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Crossing through Chueca

Lesbian Literary Culture in Queer Madrid

Jill Robbins

Publication Year: 2011

In the past two decades the city of Madrid has been marked by pride, feminism, and globalization—but also by the vestiges of the machismo nurtured during the long years of the Franco dictatorship. Crossing through Chueca examines how lesbian literary culture fares in this mix from the end of the countercultural movement la movida madrileña in 1988 until the gay marriage march in 2005.

Jill Robbins traverses the various literary spaces of the city associated with queer culture, in particular the gay barrio of Chueca, revealing how it is a product of interrelations—a site crisscrossed by a multiplicity of subjects who constitute it as a queer space through the negotiation of their sexual, racial, gender, and class identities. Robbins recognizes Chueca as a political space as well, a refuge from homophobia. She also shows how the spatial and literary practices of Chueca relate to economic issues.

In examining how women’s sexual identities have become visible in and through the Chueca phenomenon, this work is a revealing example of transnational queer studies within the broader Western discussion on gender and sexuality.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv


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p. vii-vii

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Preface: Marching toward Marriage

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pp. ix-xiv

It was July 2005 and gay marriage had just been approved by the Spanish government. On the afternoon of my sixth Spanish Pride, I met my Guatemalan partner, Arturo Arias, and a group of our lesbian and bisexual friends for lunch in the pricey Madrid neighborhood of Salamanca, a conservative bastion on that year’s parade route. The parade ...

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1. A Brief History of Chueca and Madrid’s Queer Space

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pp. 1-14

Although Barcelona has arguably been more at the vanguard of LGBTQ culture and politics, the Spanish capital played a unique symbolic role following the death of right-wing dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, as the country sought first to distance itself from its recent past, and then to become an important actor in Western, and specifically ...

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2. Lesbian Literary Identities in the Madrid Book Business

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pp. 15-31

The preceding chapter offered a brief history of the relationships between a variety of identities and Madrid’s urban space, particularly from the end of Francoism through the consolidation of Chueca as the emblem of gay/lesbian political and economic power in the capital. It also discussed how the conception of queer sites during the 1980s in ...

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3. The New Safita: Andalusia and the Phallic Woman in Plumas de España

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pp. 33-56

The debates surrounding the literariness of Egales’s “Salir del armario” series touched on several questions about the gendered nature of cultural and sexual politics in Spain in a globalized age. The writer Luis Antonio de Villena, for example, criticized the series, and the Berkana bookstore itself, in an interview with the late Leopoldo Alas in the latter’s ...

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4. Lesbian-Themed Best Sellers and the Politics of Acceptance

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pp. 57-80

In chapter 2 I addressed the impact on the Spanish publishing business of globalization and the increasingly neoliberal values of Spanish citizens, arguably results of the nation’s integration into, first, the European Economic Community (1986) and then the European Union (1993). I argued that these factors shifted control of publication from local, intellectual ...

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5. Dislocations: Identity and Communication in Cenicienta en Chueca

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pp. 81-99

This chapter examines the literary representation of the forces of globalization and the neocolonial relations between Latin America, Spain, and the European Union via communication technologies. Cenicienta en Chueca (Cinderella in Chueca), a collection of short stories by Argentine exile María Felicitas Jaime published by Odisea in 2003, especially lends ...

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6. Popular Lesbian Fiction: Romance, Literature, and Legislation

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pp. 101-115

In the early 2000s, Spain’s LGBTQ community activists—including those involved in the gay/lesbian book industry—campaigned for what they described as equality before the law, in the form of gay/lesbian marriage and adoption legislation. Several autonomous communities (Catalunya, Valencia, Navarre, and Aragon) had already approved measures ...

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Conclusion: Toward Lesbian Visibility

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pp. 117-124

This book has explored the various constitutions of lesbian literary identities within the construction of the geographic and symbolic space of Chueca from the end of the movida in the late 1980s until the Pride celebration of gay/lesbian marriage in 2005. I have argued that the changes in the barrio have responded to political and economic processes ...

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pp. 125-126

This book is the product of years of dialogue not only with a variety of written texts, but also, and most importantly, with colleagues, friends, family, activists, and artists. First, and above all, I thank Arturo Arias, my muso, my critic, my ally, my love, and my infallible encyclopedia. With Arturo, all is ...


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pp. 127-151


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pp. 153-165


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pp. 167-176

E-ISBN-13: 9780816676828
E-ISBN-10: 0816676828
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816669905

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2011