The queer philosopher: Edmund White and the technologies of the self.

The queer philosopher: Edmund White and the technologies of the self.

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Title: The queer philosopher: Edmund White and the technologies of the self.
Author: Georgekish-Watt, Jonathan.
Abstract: My thesis provides a reading of the novels of Edmund White through a theoretical frame based largely on Michel Foucault's "Technologies of the Self" and Julia Kristeva's Strangers to Ourselves, but which also takes into account the "queer" theorizing of Michael Warner, in his introduction to Fear of a Queer Planet and the essay "What Does Queer Theory Teach Us about X?" (co-authored with Lauren Berlant). I argue that the "technologies" that Foucault describes, an invention of self through the "care of the self" (le souci de soi), are such that they reveal, at the center of subjectivity, a stranger; they reveal the fact that we are, as Kristeva argues, "strangers to ourselves." This is a motif that plays itself out in White's novels, both autobiographical and non-autobiographical; the turn inward and the "stringent self-analysis" implied by a "technology of the self," reveal a "self" that is indefinite, unknowable, "spectral."
Date: 2000
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/8649

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