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Beyond Morality: Alternative Gay Narratives in Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and Fucking and Dennis Cooper’s The Sluts 
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The gay male emerged as a visible public consumer during 1990s, when the LGBTQ movement in the United Kingdom and the United States was marked by conflicting commercial and political motives, heightened by the AIDS crisis. The cultural tension surrounding the gay male subject was reflected through various literary expressions. In the United Kingdom Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and Fucking (1996), as part of the in-yer-face theatre, exploded in the face of the bourgeoisie. In the US America Dennis Cooper’s highly publicised George Miles Cycle (1989-2000), was followed by The Sluts (2004) as part of the transgressive literature, provoking both straight and gay communities. Through an analysis of themes such as capitalism, commerce, hyperreality, internalised fear, desire, and violence in the works, an alternative image of the gay male is distinguished. This is an image of the gay male subject that is complex, multi-faceted, contradictory and polyvalent. The characters relate differently to the hegemonic hyperreal role model, but are exposed to the same social structure that dictates their living conditions and positioning them as objects possible to practice violence on.

The works provide a widened and complicated image the public image of the gay male. Their countercultural narratives trace how the gay male subject have been affected by the heteronormative society. When the provided stereotype is too narrow to express the burden and the joy of the contemporary gay male subject, alternatives, like the depictions by Ravenhill and Cooper, may allow the subject to fully possess the gay experiences of pain, sorrow and anger that he has been forced to bear. This research explores how the violence within the texts holds a liberating potential. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 110
Keywords [en]
Mark Ravenhill, Shopping And Fucking, Dennis Cooper, The Sluts, Gay Male Violence, Gay Capitalism, Gay Consumerism, Gay Hyperreality, Gay Simulacra, Gay Civilisation, Gay Authenticity, Blank Fiction, Transgressive Literature, In Yer Face, Cool Britannia.
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-326257OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-326257DiVA, id: diva2:1119488
Educational program
Master Programme in the Humanities - Literature
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Examiners
Available from: 2017-07-04 Created: 2017-07-04 Last updated: 2017-07-04Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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