Casual Encounters: The Representations of Queer Counterpublics in Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance and Edmund White’s Chaos

Robert Bitsko


Focusing on popular queer fiction, this article uses the research of Michael Warner to examine distinct spheres of queer sociality, which is the umbrella term used to discuss any and all queer interactions, whether physical or not. It argues that Warner's theory of public and counterpublic spaces in queer domains, while perhaps requiring an update to better reflect the ever-changing sociality of the internet and social media of today, indeed helps ultimately map the fictional zones of queer sociality, or queer interactions, in Edmund White's Chaos and Andrew Holleran's Dancer from the Dance. How these zones are manifested and explored by White and Holleran is further explored by this article using the work of Michael Warner, who is interested in the notion of world-making within queer communities. It gathers Warner's claims and applies them to the past with Holleran's 1978 novel and to the present day with White's 2007 novel. By doing so, it approaches these creative queer works from a fresh perspective and in a novel light, thereby establishing a new precedent for observing queer literature; that is, using Warner's notions of queer sociality to better define the interactions between queer characters throughout queer fiction.

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