• A Queer Chicana/o Ethics of Representation: Rasquache Camp in the Novels of Rechy and Luna Lemus

    Jason A. Bartles (see profile)
    American literature, Literature and society, Narration (Rhetoric)
    Item Type:
    Camp, failure, Felicia Luna Lemus, John Rechy, Rasquache, Chicana/o and Latina/o literature, Literature and community, Narrative, Queer and gender studies
    Permanent URL:
    This essay places into dialogue two queer Chicana/o novels, John Rechy’s City of Night (1963) and Felicia Luna Lemus’s Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties (2003), in order to explore their common aesthetic sensibility. This sensibility is what I call rasquache camp, a stance that arises from the complex entanglement of rasquachismo’s utilitarian aspects of making do and the funky irreverence of camp, without resulting in a dialectical sublation between the two. This essay intervenes in the recent debates on the appropriateness of using rasquachismo as a tool for studying (queer) Chicana/o cultural productions. Informed by rasquache camp, I contend that these two novels develop and employ an ethics of representing marginalized queer and Chicana/o subjects who face insurmountable adversity by overturning the paradigms of morality and literary value, not from idealized, theoretical stances but by making use of imperfect, often cobbled-together solutions. As the future-oriented projects of these novels come to a close, both texts consciously fail to achieve their goals, but this failure allows the future to remain open to new and better aesthetic and ethical interventions by others
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
    All Rights Reserved
    Share this:


    Item Name: pdf bartles-queer-chicano-ethics.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 462