Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘Superheroism is a kind of transvestism’

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We say “secret identity,” and adopt a series of cloaking strategies to preserve it, but what we are actually trying to conceal is a narrative: not who we are but the story of how we got that way—and, by implication, of all that we lacked, and all that we were not, before the spider bit us. Yet our costume conceals nothing, reveals everything: it is our secret skin, exposed and exposing us for all the world to see. Superheroism is a kind of transvestism; our superdrag serves at once to obscure the exterior self that no longer defines us while betraying, with half-unconscious panache, the truth of the story we carry in our hearts, the story of our transformation, of our story’s recommencement, of our rebirth into the world of adventure, of story itself.

Michael Chabon in the New Yorker on why superheroes wear silly outfits.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 5, 2008 at 7:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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