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REFRACTIONS OF QUEER IBERIA: POST-FRANCOIST PENINSULAR CAMP Leora Lev Bridgewater State College I'd like to sketch some of the multitudinous pathways opened by Queer Iberh for twenty-first-century Spanish Studies, and the tapestried resonances between issues raised by this brilliant and pioneering scholarly enterprise and that of contemporary writers, visual artists and cultural critics who also queer Iberia in ways that are both contemporary and uncannily familiar. I hope to gesture toward some ofthe fruitful , and perhaps surprising, consonances between Queer Iberia's project of exposing a rigid Inquisitional logic which, paradoxically, both underwrites medieval and Renaissance Iberian identities (linguistic, cultural , ethnic, theological, gendered, sexed, etc.) and is undermined by the latter; and the impetus of queer post-Francoist literary and visual artists who allude to Inquisitional logic as a means of linking it to Francoist thinking. Contemporary figures such as Lluis Fernandez, Terenci Moix, Carlos Varo, Juan Goytisolo, Miss Shanghai Lily and Pedro Almodovar weave connections between dark hegemonic moments in Spanish history as a means of envisioning new identities, social structures and political possibilities that depart from the dichotomized hierarchies ofcultural value encoded within Inquisitional logic and its institutional laws. These writers and filmmakers create an idiosyncratic camp aesthetic that probes, unsettles and reconstructs regional, national, cultural and gender histories within a post-Francoist Spain. This aesthetic performs a celebratory dismantling of the Inquisitional and Francoist logic that has underwritten official histories ofabsolutism, surveillance and self-other ontologies that privilege a selfwho is castellano, Catholic , heterosexual and male over a series of tainted "others": catalán, Semitic, homosexual, female, Latin American. I do not mean to suggest La corónica 30.1 (Fall, 2001): 239-43 240ForumLa corónica 30.1, 2001 that Inquisitional hegemonies can be conflated with their fascist counterparts , or that twentieth-century militaristic fascism can be mapped wholesale onto the oppression of Inquisitional institution and law, or that the Francoist firing squad is reducible to the auto-da-fé. However, these writers do unveil and identify consonances between Francoist fascism (and the ideological agenda that it set forth as a means ofcontrolling Spanish social-political configurations during the dictadura) and an unyielding Inquisitional logic that similarly informed social mores, law and culture during the period encompassed by Queer Iberh. Complementarity, these authors position clandestine or marginalized histories center stage and hypothesize a post-Francoist future of permeable identities shifting toward, to borrow from Michael Warner, a productively queer planet. They do so by elaborating a camp aesthetic that reconstitutes suppressed histories, and that both converges with and diverges from its Anglo-American counterpart. They often enlist transvestism and transsexualism as poetic tropes to redress Inquisitional ideologies in a camp performance that slips from the giddy to a grand guignol carnage sharing affinities with the grotesque of Velazquez, Quevedo, Goya, Dalí and Buñuel. The frothy fun of crossdressing is cut with a strychnine dose ofviolence, ofbodily and textual dismemberment and disfigurement. The interstitial liberatory moments , while remaining peculiar to a contemporary post-Francoist moment, are also resonant with the queer spaces that, as Queer Iberia essayists have shown, marginal Iberians carved for themselves even amidst an existence sketched in the grey contours of Inquisitional law. I'll limit myself to looking at Carlos Varo's 1987 novel Rosa mystica, whose queering operations, like those of the aforementioned writers, are both eerily and felicitously resonant with those ofthe essays in Queer Iberh. Rosa mystica deploys an elaborate aesthetic to foreground the constructedness of all identities naturalized as immutable and divinely sponsored by Peninsular theological and cultural mythologies. Varo destabilizes identities fixed in dichotomous pairs by fascist or neocolonialist thinking: holiness and blasphemy; masculinity and femininity ; homosexuality and heterosexuality; limpieza de sangre and Semitic sangre manchada; Peninsular and Latin American. Varo's destruction of the fascist boundaries that separate these categories yields new possibilities for post-Francoist and transnational subjectivities and identities . The latter are emblematized by the two protagonists oíRosa mystica: the eponymous fin de siglo Spanish hermaphrodite turned beautiful, mysterious, founder-in-drag of a convent for wayward women, and Divina, a.puertorriqueño street tough named "Juniol" who is transmuted Return to Queer Iberia241 into Divina, an international transsexual...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 239-243
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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