The Brooklyn Rail

Ariel Goldberg borrows the title of their book-length essay on queer art, The Estrangement Principle, from the experimental writer Renee Gladman, who edited the “dyke zine” Clamour from 1996 to 1999. In a forward to an issue of that publication, Gladman wrote that the zine was intended to grapple with the difficulty of translating experience and knowledge to language, especially from a culturally marginal position like that of Clamour’s contributors, who were mostly queer women of color. Gladman describes this difficulty as a feeling of “estrangement.” As she writes in an editor’s note appended to Clamour’s fourth issue, “I want to present the difficulties I perceive one faces when speaking of experience and knowledge in language, especially when one’s sense of identity is complicated by an estrangement from the dominant culture.” - Phillip Griffith