Frenchness: Boundary Figures and Figuring Boundaries in Alfonso Hernández-Catá’s El ángel de Sodoma

  • Luis Navarro-AyalaEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Globalization and Embodiment book series (PSGE)


Navarro-Ayala’s second chapter establishes Frenchness as part of the Hispano-American imaginary at the beginning of the twentieth century, as shown in Alfonso Hernández-Catá’s El ángel de Sodoma (1928). It draws attention to Yuri Lotman’s notion of semiospheric boundary and its paradoxical double-functionality to establish the main character as a boundary figure, since the main character is both inside and outside of national culture. Navarro-Ayala argues that the writer creates a spatial system which blurs the private and the public. Here, the public is private, and the private is public. With no privacy or space for othered bodies or marginalized sexualities in this Ibero-American nation, Navarro-Ayala’s argument refers to the dangerous contact with the Other, particularly the French, as homosexually threatening.


Boundary figure Effeminate male body Body Yuri lotman Semiosphere Paradoxical double-functionality Gender construction Hispano-American Alfonso Hernández-Catá El ángel de sodoma Nation-building Frenchness Paris France Cuba Hispano-Cuban Oscar wilde 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Norbert CollegeDe PereUSA

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