You see, as much as possible I never try to judge or criticize anything. When you see something that you haven’t seen before, like this Pop art—and I’m just talking about myself now—I would never think of judging or deriding or criticizing because what can you prove with your words? The words you use making fun or making judgments have absolutely no value. They are just taunts, a pack of words. At least with a painting it’s there, or the thing is there in flesh and you do what you want with it. Just turn your back to it if you want but don’t bother writing about it or thinking about it.
Only will I establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, above every keel little or large that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Owen: What is happening?
Yolland: I’m not sure. But I’m concerned about my part in it. It’s an eviction of sorts.
Owen: We’re making a six-inch map of the country. Is there something sinister in that?
Yolland: Not in…
Owen: And we’re taking place names that are riddled with confusion and…
Yolland: Who’s confused? Are the people confused?
Owen: And we’re standardising those names as accurately and as sensitively as we can.
Yolland: Something is being eroded.
Brian Friel, Transformations 2.1
There is no unthreatened, unthreatening conceptual home for the concept of gay origins. We have all the more reason, then, to keep our understanding of gay origin, of gay cultural and material reproduction, plural, multi-capillaried, argus-eyed, respectful, and endlessly cherished.
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet