Queer Densities in Garth Greenwell's What Belongs to You: Narrative, Memory, Corporeality
Much contemporary queer US literature aims at physical and metaphorical density to write against the systematic subjugation and marginalisation of queer lives, the lingering inequalities of LGBTQIA+ people, and the disintegration of alternative spaces and networks. In response to the fragility of safe queer environments in US culture, novels such as Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You display density, materiality and compaction. Texts like this utilise and deploy condensed narrative forms, thickening depictions of the personal and cultural memory, as well as a material attention to the body. This article moves away from the dominant mode of temporality that has defined queer studies for some time to think more particularly about memory and its relation to narrative and corporeality. By concentrating on Greenwell’s novel, this article will show how personal memories of emerging gay subjectivities are entwined in broader queer cultural memories.