Narratives, Confessions, Identities: Emil Tode's

Narratiiv, ülestunnistus, identiteet: Emil Tode "Piiririik"
Narratives, Confessions, Identities: Emil Tode's "Border State"

Author(s): Delaney Michael Skerrett
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: SA Kultuurileht
Keywords: Estonian literature; Tõnu Õnnepalu; Emil Tode; queer theory; gay/lesbian studies; gender studies; identity

Summary/Abstract: The narrator of Emil Tode's (Tõnu Õnnepalu's) Piiririik ("Border State", 1993) is "driven by the need to confess". A scholar from an unnamed Eastern European country, and a male preferring sexual relationships with other men, he finds himself in a seemingly unbearable crisis of identity, laden with the "double burden" of inferior societal roles in the unfamiliar "Western World". Departing from a Foucauldian discussion of confession, the article analyses "Border State" from the perspective of constructed identities – be they sexual or ethno-political – drawing particularly on the more recent paradigm of Queer Theory. The article shows how Tode is seeking to expose the mythical nature of the supposed truths about who we are in our culture-bound existence.

  • Issue Year: XLIX/2006
  • Issue No: 09
  • Page Range: 728-735
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Estonian