Cover image for Love and Degradation: Excessive Desires in Queer-Feminist Art By William J. Simmons

Love and Degradation

Excessive Desires in Queer-Feminist Art

William J. Simmons

Coming in December

$24.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09894-4
Coming in December

160 pages
5.5" × 8.5"
8 color/5 b&w illustrations
2024

re:criticisms

Love and Degradation

Excessive Desires in Queer-Feminist Art

William J. Simmons

“Simmons’s Love and Degradation is a must-read for those of us engaged in examining art, literature, and pop culture through the lens of queer and feminist theory. His writing is engagingly and deeply personal.”

 

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In this provocative and intensely personal new book of essays about love and language, desire and drama, reminiscence, change, and fandom, William J. Simmons takes up Eve Sedgwick’s reparative reading as a challenge to empirical and taxonomical approaches to art, music, and film and instead promotes new ways of discussing them that create community and empathy rather than hierarchies. Specifically, Simmons advocates for incorporating memoir, history, theory, poetry, and even “the cringey admissions of a fanboy” into criticism.

Love and Degradation argues for queer feminism’s value to reading and thinking about works by creators as varied as Lana Del Rey, Charlotte Brontë, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and filmmaker Steve McQueen. It also includes essays on Glenn Ligon, Barbara Kruger, and Kristen Stewart. In essence, the essays in this volume represent a series of the author’s “saviors, obsessions, and losses.”

A compelling read for students and scholars of art history, queer and gender studies, creative writing, and the study of film, television, and pop culture, this book encourages readers to embrace fandom and raises important questions about the state of queer and feminist discourse.

“Simmons’s Love and Degradation is a must-read for those of us engaged in examining art, literature, and pop culture through the lens of queer and feminist theory. His writing is engagingly and deeply personal.”
“Simmons seamlessly blends analysis of queer and feminist art with autobiography—the result is incandescent, intimate, and vulnerable. Whether his object of contemplation is art, literature, cinema, or gossip, Simmons positions himself as one of our most expansive and perceptive critics and thinkers.”

William J. Simmons is a writer based in the Santa Clarita Valley. He is the author of Queer Formalism: The Return.