Revolución social sin revolución sexual. Alternativas a la masculinización del poder en "Por debajo del Agua" de Fernando Zamora

  • Mauricio Pulecio University of New Hampshire


Por debajo del agua is a novel by the Mexican writer Fernando Zamora. Published in 2002, the novel provides a singular narrative from crucial events of the Mexican Revolution, from early twentieth century. The novel’s main characters are a transgender, Hugo/Isabel, and a closeted homosexual, the Army Officer Pablo Aguirre. This paper proposes a novel’s interpretation aiming to make visible how heteronormativity became a value paradoxically reinforced after revolutionary times. Several social inequalities were reinstalled along with the emergence of a modern Mexican Nation. However, gender non-conformity is still easily obliterated either from dominant and critical narratives that construct contemporary Mexican identities. Thus, the essay proposes that “being underwater” is not only a powerful metaphor to title the novel. It is also a challenging way to rewrite the meanings attained to the Revolution in order to recognize that male-to-female subjects, as well as other abject individuals, were keenly involved in transformative uprisings pivotal for defining what is Mexico today. Applying concepts from theoreticians such as Althusser and Agamben, this article encourages alternative accounts of Mexicanity able to recognize the role played by non-heterosexual individuals in “stirring the waters” above/under which we dwell.

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