Abstract

This article addresses the intersection of race and sexuality in Gilberto Freyre's Casa-grande e senzala and Sobrados e mucambos. After an introduction that outlines how sexuality pervades the entire body politic in these works, I proceed to show the fluid and porous nature of the border between homo- and heterosexuality in Freyre. I then go on to discuss Freyre's asymmetric representation of interracial sexual relations. Whereas the contact between white landowners and black or mestiza women is extensively described as the very model of national unity, the image of the black man with a white woman has a far more ambiguous and problematic status in the text. I study Freyre's references to that image as instances of the balance of antagonisms recently identified by Freyrean scholarship as the major rhetorical device of his text. I conclude by suggesting that this unspeakable scene offers an entryway into the unconscious of Freyre's trilogy on patriarchal Brazil.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9957
Print ISSN
0024-7413
Pages
pp. 168-186
Launched on MUSE
2012-08-16
Open Access
No
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