DENNIS COOPER'S THE SLUTS: PROSTHETIC AND PERFORMATIVE (HOMO) SEXUALITY
Keywords:transgressive literature, sexual prostheses, sexual performativity, Dennis Cooper's The Sluts, queer theory
Dennis Cooper's homosexual-inflected work seems, paradoxically enough, to resist queer conceptualizations. It has triggered, instead, readings from ethos as disparate as the avant-garde French literary tradition or the discourse of superficiality of youth cultures. And yet, the 2005 novel The Sluts seems to imply a turning point in Cooper's relationship with the queer imaginary. This study will argue that access to the onto-epistemological core of the novel can just take place by taking into account two of the most important foundations of Queer Theory: the prosthetization and the performativization of eroticism. Drawing on Haraway and Preciado, prosthetization in The Sluts will reveal itself as a metaphorizing drive which will take the understanding of sexuality beyond the hackneyed essentialism/constructivism debate. In turn, sexual performativity, either Foucauldian or Butlerian, will allow Cooper to eviscerate sexuality as desire in the making whose ultimate goal is to affect and to be affected by bordering monads.
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