This essay reconsiders the importance of performativity to scholarship on life writing by exploring the potential of Eve Sedgwick's concept of the periper-formative utterance for reading queer life narratives. Taking the documentary Tarnation (2003) as an example, I argue that a range of life narrative practices can be understood as periperformative: texts that both narrate an individual life and critically interrogate the textual conditions under which lives are narrated. I suggest that a key element of periperformative life narrative is a critique of the importance of using a unique voice that speaks from and about the lived experience of the subject. The essay identifies the use of ventriloquism and collage as important characteristics for undertaking this critique.
Anna Poletti; Periperformative Life Narrative: Queer Collages. GLQ 1 June 2016; 22 (3): 359–379. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-3479414
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