Queer Rebels Rewriting Literary Traditions in Contemporary Spanish Novels
Queer Rebels is a study of gay narrative writings published in Spain at the turn of the 20th century. The book scrutinises the ways in which the literary production of contemporary Spanish gay authors – José Luis de Juan, Luis G. Martín, Juan Gil-Albert, Juan Goytisolo, Eduardo Mendicutti, Luis Antonio de Villena and Álvaro Pombo – engages with homophobic and homophile discourses, as well as with the vernacular and international literary legacy.
The first part revolves around the metaphor of a rebellious scribe who queers literary tradition by clandestinely weaving changes into copies of the books he makes. This subversive writing act, named ‘Mazuf’s gesture’ after the protagonist of José Luis de Juan’s This Breathing World (1999), is examined in four highly intertextual works by other writers.
The second part of the book explores Luis Antonio de Villena and Álvaro Pombo, who in their different ways seek to coin their own definitions of homosexual experience in opposition both to the homophobic discourses of the past and to the homonormative regimes of the commercialised and trivialised gay culture of today. In their novels, ‘Mazuf’s gesture’ involves playing a sophisticated queer game with readers and their expectations.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, INTRODUCTION, CHAPTER ONE. QUEERS AND LITERATURE: THE SPANISH CONTEXT, CHAPTER TWO. REWRITING FOREIGN TRADITIONS, CHAPTER THREE. REWRITING THE NATIONAL TRADITION, CHAPTER FOUR. AGAINST CULTURE: HOMOSEXUALITY AND COUNTER-CULTURE IN LUIS ANTONIO DE VILLENA, CHAPTER FIVE. AGAINST NATURE: HOMOSEXUALITY AND POSTMODERNITY IN ÁLVARO POMBO, CONCLUSION, WORKS CITED, INDEX
"An enthralling enquiry into queer canonicity through the lens of the writer-as-scribe. Queer Rebels is compulsory reading for anyone interested in Spanish gay writing."
Alfredo Martínez Expósito, University of Melbourne
"Queer Rebels by Łukasz Smuga is an exciting and accurate portrayal of gay literature in Spain between Franco’s death and the same-sex partnership laws. With a retrospective on Lorca, the author combines new theses and insights on authors such as Juan Goytisolo, Juan Gil-Albert, Eduardo Mendicutti, Álvaro Pombo or Luisgé Martín."
Dieter Ingenschay, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
"A strong, detailed contribution to queer discourses in post-Franco Spanish cultural landscape. Dr Smuga’s work is an investigation on key tropes in Spanish homosexual writing in the work of canonical authors."
Alberto Mira, Oxford Brookes University
"While acknowledging the work of his predecessors, Smuga engages in subtle polemics and speaks in his own voice in every chapter. That beautifully modulated voice, coupled with erudition and sense of composition, makes reading Queer Rebels particularly rewarding."
Dominika Ferens, Uniwersytet Wrocławski