How Queer is Queer? Burroughs’ Novella through Rose-Tinted Glasses


Using tools from Cultural Studies, Linguistics and Translation Studies, and following Keith Harvey´s (2000) methodology in the analysis of gay camp in translation, this paper studies William Burroughs’ novella Queer (written in 1953, published in 1985, and translated into Spanish in 2013). Considering the historical differences in 1953, 1985 and 2013 to frame the context of production, the article ponders on the two literary systems which the work entered to discuss its reception. Additionally, while at times Burroughs’ novella steps away from traditional «gay slang» (Penelope and Wolfe 1979), which Burroughs reportedly despised, some other times it sinks deep into «camp»: In Marcial Souto’s translation, «butch» and «camp» blend while some of the sexual power of the source is lost in translation. Tapping into Souto’s translation, we may see how far (or near) queer studies and queer translation have gone in the last sixty years.
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Badenes, G. (2017). How Queer is Queer? Burroughs’ Novella through Rose-Tinted Glasses. CLINA Revista Interdisciplinaria De Traducción Interpretación Y Comunicación Intercultural, 3(1), 99–115.


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