Synopses & Reviews
Originally published in 1972 in France, Guy Hocquenghem's Homosexual Desire
has become a classic in gay theory. Translated into English for the first time in 1978 and out of print since the early 1980s, this new edition, with an introduction by Michael Moon, will make available this vital and still relevant work to contemporary audiences. Integrating psychoanalytic and Marxist theory, this book describes the social and psychic dynamics of what has come to be called homophobia and on how the "homosexual" as social being has come to be constituted in capitalist society.
Significant as one of the earliest products of the international gay liberation movement, Hocquenghem's work was influenced by the extraordinary energies unleashed by the political upheavals of both the Paris "May Days" of 1968 and the gay and lesbian political rebellions that occurred in cities around the world in the wake of New York's Stonewall riots of June 1969.
Drawing on the theoretical work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and on the shattering effects of innumerable gay "comings-out," Hocquenghem critiqued the influential models of the psyche and sexual desire derived from Lacan and Freud. The author also addressed the relation of capitalism to sexualities, the dynamics of anal desire, and the political effects of gay group-identities.
Homosexual Desire remains an exhilarating analysis of capitalist societies' pervasive fascination with, and violent fear of, same-sex desire and addresses issues that continue to be highly charged and productive ones for queer politics.
"Homosexual Desire represents the best of left social theory of sexual politics, a tradition that has never had an adequate reception in the United States. Reprinting this book now is a step toward recovering that tradition, and could therefore open debates about the significance of sexuality."—Michael Warner
"Written over two decades ago, in the aftermath of May '68 and Stonewall, Hocquenghem's Homosexual Desire may well be the first example of what we now call queer theory. But its significance is more than historical: it remains an indispensable analysis of, and polemic against, institutionalized homophobia.”—Douglas Crimp
Includes bibliographical references (p. 151-154) and index.
About the Author
Guy Hocquenghem (1944-1988) taught philosophy at the University of Vincennes, Paris. He was the author of numerous novels, works of theory, and was a staff writer for the French publication Libération. He was a founding member of le Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire (F.H.A.R.). Hocquenghem died of an AIDS-related illness in 1988.