Santa Teresa out of the closet

Queer intertextuality and the Latin American performance in Roberto Bolaño’s ‘Amalfitano cycle’




Performativity; Latin American Identity; Roberto Bolaño; Intertextuality; Latin Queer.


Amongst many skeletons buried in Sonora’s desert, the sexually dissident one is the least predictable. Nevertheless, in the Mexican parts of Bolaño’s 2666, the reader witnesses an authentic flourish of queer allusions, placed in decidedly strategic moments, always referring to the tragicomic questioning of the Latin American clichés crystallized in the most famous literary series of the Sixties and the Seventies. The queer, indeed, represents one of the possible variations of that characteristic lumpenism that imposes a necessary downgrade on Bolaño’s characters, making them reach a limit state where every cultural alibi loses consistency.

In the posthumous novel that retrospectively reveals some of the secret reasons for his behavior in 2666Los sinsabores del verdadero policía–, Amalfitano is discovered by his young gay lover “as a continent is discovered”. Following the indication of this enlightening simile, I will study the paths through which Bolaño leads one of his most authorized aliases on a visit to the museum of static artifacts of Latin American performativity, denuding them of its characteristic pomposity with the help of a disruptively sharp queer eye.

Author Biography

Gabriele Bizzarri, Università di Padova

Professore associato Letteratura spagnola

Università di Padova




How to Cite

Bizzarri, G. (2020). Santa Teresa out of the closet: Queer intertextuality and the Latin American performance in Roberto Bolaño’s ‘Amalfitano cycle’. Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies, 3(1), 401–418.