Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is best known as a cultural and literary critic, as one of the primary forces behind the development of queer and gay/lesbian studies, and as author of several influential books: Tendencies, Epistemology of the Closet, and Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. The publication of Fat Art, Thin Art, Sedgwick's first volume of poetry, opens up another dimension of her continuing project of crossing and re-crossing the electrified boundaries between theory, lyric, and narrative.
Embodying a decades-long adventure, the poems collected here offer the most accessible and definitive formulations to appear anywhere in Sedgwick's writing on some characteristic subjects and some new ones: passionate attachments within and across genders; queer childhoods of many kinds; the performativity of a long, unconventional marriage; depressiveness, hilarity, and bliss; grave illness; despised and magnetic bodies and bodily parts. In two long fictional poems, a rich narrative momentum engages readers in the mysterious places-including Victorian novels-where characters, sexualities, and fates are unmade and made. Sedgwick's poetry opens an unfamiliar, intimate, daring space that steadily refigures not only what a critic may be, but what a poem can do.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick is Distinguished Professor of English, CUNY Graduate Center. Her many publications include A Dialogue On Love (Beacon, 1999); Tendencies (Duke, 1993); and Epistemology of the Closet (California, 1990).
"Who fed this muse?" 3 Joy. He's himself today! He knows me! 9 "Grave, never offering back the face of my dear" 10 "Guys who were 35 last year are 70 this year" 11 The Navajo Rug 12 A Vigil 13 The Use of Being Fat 15 "For years it drove me crazy" 16 Performative (Toronto) 17 Performative (San Francisco) 18 "What I would be when I grew up" 19 "Not like the clownish, friendly way you talk" 20 Sh 21 "I can tune my mind today" 22 "All I know is I woke up thinking" 23 Snapsh 24 "Crushed. Dilapidated." 25 The 58 1/2 Minute Hour 26 How Not to Be There 27 "Mobility, speech, sight" 28 "A scar, just a scar" 29 "When I got so sick it never occurred to me" 30 "Little kid at the airport practicing" 31 "In dreams they're interchangeable" 32 Our 33 "It seems there are two kinds of marriage" 34 "One of us falls asleep on the other's shoulder" 35 Not 36 Nicht Mehr Leben 37 "I'm safe so long as the single feather of our wing" 38 "In dreams on which decades of marriage haven't" 39 II Trace at 46 43 An Essay on the Picture Plane 72 Everything Always Distracts 74 Sexual Hum 76 Penn Central: New Haven Line 80 Poet 82 Sestina Lente 83 III The Warm Decembers 89 Note on "The Warm Decembers" 153