Though it’s not literary on the face, and the genre has yet to make a celebrated entrance into the academy (though U Kansas has a Ph.D. in science fiction and fantasy literature), a genre lens can make even the most inane production take on layered significance. Take, for example, io9’s review of Sex and the City 2: “When viewed as a rom-com, Sex and the City 2 is terrible and crappy and a horrific inversion of everything the show once was. But when viewed as a science fiction film, SATC2 is subversive, stylish and chilling. as SATC2 is subversive, stylish and chilling.”
The blogger identifies The City as Carrie’s “deathless necropolis” based on the following information:
1.) The City can control time.
2.) The City can control their personalities.
3.) Nothing exists outside of The City.
4.) The City keeps tabs on Carrie via shoes.
Funny, and reposted frequently, but glancing on a larger point. I’ve been reading Forbidden Acts: Pioneering Gay and Lesbian Plays of the Twentieth Century this week, and I’ve noticed that every play, from the 1926 production of Bourdet’s The Captive to Crowley’s 1968 Boys in the Band to Hoffman’s 1985 AIDS-themed As Is, takes place in one or two intimate rooms. This could be a given of the genre — my experience with theater has largely been in the orchestra pit of high school musicals, and I only wandered into the drama section because a man fixing tax returns was blocking the essays — or a function of the stories themselves — they all involve confrontation with a family member, or a constructed family — but I wondered whether they were also evidence of the playwright’s attempt to construct a closet, a stifling environment for the audience. Certainly, in The Captive, where the protagonist cannot even name her “affliction,” this observation is relevant.
For a contemporary overanalysis of “queer space,” see this blog entry entitled Locker rooms: on exterior interiority.
I am now inspired to go back and read old Tennessee Williams plays with a queer-theory lens.