Impossible Uncanniness: Deconstruction and Queer Theory

Nicholas Royle

in In Memory of Jacques Derrida

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780748632954
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671625 | DOI:
Impossible Uncanniness: Deconstruction and Queer Theory

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This chapter deals with the relationship between deconstruction and queer theory. It is noted that ‘the more fashionable Queer became, the more it was appropriated by those who wanted to be fashionable and the more inclusive and meaningless the term became’. In Jacques Derrida's view, deconstruction inherits something of the condemnation of ‘spontaneism’ in V. I. Lenin. Derrida's ‘crypto-communist legacy’ entails thinking of the ‘crypto-’, of the hidden and secret. ‘Queer theory’ would have to do with deferred effect and the incalculable, with what cannot be ‘anticipated in advance’; and indeed that this can and must include the possibility of the disappearance or obsolescence of the term ‘queer’ itself. It then argues that homosexuality and queerness constitute a crucial aspect of all Jonathan Dollimore's novels. If Derrida's work argues for, while enacting, a queering of being, the same can be said of time: deconstruction queers being and time.

Keywords: deconstruction; queer theory; Jacques Derrida; V. I. Lenin; spontaneism; crypto-communist legacy; Jonathan Dollimore; homosexuality; queerness

Chapter.  9813 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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