Notes: William Sayers, “The Etymology of Queer”

Sayers, William. “The Etymology of Queer.” ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews, vol. 18, Heldref, Philadelphia, 2005..doi:10.3200/ANQQ.18.2.17-19.

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Summary:

Sayers offers a brief etymology of queer in its Irish origins to introduce queer theory to cultural studies.

Keywords: Queer, Queer Theory, Etymology, Linguistics, Cultural Studies

Quotations:

“Etymology does not, of course, determine future meaning(s) or dictate historical development. Yet it does offer not only a point of departure on this route but also certain first conditions, which may be variously socioeconomic, related to judgmental issues, register, affective value, and so on” (16).

“‘Queer theory’ is now well established both as a phrase and an analytical methodology in cultural studies, as evidenced by entries in recent dictionaries of an companions to criticism, postmodern studies, and so on. This theory in turn guides explorations of authors such as Wilde, Joyce, O’Brien, and Beckett, thus bringing queer full round to its Irish origins which were, we recall, as ‘crooked, awry, circular.'”

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