A Multilateral Perspective
PART I SELF A D OTHER: INDELIBLY DIVIDED, IRREVOCABLY UNITED
PART I SELF AD OTHER: IDELIBLY DIVIDED, IRREVOCABLY UITED 45 1 SAME, SAME BUT OTHER: OVER-SAMENESS AS SEXUAL OTHERNESS Olu Jenzen In his 2003 book on the uncanny Nicholas Royle alerts us to the relationship between the queer and the uncanny, noting that ‘[t]he emergence of “queer” as a cultural, philosophical and political phenomenon, at the end of the twentieth cen- tury, figures as a formidable example of the contemporary “place” and signific- ance of the uncanny’ (2003, 42f). This paper will explore this relationship further by attending to one of the aspects of the uncanny that is linked to the notion of queerness: the trope of the double as manifested in the figure of the narcissistic lesbian couple. The queer uncanny, I suggest, affords new ways of thinking about otherness and facilitates a critique of heterosexist epistemology that pre- sumes a particular relation to the other (Dean 2001, 120). In this discussion I will seek to demonstrate how the image of the narcissistic lesbian may offer itself up as a form of queer resistance by embracing its assumed connection to the death drive and stasis. In order to do so the article will first outline some aspects of contemporary theorisations of the uncanny that can be useful for thinking about sexual otherness and the queer. This discussion takes Freud’s 1919 essay on the uncanny as a reference-point, but is also indebted to more recent theorisations of the uncanny such as Royle’s and also queer theoretical work, framed within...
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