The Languages of the Body: Becoming Unreadable in Postmodernity
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This chapter extends the book’s analysis of how queer experimental literature refashions deconstructive reading, focusing on how deconstructive aesthetics—and their use by the avant-garde—became gentrified by neoliberalism. I trace Kathy Acker’s turn from deconstructive aesthetics toward a sensuous “language of the body,” which she hoped would make her texts “unreadable” within the established hermeneutics frameworks of postmodernism. Through Bodies of Work and In Memoriam to Identity, I reveal how Acker’s conception of bad reading—in which literature stimulates a masturbatory encounter with queer becoming—recovers the political agency of queer aesthetics.