Helsingin yliopisto


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Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006

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Queer-luentoja Marguerite Yourcenarin teoksista

Pia Livia Hekanaho

Väitöskirja, marraskuu 2006.
Helsingin yliopisto, humanistinen tiedekunta, taiteiden tutkimuksen laitos, yleinen kirjallisuustiede.

The present dissertation belongs to the tradition of queer theoretical and feminist literary scholarship. The study deals with the literary works of Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987), who was the first woman ever to be elected to the French Academy. The study seeks to lead an acclaimed classical French author into a dialogue with the characteristically Anglo-American queer theory and American tradition of queering Lacanian psychoanalysis. Queering the psychoanalytic notions of homosexuality and the categories of perversion and pervert will be elaborated in the present study.

The main corpus of the scrutiny consists of five pieces of fiction written in French by Yourcenar. The first person narration and especially récit genre maintain a narrative strategy that the study explores with reference to the representations of non-normative genders and sexualities. Analyzing various radically queer aspects of Yourcenar's texts, the study focuses on the topical questions of masculinity in men, women, and texts.

The study also discusses the representations of sexual desire between men, and the various constructions of male homosexuality in Yourcenar's fiction. The present study addresses Yourcenar's fiction from the points of view of female masculinity and textual female masculinity. The investigation finds its study questions and methodology in the area of queer studies, especially queer theoretical literary scholarship and the queer history and historiography of sexuality. That is why the study approaches Yourcenar's fiction in the context of historical and literary representations of male homosexual love and desire.

The articulation of the closet, or textual and discursive strategies of sexual secrecy especially concerning male homosexuality, is simultaneously constructed and deconstructed in Yourcenar's fiction, as the analysis indicates. The study analyzes the Yourcenarian queer textual strategies with reference to concepts such as the epistemology and rhetoric of the closet, and the structure of the open secret as a part of the rhetoric of queer or non-straight sexuality. The present investigation puts the queer, non-normative representations of gender and sexuality in the centre of the Yourcenarian oeuvre and studies, ascertaining the strong bond between Yourcenar's work and the history, tradition, and the modern strategies of representing male homosexuality and queerness.

The title page of the publication

Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

© Helsingin yliopisto 2006

Viimeksi päivitetty 16.10.2006

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