Laws of Desire
Laws of Desire by Paul J. Smith
Homosexuality has been treated only in a fragmentary way in Hispanic Studies, and this is the first full-length study of the subject in contemporary Spanish writing and film. Introducing the book with a brief account of some medical, legal, and polemical texts, Paul Julian Smith, an established authority on Hispanic Studies, charts the varying representations of the feminist or gay "self" in autobiographical texts by Chacel, Goytisolo, and Terenci Moixs. He goes on to offer radically new readings of trilogies by Goytisolo and Tusquets, the major novelists of homosexual desire in Spain, in the light of influential French theorists Hocquenghem and Wittig. Finally, Smith draws on archival research at the Filmoteca Nacional to offer a broadly historical account of Eloy de la Iglesia and Pedro Almod(o')var, the two major gay auteurs of post-Franco film. Particular attention is paid to their use of cinematic form, and the book ends with an analysis of Almod(o')var's ,tame! ("Tie me up! Tie me down!)--a film which exemplifies the main argument of the book: that homosexuality is no unitary phenomenon, but rather a historical and libidinal construct inevitably inflected by gender, class, and regional identity.