I read quite a few articles this week for my classes, but one that really stuck out to me was from Queering Pop Culture by Nikki Sullivan. Not gonna lie, I was so excited reading it because it was making me think of other things that I had learned, and it was a really good piece that brought a lot of things together for me. It talked about theory, and Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, which talks a lot about male gaze, which has sparked some really great conversations surrounding queer gaze…any way!! It was a super interesting reading, and I highly recommend that you read it.
As I was reading the beginning of this piece, I was thinking about this quote;
“To live (as I understand it) is to exist within a conception of time.
But to remember is to vacate the very notion of time.
Every memory, no matter how remote its subject, takes place ‘Now,’ at the moment it’s called to the mind.
The more something is recalled, the more the brain has a chance to refine the original experience.
Because every memory is a re-creation, not a playback.”
I was fascinated with the idea that every memory is a recreation, therefore challenging the idea of time and how we create things. Sullivan brings up an excellent point by writing that, (in regards to queer characters) “…through our very ‘reading’ of them we actively (re)create them.” The idea of passive reception is complicated by the very notion of the way that we interpret our information. Therefore the idea of a queer lens only exists within our individual memories, creating solitary experience of queerness. By producing an individual meaning and identity, we are creating our own understanding, which still exists within a solitary realm. Through this, we bring back our personal experiences and biases into conversation with another person’s memories (I.E. their own solitary realm)- which recreates a recreated character.
The chain of thought here would be Person A and Person B read about Character C.
Person A interprets Character C and reimages them to be Character D.
Person B interprets Character C and reimages them to be Character E.
Person A and Person B talk about Character D and Character E together, thereby producing Character F.
Recreated characters (Character F), in turn, can be more easily queered because they have components from Person A, Person B, Character C, Character D, and Character E. This depth is intensified as conversation continues and Characters are continuously recreated.
It was super fascinating to me, and I found that it opened a lot of intellectual doors for me. Hopefully you read it, and feel similarly, too!