The Estrangement Principle Reviewed in Tarpaulin Sky

The Estrangement Principle Reviewed in Tarpaulin Sky

WHAT I'M READING NOW...BY KENYATTA JEAN-PAUL GARCIA on Tarpaulin Sky featuring The Estrangement Principle by Ariel Goldberg

I am lucky enough to be writing this during Pride month and in addition to Proust, I am reading Ariel Goldberg’s The Estrangement Principle. This book is a look at queer art and what that means or could mean. Goldberg draws lots of connections between the New Narrative and queer writing and definitely includes lots of people of color but I am always sad seeing Jean Toomer’s name followed by the notions of him being “race traitor.” Of all the writers mentioned in this book, Toomer is the only one I have any real connection to, who has influenced my approach to queer writing. But that is neither here nor there as this book may well contain my upcoming reading list. This book might contain the seeds of queer canon, which is sorely needed. Certainly any canon can be expanded but let’s start somewhere. Let’s start here. Ariel understands the limits and demands of definitions and refuses to be a spokesperson, and what felt a bit policing in the beginning feels much less so by the end. This is a book of exploration of both the subject and the self. It took a little while for it to grow on me due to my own queer feelings, my non-whiteness, and my own notions of ‘queer’ but I really am walking away from this book with a real appreciation for what was written and for the writer.