112. (Lewis Carroll)

“The shadow of an amputated limb”–I’ve thrown out that phrase as a description of queerness in literature: the amputated limb is the body, its desires lopped off (repressed) by a society seeking to reproduce itself (humans being, the anthropologist Maurice Godelier writes, the only animals that not only live and reproduce in society, but need and reproduce society in order to live), and its shadow … Continue reading 112. (Lewis Carroll)

97. (Oscar Wilde)

In The Importance of Being Earnest, Algernon quips: “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” The actors must have paused for laughter, because the next line turns the joke upon the audience. Jack asks: “Is that clever?” And Algernon saves the audience from the embarrassment of satire: “It is perfectly phrased! And quite as true as any observation should … Continue reading 97. (Oscar Wilde)

14. (John Ruskin)

The twentieth-century author most often summoned as the sibylline guide to the depths of Ruskin’s oeuvre is Proust. Guy Davenport, who might also be called on for a tour of those often dead-end, more often unstably provisional Ruskinian labyrinths, writes  of the French Master and the Victorian Sage: Ruskin may have also shown Proust, by bad example, how to write an enormous book into which everything … Continue reading 14. (John Ruskin)