em memória de Pedro Lemebel Janeiro 29, 2015Posted by paulo jorge vieira in activismo.
Tags: activismo, América Latina, literatura, Pedro Lemebel, Preciado
Pedro Lemebel cruzou-se na minha vida numa conversa em Paris. A partir dessa provocação de um investigador chileno descobri as suas deliciosas crónicas, a sua mordaz e potente linguagem, e o seu retrato cru e cruel de uma Santiago outra, de uma cidade esquecida nos discursos hegemónicos. Quando soube da sua morte publiquei aqui um pequeno texto crónica seu.
Hoje queria partilhar convosco: uma conferencia (e homenagem) de Juan Pablo Suhterland durante o V Coloquio Internacional sobre Masculinidades que se realizou em Santiago do Chile (entre 14 e 16 de Janeiro), Publico ainda um pequeno texto de Paul B. Preciado – aka Beatriz Preciado – (com links para as diferentes versões do texto). Por fim parte do texto publicado na New Yorker intitulado “A Surreal End for a Unforgettable Queen: Pedro Lemebel, 1652-2015” escrito por Garth Greenwell.
The novel suggests, again and again, that locas and revolutionaries occupy parallel positions in Pinochet’s Chile—a point made clear not least by Lemebel’s version of Pinochet himself, who is the focus of the novel’s second narrative strand. Hilariously henpecked by his wife—their constant squabbles are the inverse of Carlos and the Queen’s camp romance—the dictator is almost entirely passive, an old man losing his grip on power. His single effective act is as meaningless as it is cruel: when he finds an effeminate young soldier serving at his weekend retreat, Pinochet orders that the man be humiliated and expelled from the army. “Don’t you know those perverts are as bad as Communists,” he says, putting plainly an equation that the novel has hinted at more playfully throughout. Shortly afterward, Pinochet huddles on the floor of his car, covered in his own excrement, after an assassination attempt carried out by Carlos’s group.
The language of queer humiliation—both by others and by one’s self—is central to Lemebel’s poetics, just as it is central to a certain strain of queer culture. The Queen of the Corner is repeatedly called a “faggot,” a “sissy queer,” a “silly bird,” “a ridiculous old queen.” She never explicitly questions the machismo that underlies her devotion to Carlos, whom she characterizes as a “real man … a stud who smells of sweaty balls and armpits and turns you around and inside out.” These aspects of Lemebel’s work are sometimes difficult to read, because they transgress so flagrantly the standards of good taste in the age of gay marriage.
But just as Lemebel’s language of humiliation is set against people of irreducible dignity (the locas of “Loba Lamar” form a community of self-sacrifice and caretaking; the Queen will prove at least as good a revolutionary as her Carlos), so too does Carlos’s machismo becomes something different over time—a machismo that can speak the fairy language of drag queens. By the novel’s end, he has given himself over almost completely to the Queen’s sentimental self-dramatizing: “My Queen, he thought, my inevitable Queen, my unforgettable Queen. My impossible Queen, he said softly, looking at her profile tinged with a beautiful blue-green tint from the reflection of the sea.”
When Lemebel’s characters call themselves and each other faggots and sissies, they perform their extravagant queerness for each other, heedless of a broader culture that would be more comfortable, and would allow them greater comforts, if they were better behaved, which is to say less visible. The same is true of Lemebel’s art: in celebrating melodrama, kitsch, extravagance, and vulgarity of all kinds, he reaffirmed the commitment he made in the title of his early “Manifesto.” In his crónicas, his performances, and his single, great novel, he speaks brilliantly for a difference that refuses to disappear.