From the margin and into the mainstream : assimilative elements of the contemporary gay Mexican novel (1980-2000)

Prinkey, Troy James, Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Shaw, Donald L., Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia
Weber, Alison, Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, University of Virginia

The three authors treated in this dissertation all indicate a moving away from a narration that uses shock and explicitness as a tool for social awareness, and toward a more understated approach in order to communicate similar truths in a more artistic fashion with less grand-standing and with a diminished emphasis on sexuality as it pertains specifically to a same-sex context. Three chapters will illustrate this point in detail in various fields of inguiry.

In chapter one, the work of Luis Zapata, whose opus spans more than twenty years, will be examined. Specifically, the moments in Adonis García: el vampiro de la colonia Roma, En jirones and Siete noches junto al mar that deal with sex will show how these novels will progressively emphasize sexuality and gender roles rather than mere sex and eroticism.

Chapter two considers the kind of thematic mitigation seen in Zapata's novels in José Joaquín Blanco's Las púberes canéforas and Mátame y verás. In Blanco's case, the focus is not on sex/eroticism and sexuality, but rather on homophobia. Blanco underscores how homophobia and violence are intertwined, and argues that understanding and tolerance are ways to combat homophobia and violence, especially, but certainly not exclusively, as it relates to the homosexual.

Chapter three deals with Mario Bellatin's highly allegorical, though realistic novels, Salón de belleza and Poeta Ciego. Bellatin's writing falls into the camp of the later novels of Zapata and Blanco (Siete noches junto al mar and Mátame y verás, specifically). This is to say that Bellatin's texts are already thematically reticent, but the difference between his novel and those of Zapata and Blanco lies in innovation in the form of allegory. The AIDS epidemic is the focus of Salón de belleza, but by altogether eliminating the word "AIDS", we are made to think more deeply about sickness in general and the formation of stigma associated with it. In Bellatin's subsequent Poeta Ciego, society's formation of stigma in general displaces any significant discussion of AIDS, thereby continuing the trajectory of increasing thematic reserve.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:35:58.

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