“Letting Go of What You Love”: Literature, Popular Culture, and Chicano Heartache

  • Daniel T. Contreras


Drawing on the previous discussion of camp and its connection to both the comic and the sentimental, I would like to move the discussion to texts that deal more specifically with the borderlands of race and sexuality. Beginning with a short story, “Bien Pretty,” from Sandra Cisneros’ collection,Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, I set the ground-work for a discussion on the everyday uses of popular culture and sentimentality and their relationship to a racialized Chicana/o sexuality. From this, the focus of the chapter moves to Arturo Islas’ novel Migrant Souls, which plays with the sentimental and the historical while coding the homosexuality present throughout the text. The goal of this chapter is to foreground the relationship between what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick in The Epistemology of the Closet describes as the “spectacle of the closet” and questions of race and culture.


Popular Culture Soap Opera Love Story Cultural Authenticity Mexican Revolution 
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© Daniel T. Contreras 2005

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  • Daniel T. Contreras

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