Trajectories of Desire in Genet and Wittig

Marion May Campbell


At their most extreme Jean Genet and Monique Wittig stage revolutionary desire through their practice of language as material, embodied productivity in scenographies that decentre the ‘human' through a volatile mix of semiotic violence and iconoclastic eroticism. In fact, both writers strategically universalise homoerotic desire, plotting its trajectories to disrupt, deconstruct, or explode in parodic hilarity the cultural practices subtending patriarchal imperialism. This paper will be looking at the ceaseless productivity of desire in their texts as it moves through abjection and animal-becoming and finds serial ignition throughout its metonymic relay, arousing obstruction itself as its medium. Evidently these tropes and the concept of desire as productive come from Deleuze and Guattari (Deleuze & Gauttari 2008a; 2008b). While these subversive poetics are inseparable from the project to storm and overthrow what Timothy Mathews (Mathews 2000) calls the ‘image-fortresses' of patriarchal imperialism, they are less about utopian arrival than about the endlessly renewed performance of desire as metamorphic.


gay and lesbian desire; writing as material practice; subversive scenography

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