image of the norm. Unless this norm engages in excess, can have no story, no SGCC. In other words, Gawain's far queerer because his queerness is emphatically at the heart of what likes to imagine itself as straight.

We're back, I think, into the realm of identifying the Pardoner as the 'most queer' of the pilgrims, which is a move that fixes queerness as something on the border. It's much better, I think, to discover the inevitable queerness of the Parson (here I think I'm borrowing from something I read by Shayne Legassie, years ago).

(Caution on Andrew. Wait: his consumerism--the advertorial prose of "faded [Product] jeans, tight [Product] white singlet (?)" (let alone the reference to threadcounts)--puts him in the very center of consumer lifestyle capitalism, of the calls to (appropriate) that we middle-class Westerners must heed to keep our normality).

J J Cohen said...

It is funny how the Andrew narrative of bodily disaggregation and resortment gets pulled in completely the opposite direction by its author's love of high-end consumer products. Note to said author: too many adjectives!!! I suppose the vector that consumerism moves towards is a stereotyped and shallow gayness rather than a queerness.

And as Gawain -- the most enthusiastically heterosexual (to quote my favorite phrase from the Pardoner discussion) of the knights -- being queer, hmmmm.

Karl Steel said...

I suppose the vector that consumerism moves towards is a stereotyped and shallow gayness rather than a queerness.


Dropped a word in my previous response: I meant "puts him in the very center of consumer lifestyle capitalism, of the calls to (appropriate) consumption that we middle-class Westerners must heed to keep our normality." In other words, I think Andrew's consumerism is the queerest thing about him once I put him, not very interestingly, in line with American Psycho (a title clearly meant to be a pleonasm), and, more interestingly, in the camp with GW Bush, whose post 9/11 demand, if you recall, was that we go shopping.