It’s impressed me deeply the way others of my generation and since seem to have invented for themselves, in the spontaneity of great need, the tools for a formalist apprehension of less prestigious, more ubiquitous kinds of text: genre movies, advertising, comic strips.
For me, this strong formalist investment didn’t imply (as formalism is generally taken to imply) an evacuation of interest from the passional, the imagistic, the ethical dimensions of the texts, but quite the contrary: the need I brought to books and poems was hardly to be circumscribed, and I felt I knew I would have to struggle to wrest from them sustaining news of the world, ideas, myself, and (in various senses) my kind. The reading practice founded on such basic demands and intuitions had necessarily to run against the grain of the most patent available formulae for young people’s reading and life—against the grain, often, of the most accessible voices even in the texts themselves. At any rate, becoming a perverse reader was never a matter of my condescension to texts, rather of the surplus charge of my trust in them to remain powerful, refractory, and exemplary. And this doesn’t seem an unusual way for ardent reading to function in relation to queer experience.
Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. “Queer and Now.” Tendencies. Durham: Duke University Press, 1993. 1-20. Print. 4.