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now I’m mad at Jack Halberstam, but I also have to write about them within the next 36 hours or so because I have a paper due on the antisocial thesis on Monday
Both critics and friends of Gender Trouble have drawn attention to the difficulty of its style. It is no doubt strange, and maddening to some, to find a book that is not easily consumed to be “popular’’ according to academic standards. The surprise over this is perhaps attributable to the way we underestimate the reading public, its capacity and desire for reading complicated and challenging texts, when the complication is not gratuitous, when the challenge is in the service of calling taken-for-granted truths into question, when the taken for grantedness of those truths is, indeed, oppressive.
I think that style is a complicated terrain, and not one that we unilaterally choose or control with the purposes we consciously intend. Fredric Jameson made this clear in his early book on Sartre. Certainly, one can practice styles, but the styles that become available to you are not entirely a matter of choice. Moreover, neither grammar nor style are politically neutral. Learning the rules that govern intelligible speech is an inculcation into normalized language, where the price of not conforming is the loss of intelligibility itself. As Drucilla Cornell, in the tradition of Adorno, reminds me: there is nothing radical about common sense. It would be a mistake to think that received grammar is the best vehicle for expressing radical views, given the constraints that grammar imposes upon thought, indeed, upon the thinkable itself. But formulations that twist grammar or that implicitly call into question the subject-verb requirements of propositional sense are clearly irritating for some. They produce more work for their readers, and sometimes their readers are offended by such demands. Are those who are offended making a legitimate request for “plain speaking” or does their complaint emerge from a consumer expectation of intellectual life? Is there, perhaps, a value to be derived from such experiences of linguistic difficulty? If gender itself is naturalized through grammatical norms, as Monique Wittig has argued, then the alteration of gender at the most fundamental epistemic level will be conducted, in part, through contesting the grammar in which gender is given.
after all the anxiety I had about it (and tons of crying in therapy) we actually had a fantastic game night last night. we had three friends over and introduced them to some new games and they really liked them a lot and they want to do it again. and one of our friends made cookies and we had some wine and we laughed and I introduced people I really wanted to meet each other and it was great.
we’re gonna do it again.
all this said, it’s really hard to reconcile how excellent that was with my constant social paranoia. but building positive experiences is part of the treatment process that I’m engaged in, and this totally was one.
omsnoms said:are you ok bb?? sending you lotsa good vibes <3
yeah, I’m fine, my dear! I had an upper endoscopy yesterday and so they put in an IV to knock me out. no big deal <3 <3
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