Margin to Centre, Major to Minor

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Robert Yang


The marginal has today become so central, so preferred, so desired, that it is hard to identify a form of marginality that remains marginal as such, while the centre has become so excoriated that it has acquired a certain marginality. Similarly, the old distinction between major and minor which used to be the preoccupation of literary critics exercising their authority in the form of exquisite judgements about literary quality has been inverted by Deleuze and Guattari’s reinscription of a minor literature as intrinsically of more interest and even power, even if ironically their subject, Kafka, is undoubtedly a “major” author, but a major author who has now been made rereadable by being reassigned to the “minor”. In current forms of aesthetic judgment, the minor has become the major. Marginality, eccentricity, liminality… but what does the eccentric even mean if the centre itself has been queered and is out of place?

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Theorizing Marginality