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An other Kind of Home

Gender-Sexual Abjection, Subjectivity, and the Uncanny in Literature and Film


Kyle Frackman

In this study, the author examines works of German-language literature and film from the nineteenth and twentieth century in order to chart a certain kind of otherness. Common to all of the examined cultural products are aspects of gender, sexuality, a notion of home or belonging, and pressures of abjection. Other elements of identity include race and disease. The characters in the analyzed works encounter both mutual dependence and abhorrence, which complicate their experiences in space and time. This analysis demonstrates that acceptance and belonging are difficult to attain, particularly in the fraught power dynamics in these works. This book includes discussions of works by Frank Wedekind, Robert Musil, Kutluğ Ataman, and Pierre Sanoussi-Bliss.
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Chapter 6: Conclusion: Homeward


Mastery and awareness of one’s own body can be acquired only through the effect of an investment of power in the body: gymnastics, exercises, muscle-building, nudism, glorification of the body beautiful. All of this belongs to the pathway leading to the desire of one’s own body, by way of the insistent, persistent, meticulous work of power on the bodies of children or soldiers, the healthy bodies. But once power produces this effect, there inevitably emerge the responding claims and affirmations, those of one’s own body against power, of health against the economic system, of pleasure against the moral norms of sexuality, marriage, decency. Suddenly, what had made power strong becomes used to attack it. Power, after investing itself in the body, finds itself exposed to a counterattack in that same body. (Foucault, “Body/Power” 56)

In this book I have aimed to theorize non-heteronormative spatial and temporal forms of construction of others, which results in images of alterity. These presentations are dependent upon structures of desire and eroticism expressed in the gendered and sexual construction of the various characters. The processes of othering that appear in this book have an intimate relationship with social realities. What is other to one subject will not necessarily be so to another. That is, the kinds of others that materialize in reality are dependent upon the conditions of power within a given context.

For me, one of the most important aspects of the readings I offer here is to...

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