Summary Of Sedgwick's Epistemology Of The Closet

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Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick in her Epistemology of the Closet claims that “many of the major nodes of thought and knowledge in twentieth-century Western culture are structures—indeed, fractured—by a chronic, now endemic crisis of homo/heterosexual definition” (Sedgwick 2008, 1). Sedgwick argues that it is a crisis “indicatively male, dating from the end of the nineteenth century” (1). This is an interesting point since the male perspective is the pillar, of the Western Patriarchal model of gender role’s construction—and for our purpose sexual identity constraint. The author, in her book, says that “virtually any aspect of modern Western culture must be, not merely incomplete, but damaged in its central substance to the degree that it does not incorporate a critical analysis…show more content…
Sedgwick abounds in her statement saying that “the appropriate place for the critical analysis to begin is from the relatively decentered perspective of modern gay and antihomophobic theory” (Sedgwick 2008, 1). The prospect of Sedgwick, as it is that of Butler, is to deconstruct the models of thought that Western discourse has imposed upon cultures and individuals. Thus, according to the author, the epistemology of the closet is the:

[i]dea that thought itself is structured by homosexual/heterosexual definitions, which damages our ability to think. The homo/hetero binary is a trope for knowledge itself. […] 20th century thought and knowledge is structured–indeed, fractured–by a chronic, now endemic crisis of homo/heterosexual definition […] Any analysis or understanding of any aspect of Western culture is incomplete and degraded if it does not incorporate a critical analysis of modern homo/heterosexual definition (Sedgwick 2008,
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