Someone: The Pragmatics of Misfit Sexualities, from Colette to Hervé Guibert

Michael Lucey
Berkeley Book Chats
Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 | 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall
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United States

Imagine trying to tell someone something about yourself and your desires for which there are no words. What if the mere attempt at expression were bound to misfire? In Someone (Chicago, 2019) Michael Lucey (Comparative Literature and French) considers characters from 20th-century French literary texts whose sexual forms prove difficult to conceptualize or represent. The characters expressing these “misfit” sexualities gravitate towards same-sex encounters, yet they differ in subtle but crucial ways from mainstream gay or lesbian identities. Investigating works by Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, Jean Genet, and others, Lucey probes the range of same-sex sexual forms in 20th-century France and the innovative literary language used to explore them.

Lucey is joined by Catherine Flynn (English). After a brief conversation about the book, they open the floor for discussion.