No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive

Front Cover
Duke University Press, Dec 6, 2004 - Literary Criticism - 191 pages
5 Reviews
In this searing polemic, Lee Edelman outlines a radically uncompromising new ethics of queer theory. His main target is the all-pervasive figure of the child, which he reads as the linchpin of our universal politics of “reproductive futurism.” Edelman argues that the child, understood as innocence in need of protection, represents the possibility of the future against which the queer is positioned as the embodiment of a relentlessly narcissistic, antisocial, and future-negating drive. He boldly insists that the efficacy of queerness lies in its very willingness to embrace this refusal of the social and political order. In No Future, Edelman urges queers to abandon the stance of accommodation and accede to their status as figures for the force of a negativity that he links with irony, jouissance, and, ultimately, the death drive itself.

Closely engaging with literary texts, Edelman makes a compelling case for imagining Scrooge without Tiny Tim and Silas Marner without little Eppie. Looking to Alfred Hitchcock’s films, he embraces two of the director’s most notorious creations: the sadistic Leonard of North by Northwest, who steps on the hand that holds the couple precariously above the abyss, and the terrifying title figures of The Birds, with their predilection for children. Edelman enlarges the reach of contemporary psychoanalytic theory as he brings it to bear not only on works of literature and film but also on such current political flashpoints as gay marriage and gay parenting. Throwing down the theoretical gauntlet, No Future reimagines queerness with a passion certain to spark an equally impassioned debate among its readers.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
2
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Alixtii - LibraryThing

I have to say, I've had this book talked up to me so much by various people that the actual reading was rather disappointing. I mean, the concept of "queer antifuturism" was probably explained to me ... Read full review

No future: queer theory and the death drive

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

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 ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

1 THE FUTURE IS KID STUFF
1
2 SINTHOMOSEXUALITY
33
3 COMPASSIONS COMPULSION
67
4 NO FUTURE
111
NOTES
155
INDEX
183
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Queering Freedom
Shannon Winnubst
Limited preview - 2006
All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Lee Edelman is Professor of English at Tufts University. He is the author of Homographesis: Essays in Gay Literary and Cultural Theory and Transmemberment of Song: Hart Crane's Anatomies of Rhetoric and Desire.

Bibliographic information