Didier Eribon's critique of David M. Halperin

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Perhaps the most intelligent of the current crop of French gay scholars! Please check out his critique of David M. Halperin http://didiereribon.blogspot.com/2009/02/plagiarism-and-linguistic-imperialism.html. Below is taken from the blog post.

Plagiarism and Linguistic Imperialism

I insisted, during my talk at the Queer Bonds Conference in Berkeley, on the date of publication of my book Une morale du minoritaire. Variations sur un theme de Jean Genet (2001), and several people asked me why and what I was alluding to. Here is the answer : my book has been plagiarized in the U.S. It's not just a question of my references (Genet, Jouhandeau, Sartre...), the texts I comment on and my commentaries on them; in fact, my whole project -- my framework, my ideas, my thought -- has been taken over.

I refered in this book to Genet and Jouhandeau's reflections on shame and abjection in order to construct a social theory of subject formation using an approach to minoritarian subjectivities and modes of subjectivation that was non- and even anti-psychoanalytic . All this has been stolen from me in a book published in the U.S. last year (cf. David M. Halperin, What do Gay Men Want?, The University of Michigan Press, 2008), even though, I must add, I found the way this "author" used my framework to reflect on barebacking to be simply preposterous. This is a typical example of linguistic (and U.S.) imperialism : if a book has not been published in, or translated into, English, it can be plagiarized very easily, since the language of theory today, at an international level, is English. Such intellectual fraud is revolting.

One example : in my book, p. 120, I quote this opening sentence from Jouhandeau's De l'abjection : "Je suis parfois de la part des hommes, des inconnus même, victime d'une incompréhension spontanée qui m'exile à la fin défintivement". And I comment on it : "Nous sommes en présence d'une analyse qu'on pourrait dire sociale (et non psychologique) de ce qui est constitutif de la subjectivité gay". In his book, Halperin quotes this same sentence by Jouhandeau, "I am sometimes the victim of an incomprehension, of a sponatneous aversion on the part of men, even of strangers, which ends by relegating me to permanent exile"... and he comments on it : "For Jouhandeau, abjection was a social concept rather than a psychological one" (p. 71).

So, when, at the end of "his" book, he asserts that his "main argument" ("my main argument", he says!!!!!) is that "there exist countertraditions of reflection on queer subjectivity that are worthy of serious consideration and offer meaninful alternatives to psychology and psychonalaysis" (p. 97), he should have written : "Didier Eribon's main argument...", since this was actually and explicitly the main argument of my book (in 2001), as well as in my Echapper à la psychanalyse (2005).

- Pour une mise au point plus détaillée, on peut se reporter à mon entretien paru le 26 mai 2011 sur le site du magazine français en ligne YAGG : http://yagg.com/2011/05/26/affaire-de-plagiat-didier-eribon-rend-son-brudner-prize-de-luniversite-de-yale/

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