Bill Marshall's Guy Hocquenghem: Theorising the Gay Nation (Modern European PDF

By Bill Marshall

ISBN-10: 0585372276

ISBN-13: 9780585372273

ISBN-10: 0745310591

ISBN-13: 9780745310596

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5 While there are exceptions such as Proust, Céline and Sade, Hocquenghem cites as examples the family genealogy of Zola's Les Rougon-Macquart and the totalising project of Balzac's La Comédie humaine. While there is certainly some hyperbole here, as in the rest of this work Hocquenghem certainly admired Balzac the positive aspects of foreign literary traditions are suggestive of Hocquenghem's overall project.

26 The two further key elements in Benjamin's dissection of the contradictions of modernity are the aura and allegory. The aura is the uniqueness and authenticity of the object and the history or tradition it transmits. '27 Modernity and with it the mechanical reproduction of the work of art witnesses the decline of the aura, and this is exemplified in Baudelaire in those poems in which there is an image of eyes which do not return the look, self-protective eyes, eyes characteristic of people on public transport, eyes of the prostitute looking for clients but also on guard against the police, 'the self-protective wariness of a wild animal hunting page_47 Page 48 for prey'.

Through the workings of imagination rather than theory, the aesthetic involves both a sensory experience and a claim to universality through the construction of a community of free, feeling subjects. In this abstraction of our interests and desires, the aesthetic object is perceived as an end in itself, purposiveness without purpose, but also in a striving beyond the limits of our point page_60 Page 61 of view and a glimpsing of the possibility of a non-alienated object. The sublime, that glimpse of the infinite in the work of art or nature, interacts dialectically with the beautiful, that realisation of our correspondence to reality, a process that thus involves both comprehension and incomprehensibility, the sensory and the suprasensory, our fittedness to the world but also our limitations.

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Guy Hocquenghem: Theorising the Gay Nation (Modern European Thinkers) by Bill Marshall


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