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Classics Comedy Critique Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

The Queer Art of Failure

By Judith Halberstam, 2011

The Queer Art of Failure is a provocative, hilarious, and insightful study of cultural manifestations of failure that practices exactly what it preaches. Adopting “low theory,”–“a kind of theoretical model that flies below the radar, that is assembled from eccentric texts and examples”, Halberstam does not impose an established theoretical perspective onto her varied materials, but rather builds out from the animated films, art work, kitsch, and pop culture to develop not so much a thesis as an impression of what the potential of counter-intuitive thinking, silliness, forgetting–in short, failure–might have to offer, not as a pause on the way to success, but rather as a celebration of what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick terms “middle ranges of agency”.

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