Special issues:

Literature and Linguistics (Vol. 1 No. 2); Literature and Violence (Vol. 3 Nos. 1-2)

Women, Consumption and Popular Culture (Vol. 4 No. 1); Life, Community, and Ethics (Vol. 4. No. 2)

The Making of Barbarians in Western Literature (Vol. 5 No. 1); Chaos and Fear in Contemporary British Literature (Vol. 5 No. 2)

Taiwan Cinema before Taiwan New Wave Cinema (Vol. 6 No. 1); Catastrophe and Cultural Imaginaries (Vol. 6 No. 2)

Affective Perspectives from East Asia (Vol. 9 No. 2); Longing and Belonging (Vol. 10 No. 2, produced in collaboration with the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies)

Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 1776 to the Present (Vol. 11 No. 2). 


Traditional interpretation of Carson McCullers’s The Member of the Wedding (1946) tends to read it as a typical coming-of-age story; however, a queer-inflected reading will shed light on the hidden aspects of the novel that contain the seeds of imagining alternative forms of attachment, belonging, and intimacy. Employing the concept of “queer temporalities” to read the gender outlaws (adolescent tomboys, sissy men, cross-dressers, homosexuals) and social outcasts (circus freaks, racist victims) in the novel, the paper examines how their backwardness and anachronism expose the arbitrariness of the hegemonic notion of time premised on a homogeneous form of identity or community. I propose to read the novel’s preoccupation with alternative temporalities (e.g., the residual, the emergent, the crip, the fantastic, and the virtual) as a critique of the straight time associated with an idealized domesticity, gender normalization, and the American national identity. Frankie’s idiosyncratic wedding fantasy, her world-remaking imagination, and the indeterminacy in novelistic closure are shown to be the invocation of a future collectivity, a queer potentiality that registers as the illumination of an alternative horizon of existing and being.

KEYWORDS: queer temporalities, Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding, affect, community, identity

摘  要