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Heather Love: Feeling Backward

Heather Love: Feeling Backward

Loss and the Politics of Queer History. USA/UK 2009, 196 pp., brochure,  20.95
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Harvard University Press
Now that, in the latest twist of tolerance, gays are required to flaunt their well-adjustedness, this book may feel backward indeed as it cotemplates the pain, anger, isolation, and sheer crankiness prominent in literary figures of our queer past. It weighs the costs of the contemporary move to the mainstream in lesbian and gay culture. While the widening tolerance for same-sex marriage and for gay-themed media brings clear benefits, gay assimilation entails other losses - losses that have been hard to identify or mourn, since many aspects of historical gay culture are so closely associated with the pain and shame of the closet. The author argues that instead of moving on, we need to look backward and consider how this history continues to affect us in the present.
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