This paper is an attempt to demonstrate that the‘star-equilibrium’, which has been interpreted as Birkin's utopian vision about man-woman relationships, can be potentially extended to same-sex ones. Regarding the‘Excurse’chapter, in which Birkin and Ursula realize the ‘star-equilibrium’, ‘anal’approaches have been dominant among critics since the publication of G. W. Knight's pioneering thesis. The paper first reconsiders the scene in terms of‘degenitalization’, and then points out that not only the ‘Excurse’scene but also‘jiu-jitsu’which Birkin and Gerald try in another scene could be regarded as an instance of‘degenitalized’physical pleasure. Referring to the social dimension of‘degenitalized’pleasure as well, the paper concludes that hetero/homosexual distinction is deconstructed in Birkin's utopian vision and that the principal objective of the‘star-equilibrium’is to realize a new relationship in the context-free world, ‘nowhere’, by deconstructing the‘heterosexual paradigm’.
In his reading of the significance of colonialism in The Plumed Serpent, Saburo Kuramochi argues that the representations of race in the text should be explored in the British colonialism over Mexico. His reading construes as the racial other of British imperialism Juana, who overtly expresses her antagonism towards Kate. While I agree with Kuramochi's broad critique of liberal humanism and its ethical interpretation, I find his reading problematic in its analysis of the workings of imperialist ideology and its relation to postcolonial theory both in general and in The Plumed Serpent. My own proposition is that the representations of race in The Plumed Serpent should be detected in the figure of Cipriano. The ending of the text seems to set his heterosexual relationship with Kate, a white woman, against the homosocial bond between the Mexican general and Ramón, the leader of Quetzalcoatl movement. However, Kate in fact mediates another homosocial relation between Cipriano and Kate's brother-in-law, thereby disclosing the contradictory relationships between Britain and the United States beyond the merely individual category of sexual subject.