Homos by Leo Bersani - review by Adam Mars-Jones

Adam Mars-Jones

A Theory of Love

Homos

By

Harvard University Press 224pp £15.95 order from our bookshop
 

The last thing the general reader of books on sexual politics (if there is such a person) is likely to want, after the abominable crime not to be named among Christians, Uranianism, homosexuality, being gay and being capital Q Queer, is a new word for the condition all these words attempt to define, or to exempt from definition. Yet Leo Bersani's coinage homo-ness, clumsy though it is, manages to earn its keep, not by displacing an existing term but by directing attention to an un expected quarter, as a way out of a cultural impasse.

Gay liberation, without having ceased to frighten the horses in the high street, now seems hopelessly fuddy-duddy to a generation that takes its little victories for granted. Queer culture, on the other hand, can seem smugly confrontational and intellectually underpowered. A Queer Reader, for instance, edited by Patrick Higgins and

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