• Queer World-Building and the Spanish Transition: A Cartography of Dissidence and Visibility in Eduardo Mendicutti's "Una mala noche la tiene cualquiera"

    Megan Cytron (see profile)
    DH2020, Digital Humanists
    Digital humanities, Spanish literature, Spain, Text Encoding Initiative
    Item Type:
    Digital mapping, Spain, Queer studies, Historical memory in post-Franco Spain, Contemporary Spain, TEI, Mapping, Gender
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    “Toward a Queer Digital Humanities” by Ruberg, Boyd, and Howe challenges digital humanists and other scholar-teachers to view “queer subjecthood, queer desire, and queer world-building as guideposts” (108). This paper engages with these ideas in the context of the Spanish transition to democracy and the concomitant explosion of urban queer culture—in particular as it manifests in the novel "Anyone Can Have a Bad Night" by Eduardo Mendicutti (1982), a world of cabarets by night and a burgeoning culture of protest and dissidence by day. Dismissed by many critics as camp, the novel recounts the events of the Spanish coup d'état on February 23, 1981 from the perspective of a trans woman whose life and livelihood hangs in the balance. La Madelón feels the politics of the "Transición" to democracy viscerally—historical events course through her body and mind as she recalls key moments from her life.    The interplay of historical memory and Spain's "pact of forgetting" (pacto del olvido, legislated in the Spanish 1977 Amnesty Law) is mirrored in La Madelón's journey from marginalization to protagonism through art, activism, and an empowering relationship with a global queer liberation movement. Tinged with a baroque sensibility and an unapologetic subjective historical narrative, the novel broke new ground, queering the city’s public and private space while recontextualizing one of Spain’s most repressive and uncertain moments. This mapping project captures the intersectional and spatial relevance of the novel—which engages deeply with the geographical implications of class, gender, sexuality, regional identity, and migratory shifts. Through a combination of distant and close (TEI) readings of a corpus of 19th- and 20th-century novels, I cartographically render where and how this novel intersects with other works, as it transforms the urban and literary landscape of Madrid through a radical act of queer world-building with links to a broader global context.
    More info: http://www.readingmadrid.com Digital map: http://www.readingmadrid.com:3838/mnt/ Twitter: @readingmadrid and @megancytron Part of the DH2020 Global Renderings in the Queer Digital Humanities Panel: Tully Barnett, Flinders University, South Australia Megan Cytron, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain Tyne Daile Sumner, University of Melbourne, Victoria Rahul K Gairola, Murdoch University/ Asia Research Centre, Western Australia
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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