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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

'Improper landscapes of desire: Alternative routes towards (un)satisfaction in the Narrative of Ena Lucía Portela'

26 March 2019

Time: 6:00 - 7:30pm
Speaker: Sara Torres
Venue: Laws 3.06

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This paper will look at how Cuban contemporary narrator Ena Lucía Portela constructs her characters as sexual beings who are open to unpredictable, creative organizations of desire. Following Freud’s understanding of polymorphous perversity as standing at the core of human sexuality, it can be inferred that, paradoxically, “perversion” is the “starting point” of human sexuality, and not its deviation. The human, therefore, is born perverse and then becomes “normal” through adaptation to the norms and logics of his/her environment (Nobus 2006:9). This paper will discuss how Portela’s writing shows that when the heterosexual-ableist fantasy fails to provide shelter and satisfaction for certain desiring subjects these still have the capacity to partially return to a polymorphous perverse disposition, where the images and scenarios of desire can be de-normalized and remade.

Sara Torres is currently working on her PhD thesis ‘The Lesbian Text: Fetish, Fantasy and Queer Becomings’, an interdisciplinary research project which analyses how desire is socially channeled into heterosexual narratives that organize life and give meaning to the world around us.

Sara is also a poet, with 3 published collections to her credit: La otra genealogía, Madrid: Torremozas, 2014 (Gloria Fuertes National Poetry Prize); Conjuros y cantos. Barcelona: Kriller71, 2016; and Phantasmagoria, Madrid: La Bella Varsovia, 2019. She completed her first novel, Vida mínima, during her time as artist in residence at the Fundación Antonio Gala, in Córdoba Spain (2015-16).