Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada) (1995)

FadI Abou-Rihan
University of Toronto
The dissertation deploys the notion of repetition in the works of Nietzsche and Freud as the basis for an articulation of queer practices--cultural, theoretical, and sexual. Its framework and methodology are Deleuzo-Guattarian in that its subject matter is a set of disparate problematics, code words, and proper names tackled as a web of relays and partial objects. It is therefore not a history of ideas but a history fragmented, reappropriated, and utilised. Starting with an argument for an excessive, creative, and performative reading of the Nietzschean eternal return, it proceeds to map this thought onto a psychoanalytic framework by articulating it in terms of fetishistic disavowal defined as experimentation and dispersal. This return, or repetition, is then reworked from the point of view of the Deleuzo-Guattarian reading of the psychoanalytic concept of a death instinct as deterritorialisation and nomadism. The dynamics of such nomadism are subsequently traced in both the contemporary formulations of the queer and some of the lesbian and gay writings on theory, sexuality, and cultural production that have preceded them. The dissertation closes with an outline and a proposal for a queer theoretical practice consistent with all of the above
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