No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Series Q) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 21 ratings
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ISBN-13: 978-0822333692
ISBN-10: 0822333694
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Queer theory, a fairly recent academic discipline, has been commonly used as an analytic tool to deconstruct literature, film and art, although writers such as Judith Butler and Michael Warner have also applied it to philosophy and sociology to subvert accepted concepts of the "normal." Edelman’s slim volume takes this idea further than anyone else to date. Arguing that the traditional Western concept of politics is predicated on making the future a better place and that the accepted—literal as well as symbolic—image of the future is the child, he states that "queerness names the side of those not ‘fighting for the children.’ " Edelman argues that homosexuality’s perceived social threat has to do with its separation from the act of reproduction, yet, he says, this non-reproductive capacity must be embraced as a social good. He illustrates his provocative stance by analyzing numerous cultural artifacts—Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (why do the birds keep attacking children?); A Christmas Carol (he favors Scrooge over Tiny Tim); the musical Annie (with its hit song "Tomorrow")—and by discussing the theories of post-modern writers such as Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Zizak, Jean Baudrillard and Barbara Johnson. While Edelman also focuses on recent events—the murder of Matthew Shepard, the bombing of abortion clinics, the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal—most of his book is densely written and theoretical. This is a notable contribution to post-modern theory, but Edelman’s knotted, often muddled writing will limit his readership to hard-core academics and students of post-modern thought.
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From the Back Cover

""No Future" is a nuanced polemic, both ringingly clear in its aesthetic and theoretical explications and simply thrilling to read. I learn so much from the way Lee Edelman grounds a queer ethics and politics outside kinship and reproductive circuits, those spaces of assimilation that use the bribe of futurity to distract us from the ongoing work of social violence and death."--Lauren Berlant, author of "The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship"

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00EHBSNK2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Duke University Press Books (December 6, 2004)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ December 6, 2004
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6404 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 206 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0822333694
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 21 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
21 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2007
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Reviewed in the United States on August 8, 2015
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2.0 out of 5 stars "The paradoxical dignity of queerness would be...its embrace of the unintelligibility [& inhumanity]...inherent in sexuality."
By James Winchell on August 8, 2015
It might seem harsh to say that the problem with Lee Edelman's account of queer theory is that there's no future in it, but according to its own logic this would be highest praise. Edelman's title says it literally and succinctly: "No Future." And as the back-cover publisher's blurb tells it, queer theory is also "a fairly recent academic discipline." If I read this statement correctly, it means that in addition to having "no future," queer theory also has "no past." Leo Bersani, himself a distinguished academic with a past, a present and a future, writes in his blurb: "The paradoxical dignity of queerness would be its refusal to believe in a redemptive future, its embrace of the unintelligibility, even the inhumanity inherent in sexuality." It is true that the ancient Gnostics renounced sexuality as a way to subvert the demiurge ("an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe") and to guarantee themselves: No Future. Might their "demiurge" equate to the neoliberal proponents of heteronormative pronatalism--child-lovers--so compellingly denounced by Edelman? Fortunately, however, I believe there is at least one kind of future for the most excellent queer theorists, or at least for the radically subversive, pro-unintelligibility (-ist?) Lee Edelman: a tenured position in Gnostic academe.
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Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2018
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