Opacity and the Closet: Queer Tactics in Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol

Opacity and the Closet interrogates the viability of the metaphor of “the closet” whilst utilized to 3 very important 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 money owed for the queerness in their works and public personas.

Rather than examining their self-presentations as “closeted,” de Villiers means that they create and set up efficient thoughts of “opacity” that withstand the closet and the confessional discourse linked to it. Deconstructing binaries associated with the closet that experience endured to persuade either homosexual and instantly receptions of those highbrow and dad celebrities, de Villiers illuminates the philosophical implications of this displacement for queer thought and introduces new how one can take into consideration the gap they make for queerness.

Using the works of Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol to interact one another whereas exploring their shared ancient context, de Villiers additionally indicates their queer appropriations of the interview, the autobiography, the diary, and the documentary—forms quite often associated with fact telling and authenticity.

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Ninety three [susan bottomly (international velvet):] Susan Bottomly’s voice was once the strangest factor to listen to popping out of this woman. all people went round doing Susan Bottomly imitations. It was once a monotone, yet under no circumstances like Nico’s: Susan’s used to be a low-pitched American monotone. What she used to be like used to be a really appealing, attractive cow. ninety four [jackie curtis:] [T]he creepiest a part of a intercourse swap has not anything to do with appearance—it’s the voice. In Jackie’s case, he did what such a lot males do after they are looking to sound like a woman—he dropped his voice to a whisper. even if, the object was once, whispery voices by no means made the drag queens sound extra femme—they purely made them sound extra determined. ninety five [emile “de” de antonio:] He spoke fantastically, in a deep, effortless voice with each comma and interval falling into position. ninety six [warhol himself:] I reacted my traditional way—modest noises got here out of my mouth, the sounds you're making whilst you’re embarrassed yet announcing thanks. ninety seven Barthes has mentioned the difficulty of the voice in a number of texts (most significantly his dialogue of “The Grain of the Voice” in musical recordings),98 yet nowhere as poignantly than in Roland Barthes by way of Roland Barthes in a fraction entitled “Sa voix,” which i'll quote in complete for its impressive resonance with Warhol: Sa voix ~ his voice (No one’s specifically. sure, specifically! It’s consistently someone’s voice. ) I try out, bit by bit, to render his voice. I make an adjectival strategy: agile, fragile, younger, a bit damaged? No, now not really; particularly: overcultivated, having 110 “WHAT must you SAY FOR your self? ” a faint British flavor. and the way approximately this: clipped? definite, if I expatiate: he printed during this clipped caliber now not the torsion (the grimace) of a physique controlling and thereby affirming itself yet to the contrary the hard cave in of the topic with no language, proposing the specter of aphasia below which he struggles: opposite to the first, this used to be a voice with no rhetoric (though no longer with no tenderness). For a lot of these voices, the fitting metaphor must be invented, the only which, as soon as encountered, may own you without end; yet I fail to find this sort of factor, so nice is the distance among the phrases which come to me from the tradition and this unusual being (can or not it's not more than a question of sounds? ) which I fleetingly remember at my ear. Such impotence has a cause: the voice is often already lifeless, and it truly is by means of a type of determined denial that we recollect it: residing; this irremediable loss we supply the identify of inflection: inflection is the voice insofar because it is often previous, silenced. wherein we could comprehend what description is: it strives to render what's strictly mortal within the item by way of feigning (illusion via reversal) to believe it, to hope it dwelling: “as if alive” potential “apparently lifeless. ” The adjective is the tool of this phantasm; no matter what it says, through its descriptive caliber by myself, the adjective is funereal. ninety nine This melancholic suffering to explain the mortal item of the voice is a piece of rendering and conjuring.

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