Alexander Doty: Flaming Classics: Queering the Film Canon

Alexander Doty: Flaming Classics: Queering the Film Canon
Publisher: Routledge (2000)
ISBN: 9780415923453
Pages: 256|pdf|1,5mb

In this penetrating and irreverent study, queer theorist Alexander Doty directs a gay gaze at six famous and well-loved films (The Wizard of OzThe Cabinet of Dr. CaligariThe WomenGentlemen Prefer BlondesPsycho, and The Red Shoes), averring that "the coding of classic or otherwise 'mainstream' texts and personalities can often yield a wider range of non-straight readings because certain sexual things could not be stated baldly." Doty goes on to explain that he puts quotation marks around the term mainstream because he wants to position queerness inside texts and productions: "For me, any text is always already potentially queer." Once readers have gotten past Doty's argumentative and somewhat tortuous preemptive answers to queer critics of his work--some of which originally appeared as responses to criticism in an academic journal--they can luxuriate in his engaging, funny, and acute analyses of these films and his descriptions of the historical contexts in which they were made and first shown. His personal revelations are a joy to read, and his exasperation with uncomprehending others is no less potent a pleasure, as in his repeated complaint that he has been chastised for conducting readings that are "too queer," as if he were "recruiting" straight texts "as part of some nefarious or misguided plan for a queer takeover." In frustration, Doty blurts out that he can't possibly be "the only person who understands the Oz sequences of The Wizard of Oz as the fantasy of a teenaged girl on the road to dykedom." Anything is possible, of course, although Doty delivers a stylish and convincing argument


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