Focusing on a passage where Leo Bersani addresses the intensity of his attachment to many of his first sentences—sentences that seemed to come all at once and to betray his own understanding of the topics they introduced—this essay considers that betrayal in relation to his view of homosexuality as betraying the seriousness of statements. By examining how the latter betrayal gets enacted in the betrayal his sentences perform, it identifies the tension in Bersani’s work between an explicit resistance to the “de-gaying” he associates with queer theory and the “de-gaying” impulse of his own work, which made it central to queer theory itself.

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