Novel Gazing is the first collection of queer criticism on the history of the novel. The contributors to this volume navigate new territory in literary theory with essays that implicitly challenge the “hermeneutic of suspicion” widespread in current critical theory. In a stunning introductory essay, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick delineates the possibilities for a criticism that would be “reparative” rather than cynical or paranoid. The startlingly imaginative essays in the volume explore new critical practices that can weave the pleasures and disorientations of reading into the fabric of queer analyses.
Through discussions of a diverse array of British, French, and American novels—including major canonical novels, best-sellers, children’s fiction, and science fiction—these essays explore queer worlds of taste, texture, joy, and ennui, focusing on such subjects as flogging, wizardry, exorcism, dance, Zionist desire, and Internet sexuality. Interpreting the works of authors as diverse as Benjamin Constant, Toni Morrison, T. H. White, and William Gibson, along with canonical queer modernists such as James, Proust, Woolf, and Cather, contributors reveal the wealth of ways in which selves and communities succeed in extracting sustenance from the objects of a culture whose avowed desire has often been not to sustain them. The dramatic reframing that these essays perform will make the significance of Novel Gazing extend beyond the scope of queer studies to literary criticism in general.Contributors. Stephen Barber, Renu Bora, Anne Chandler, James Creech, Tyler Curtain, Jonathan Goldberg, Joseph Litvak, Michael Lucey, Jeff Nunokawa, Cindy Patton, Jacob Press, Robert F. Reid-Pharr, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Melissa Solomon, Kathryn Bond Stockton, John Vincent, Maurice Wallace, Barry Weller