08
Nov
09

Fragment: (S/T)ex(t) Play

There can be nothing more obvious than the artificiality and social-constructedness of gender and sex within a text. This is obvious because, however many times we write them, George’s penis and desire are never more than an act of erasure or reinscription from Robert’s vagina and malaise, and of course (except in instances of unusual print surfaces and drink spills) none of these words are likely to get any harder or wetter, no matter how often we ram words like arousal up against them. Which is to say: Anything resembling physical desire or sexual identity in a text is purely the effect of a wording friction whose consistency throughout a given work results solely from authorial choice or lack of imagination. The plain fact is that Sarah’s cock or cloaca is exactly as natural to her as her urinal cake or, for that matter, the pronoun his.

The appendage of certain-sexed words to others is in the interest of a general legibility and a meta-coding as within a dominant fictive aesthetic. The tropes of literary realism reinforce a naturalistic (as opposed to performative) notion of identity.

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