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Gay Cuban Nation

With Gay Cuban Nation, Emilio Bejel looks at Cuba’s markedly homoerotic culture through writings about homosexuality, placing them in the social and political contexts that led up to the Cuban Revolution. By reading against the grain of a wide variety of novels, short stories, autobiographies, newspaper articles, and films, Bejel maps out a fascinating argument about the way in which different attitudes toward power and nationalism struggle for an authoritative stance on homosexual issues. Through close readings of writers such as José Martí, Alfonso Hernández-Catá, Carlos Montenegro, José Lezama Lima, Leonardo Padura Fuentes, and Reinaldo Arenas, whose heartbreaking autobiography, Before Night Falls, has enjoyed renewed popularity, Gay Cuban Nation shows that the category of homosexuality is always lurking, ghostlike, in the shadows of nationalist discourse. The book stakes out Cuba’s sexual battlefield, and will challenge the homophobia of both Castro’s revolutionaries and Cuban exiles in the States.

288 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2001

Gender and Sexuality

History: Latin American History

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

Reviews

“Bejel persuasively asserts that the obsessive attempt to marginalize homosexuality with respect to Cuban nationalism has the paradoxical effect of making it central, through negation, to Cuban national consciousness. . . . The student of Latin American literature will find in <I>Gay Cuban Nation<I> an erudite and comprehensive introduction to the treatment of a central but problematical theme in Cuban history and society.”

Edward J. Tejirian | Archives of Sexual Behavior

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
PART I—THE BUILDING OF A CONDEMNATION
ONE An Apostolic Paradox
Colonizing the Effeminate Man
The Specter of the Manly Woman
TWO The Positivist Production of the Pederast
PART II—NEW SPACES AND NEW SUBJECTIVITIES
THREE The Feminist, the Garzona, and the Gay Man
Life Decrees
In the Night of the World
FOUR Another Positivist (Trans)Formation
FIVE A Prison-House of Womanless Men
PART III—REVOLUTIONARY NORMATIVITIES AND THEIR EFFECTS
SIX Creative Redemption in a Providential Teleology
SEVEN A Queer Response to Postmodern Simulation
EIGHT The (Auto)Biography of a Furious Dissident
NINE Attempting a Difficult Rectification
TEN (Un)Veiling Machismo
The Masks of Máscaras
The Search for an Elided Voice
Writing Lesbian Desire
ELEVEN Gender Trouble in the Land of the Butterflies
TWELVE Crossing Gender and National Boundaries
Dissemination, Consumerism, and New Stereotypes
Nostalgia for the New Home
An Aesthetics of Destabilization
Bibliography
Index

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