Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Spatializing Gender/Gendering Spaces in Terenci Moix's Sadístic, esperpèntic i àdhuc metafísic

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2007), 84, (3), 385–402.

Abstract

Sadístic, esperpèntic i àdhuc metafísic (1976) highlights three major spaces in Joan Manuel's upbringing: his body, bedroom (and, by extension, other spaces in Barcelona city), and the bodies of his lovers. While the narrator makes no direct connections between these spaces, the replication of spatial practices and representations within each of them establishes parallels in the protagonist's development. We see a view of the protagonist's developmental spaces as heterotopias, that is, 'other spaces' that explain or seek to justify the otherness of his sexuality or gender. While the effect of heterotopias, as Foucault suggests, is to solidify our illusions of reality by creating spaces where the ordinary is overturned, in Sadístic, a reverse process happens: by engaging in unusual and transgressive activities, the protagonist converts bodies and normal everyday spaces into heterotopias.

En Sadístic, esperpèntic i àdhuc metafísic (1976), se enfatizan tres espacios claves en el desarrollo de Joan Manuel: su cuerpo, el dormitorio (y, por extensión otros espacios de la ciudad de Barcelona), y los cuerpos de sus amantes. Aunque el narrador no establece conexiones directas entre estos espacios, la reproducción de prácticas y representaciones espaciales en cada uno de ellos crea paralelos en el desarrollo del protagonista. Se nos presenta una perspectiva heterotópica de los espacios en que se desarrolla el protagonista, es decir, espacios vistos como 'otro' que explican o intentan justificar la otredad de la sexualidad o género del protagonista. Aunque el efecto de las heterotopias, según Foucault, es reforzar la ilusión de realidad mediante la creación de espacios donde se invierte lo cuotidiano, en Sadístic presenciamos un proceso invertido: mediante la práctica de actividades inusuales y transgresoras, el protagonista convierte los cuerpos y sus espacios adyacentes en heterotopias

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Hughes, Arthur