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Queer Transitions in Contemporary Spanish Culture

From Franco to LA MOVIDA

Gema Perez-Sanchez

Publication Year: 2007

Gema Pérez-Sánchez argues that the process of political and cultural transition from dictatorship to democracy in Spain can be read allegorically as a shift from a dictatorship that followed a self-loathing “homosexual” model to a democracy that identified as a pluralized “queer” body. Focusing on the urban cultural phenomenon of la movida, she offers a sustained analysis of high queer culture, as represented by novels, along with an examination of low queer culture, as represented by comic books and films. Pérez-Sánchez shows that urban queer culture played a defining role in the cultural and political processes that helped to move Spain from a premodern, fascist military dictatorship to a late-capitalist, parliamentary democracy. The book highlights the contributions of women writers Ana María Moix and Cristina Peri Rossi, as well as comic book artists Ana Juan, Victoria Martos, Ana Miralles, and Asun Balzola. Its attention to women’s cultural production functions as a counterpoint to its analysis of the works of such male writers as Juan Goytisolo and Eduardo Mendicutti, comic book artists Nazario, Rubén, and Luis Pérez Ortiz, and filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Queer Transitions in Contemporary Spanish Culture

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p. iii


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p. vii


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p. ix

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pp. xi-xv

This book would not exist without the encouragement and help from many friends and colleagues who have made suggestions over the decade during which this project finished its journey from dissertation to book. First, I am extremely grateful to my mentor and friend, Debra A. Castillo, for her brilliant insights, constant encouragement, and great kindness...

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pp. 1-10

Queer Transitions in Contemporary Spanish Culture examines both dominant and dissenting cultural, social, and political discourses involved in the negotiation of gender identities and sexual practices from the years of the disintegration of Francisco Franco’s regime, through the democratic transition and the consolidation of the socialist government of Felipe González...

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1. Franco’s Spain and the Self-Loathing Homosexual Model

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pp. 11-33

That Spanish fascism operated through the model of binary categorization by which one item in a pair is always marked as superior to the other needs little proof. In fact, the fascist understanding of the categories of gender and sexuality provides a particularly striking and well-studied model of such binary thinking. The oppositional pairs male/female, heterosexual...

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2. Reading, Writing, and the Love That Dares Not Speak Its Name: Eloquent Silences in Ana María Moix’s Julia

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pp. 35-60

Franco’s Spain was preoccupied with fixing rigid, essentializing dichotomies of gender and sexuality and with codifying and criminalizing homosexuality. While the Law of Social Danger and Rehabilitation subsumed lesbians under the general category of homosexuals, lesbians, in actuality, were treated and conceptualized differently from gay men. On the one...

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3. From Castrating Fascist Mother-Nation to Cross-Dressed Late-Capitalist Democracy: Eduardo Mendicutti’s Una mala noche la tiene cualquiera

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pp. 61-112

Chapter 1 details how fascist law silenced homosexuals by literally removing them from sight, confining them in special institutions, and seeking to cure them of their perversion. This ineffectual act of erasure was supported by the cultural apparatus of the Francoist regime at large. This apparatus was carefully designed to perpetuate gender dichotomies and traditional...

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4. A Voyage in Feminist Pedagogy: Citationality in Cristina Peri Rossi’s La nave de los locos

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pp. 113-142

Queer novelists—both male and female—writing during and after Franco’s dictatorship used a variety of rhetorical strategies to negotiate the constraints imposed on them by heterosexism. While Moix deploys silence—requiring a lector entendido to read between the lines—to critiquethe silencing of lesbianism, and, while she exposes the roles of eroticism...

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5. Drawing Difference: The Cultural Renovations of the 1980s

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pp. 143-186

This chapter follows the avenues of inquiry opened in chapters 3 and 4 by analyzing gendered representations within the changing cultural climate of the late 1970s and the 1980s. This period exploded into cultural and social experimentations that led to the development of new representations of gender and sexuality, particularly in an immensely popular urban cultural...

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pp. 187-195

Significant transformations in queer representations enabled and shaped the broader economic, political, and cultural transition from the 1960s through the 1980s (which included the Spanish transici


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pp. 197-221

Works Cited

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pp. 223-241


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pp. 243-257

E-ISBN-13: 9780791479773
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791471739
Print-ISBN-10: 079147173X

Page Count: 273
Illustrations: 8 illustrations
Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 191683589
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Queer Transitions in Contemporary Spanish Culture

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Fascism and literature -- Spain .
  • Spanish literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
  • Homosexuality in literature.
  • Literature and society -- Spain.
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