No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive

No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive

Lee Edelman

£15.99

Throwing down the theoretical gauntlet, Lee Edelman outlines a radically uncompromising new ethics of queer theory. His searing polemic takes aim at the figure of the child, whom he contends is the lynchpin of an entire rhetoric and politics of "reproductive futurity." Edelman argues that in the popular imaginary, the child--innocent, angelic, and imperiled--represents the possibility of the future and the queer is constructed as its radical negation, as the embodiment of morbidity, corruption, and stasis. He insists that in such a thoroughly heteronormative culture, the efficacy of queerness lies in its resistance to the social and political order. In 'No Future,' Edelman urges queers to abandon accommodation and embrace their status as figures beyond the consensus of those always "fighting for the children." Looking to literature and film, 'No Future' offers several models of queer characters who take a perverse pleasure in repudiating the cult of the child. Edelman makes a compelling case for imagining Charles Dickens's Ebeneezer Scrooge without Tiny Tim and George Eliot's Silas Marner without little Eppie. Looking to Alfred Hitchcock's films North by Northwest and The Birds, he embraces two of the director's most notorious creations: the sadistic Leonard stepping on the hand that holds the heterosexual couple above the abyss and the birds themselves, predators attacking couples and children. Edelman breathes new life into psychoanalytic theory as he brings it to bear not just upon film and literature but also upon current political issues such as gay marriage and gay parenting. A call to arms for a queer theory too often banalized, No Future is sure to incite passionate debate.