“That’s not a Hero’s Life”: Politics of Queer Affect in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty

  • 蔡 凱淞

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Mainly using Heather Love’s and Sara Ahmed’s works on “queer affects ” this thesis aims to explore the affective lives of the gay characters and argues for an alternative form of politics for queer affects in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty Hollinghurst’s Man Booker Prize winning novel The Line of Beauty is praised for its sophisticate yet ironic presentation of the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie politicians in the United Kingdom during the 1980s Despite its success some critics worry that The Line of Beauty may reinforce the negative image of queer people because it fails to offer a positive ending for the gay characters especially for the protagonist Nick Guest However as Heather Love notes contemporary homosexuals have tried to forget the dark side of queer life to destigmatize same-sex love Therefore it seems now compulsory for the queer to “feel positive” about their sexuality Similarly Sara Ahmed also points out that “happiness” has now become a duty for the marginalized but she adds that queer (un)happiness is interruptive to the compulsory happiness in a heteronormative society Taking Love’s and Ahmed’s arguments as the departure this thesis attempts to conceive an alternative form of politics that incorporates the “sad” queer to break the impasse of contemporary queer politics during the era of Neoliberalism With this form of politics I try to read Nick’s political indifference not only as a passive response but also an affirmative form of deconstructive resistance against the paradoxical situation where individual freedom conflicts with one’s right to express same-sex desires under Thatcherism
Date of Award2018 Jul 5
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChung-Hsiung Lai (Supervisor)

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