Abstract

This essay offers a temporal read of Lopez’s The Inheritance, a two part Broadway production, exploring questions about what gay men of differing ages can and might mean to one another. The article examines how systems of gay cultural youthism are negotiated through the play’s narrative structure, in particular considering the characters of Leo, Adam, Toby, and Eric. Next, the article interrogates the ways Henry, Walter, and Morgan are constructed through the narrative and in relation to younger characters, investigating the play’s articulation of aging and generativity. The next section looks at the temporal operations of the script, wherein straight temporal commitments are framed as more desirable, whereas narratives of gay suicide operate to constrain queer temporal imagination. Finally, the article considers the narrative framing of Toby and Eric, the centralized thirty-somethings, to negotiate the play’s articulation of proper or preferred gay male aging, maturation, and intergenerational relations. Within each section, the temporal criticism is troubled by key moments that complicate the critical reading, identifying potential moments of queer excess and disruption.

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