"Theory and the Everyday": Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts

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The Argonauts combines high theory and the everyday. It does this by combining lofty thought, the quotidian, close attention to words and ideas and stray thoughts, and desire. It does this through form, the way it blends and refuses genre, the way it skips from one thought or story to another, and making them connect by virtue of contiguity. The Argonauts refuses form in a way that parallels how Maggie's and Harry's bodies and identities refuse gender taxonomy. It also refuses genre, referred to variously as theory, memoir, and autotheory. While it queers form and family, it also queers feelings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-203
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • A Lover’s Discourse
  • Audre Lorde
  • Eve Sedgwick
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Maggie Nelson
  • Roland Barthes
  • The Argonauts
  • lesbian memoir
  • queer family


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