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"There is no Gomorrah": Narrative Ethics in Feminist and Queer Theory

"There is no Gomorrah": Narrative Ethics in Feminist and Queer Theory d–i–f–f–e–r–e–n–c–e– s : A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 12.3 (2001) “There is no Gomorrah” about it, and repeatedly discussed it with my colleagues and students. 2 To be sure, the mere mention of the names, Sodom and Gomorrah, is enough to haunt anyone, myself included, who falls outside the most rigid definition of sexual norms. 3 So when Colette reinvokes the paradigmatic Biblical story about the righteous punishment of “sinners against the Lord,” she reinscribes a narrative that has justified and sustained centuries of hatred, exclusion, and homophobic violence. Of course, that is not all there is to the story, especially for Colette. Obviously enough, it is not just the narrative from Genesis, but rather its particular form in Colette’s retelling of it, that produces the feeling of a haunting—of a text that, like a ghost, literally returns again and again. On one abstract, theoretical level, the retold story as revenant simply serves as a reminder of a general principle about the production of signification itself, namely the sedimentation of meaning that occurs as a result of repetition. But the ghost of Colette also points to a more important principle of language whose consequences are not at http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies Duke University Press

"There is no Gomorrah": Narrative Ethics in Feminist and Queer Theory

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by Brown University and differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies
ISSN
1040-7391
eISSN
1527-1986
DOI
10.1215/10407391-12-3-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

d–i–f–f–e–r–e–n–c–e– s : A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 12.3 (2001) “There is no Gomorrah” about it, and repeatedly discussed it with my colleagues and students. 2 To be sure, the mere mention of the names, Sodom and Gomorrah, is enough to haunt anyone, myself included, who falls outside the most rigid definition of sexual norms. 3 So when Colette reinvokes the paradigmatic Biblical story about the righteous punishment of “sinners against the Lord,” she reinscribes a narrative that has justified and sustained centuries of hatred, exclusion, and homophobic violence. Of course, that is not all there is to the story, especially for Colette. Obviously enough, it is not just the narrative from Genesis, but rather its particular form in Colette’s retelling of it, that produces the feeling of a haunting—of a text that, like a ghost, literally returns again and again. On one abstract, theoretical level, the retold story as revenant simply serves as a reminder of a general principle about the production of signification itself, namely the sedimentation of meaning that occurs as a result of repetition. But the ghost of Colette also points to a more important principle of language whose consequences are not at

Journal

differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2001

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