"I feel that I was being written..."

Identitetsskapande i William S Burroughs romaner Junky och Queer

In this essay I examine how identity is created in William S. Burroughs two early novels Junky andQueer. The theoretic starting points are Lacans psychoanlytic concepts ?ideal ego?, ?egoideal? and the ?superego? and also queertheory as presented by Tiina Rosenberg in her book Queerfeministisk agenda.The examination contains an analysis of how Burroughs creates identity in both Junky and Queer with main focus on the second novel. I look at how the desire in the maincharacter Lee is described and what the desire is aimed at. In Junky Lee has a need for drugs and in Queer the desire is aimed at sexual contact with other men. I examine how the desire switches between the novels and how it affects his identity.There is a difference in how Lee sees himself and how the people around him sees him. He sees himself as the masculine homosexual man but the society has antoher view of how homosexual men should act and look like, that is the effiminate man. There is a conflict between Lees ideal ego and the ego-ideal wich has great impact on how his identity is formed. There is a gap between his interpretation of himself and how other sees him wich creates a disintegration in his identity. This essay tries to describe how this disintegration in Lees identity appears and how he handles it.Burroughs is wellknown for his so called ?routines?. These are crazy and imaginative monologues created by the maincharacter Lee. In this essay I present these routines as a way for Lee to take back control of his own identity, he uses them as a way to convince his surroundings that he is the masculine homosexual guy with control not the feminine man that other people sees him as.I also examine how the maincharacter Lee reflects Burroughs as his ideal ego. Ginsbergs have said that Queer is ?Burroughs heart laid bare? and that is a central point throughout my essay.


Lucella Bergström

Lärosäte och institution

Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för kultur och lärande


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