Ellis Hanson responds to Tara Thomas

Tara Thomas’s description here raises a question in my mind about Wright’s deployment of Foucault’s theory of the repression hypothesis, used here to sideline psychoanalysis (which is nothing if not a philosophy of our bad logic). As Thomas says, “Wright contributes to queer theory’s repudiation of the repressive hypothesis by demonstrating how the seemingly ambiguous linguistics of erotic desire in the Victorian novel is consistently articulated through bad forms of logic, a pattern of deliberate encryption.” Is this good logic or bad? If desire requires encryption, if what Wright calls the “pang” of desire must always elude what Thomas describes as “the constricting, repressive forms of good logic,” how is this not a repressive hypothesis? Is bad logic not often sexually repressive, even oppressive — or have I just dated too much of it to feel seduced by it?

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