LaMont 2inclinations. In other words, Nature
adolescent and elderly men from theotherwise universal “will to live,” and, thereby, from the continuation of the humanspecies (Magee 346-9). If Schopenhauer were alive today, he would define queer sexuality as he defines male homosexuality in his addendum on the subject. That is, the philosopher would posit that one who possesses a queer (i.e., a non-reproductive) desireis a naturally selected outcast.
By implanting a “deviant” desire in the queer, Nature has,in a sense, forbidden her or him from participating in the act of potentially generative(heterosexual) sex. Thus, like the male homosexual, the queer is naturally
fromthe will-motivated evolution of humankind.Schopenhauer argues that, just as the queer is rejected from the
of Nature,involuntary memories (and their constituting contemplations) are rejected from themind’s fluid storehouse of
remembrances. In an essay called “Beckett,Proust, and Schopenhauer,” James Acheson boils down Schopenhauer’s theory thatvoluntary and involuntary memories refer to, respectively, past perceptions and pastcontemplations. The past perceptions that comprise voluntary memories are perceivedand retained by the “will to live.” The contemplations that constitute involuntarymemories are, on the other hand, experienced disinterestedly. Notes Acheson onSchopenhauer’s philosophy:
Throughout this paper, I use the term “queer” (as a free-standing noun and as a modifier for “sexuality”and “desire”) to denote all sexual identities, desires, and behaviors that do not correspond, metaphoricallyor actually, to the understanding of sex as reproductive genital intercourse between a female and a male.My essentializing use of the term (to refer to feelings and practices that are essentially “other” thanheterosexual) is necessary and self-conscious; that is, I understand that, in the realm of literary theory, theterm “queer” signifies sexualities that are functions of representations (Harmon and Holman 424); thisdefinition challenges the idea of essential difference, sexual or otherwise. By re-appropriating the term“queer” to refer to all sexualities that are
heterosexual, I mean to incorporate the Schopenhaueriannotion of the homosexual outcast (with its underlying binary logic) into the contemporary theoreticalconsciousness.