Tags: NEA | taxpayer money | heterosexual privilege | queer resilience

Feds Shell Out $12K to Translate Spanish Novel on 'Heterosexual Privilege'

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 01:31 PM

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is spending $12,500 of taxpayer money to fund a translation from Spanish into English of a novel dealing with "homophobia" and "heterosexual privilege and queer resilience."

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the 2005 novel by Costa Rican author Uriel Quesada, "El Gato de si Mismo" or "The Cat Himself" was given the grant because of the subject matter.

The grant says of the book: "One of the few Spanish-language novels that addresses homophobia, Quesada's book examines heterosexual privilege and queer resilience in 21st Century Latin America through allusions to literary history and Hispanic Catholic culture."

The grant, part of NEA's recent $250,000 in translation grants, will go to Amanda Powell, a University of Oregon poet and translator and director of Mundo a Mundo/World to World, a translation workshop in Queretaro, Mexico.

Powell, the Feminist Press notes, met "Electa Arenal on an elevator en route to a meeting of Feministas Unidas of the Modern Language Association. Their thirty-plus year collaboration, still going strong, set off a change in the study of 'golden age' Spanish and Latin American literature by presenting 'missing' women writers presumed nonexistent."

She also has worked as an interpreter at a "feminist women's health clinic."

Powell wrote on her website: "This is a breakthrough work in Latin American fiction. With stylistic virtuosity, Quesada here skewers social hypocrisy, affirms family love, presents a straightforwardly queer approach to sexuality, and provides romping entertainment. Few Spanish-language novels so directly address the damage to self — and to society — inflicted by homophobia.

"At the same time, this book charms with a narrative that darts between elements of science fiction, fantasy and the uncanny, historical romance, gothic, cinema and detective fiction.

"People of all orientations have to make sense of our own modes of sexuality and sociality, often in alienating if not hostile environments."

A translation of the Amazon listing for the book states: "Uriel Quesada's narrative could be defined as written 'from the closet,' understood as a place of identity, law enforcement, mental and linguistic space."

The recommended grants are to 16 translators to translate books from 15 countries and 13 languages including Haitian Creole, Macedonian and Bulgarian, Publishers Weekly states.

Quesada, who serves as director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Spanish professor at Loyola University, writes works that "emphasize displacement, exile and queering themes," Powell's website notes.

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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is spending $12,500 of taxpayer money to fund a translation from Spanish into English of a novel dealing with "homophobia" and "heterosexual privilege and queer resilience."
NEA, taxpayer money, heterosexual privilege, queer resilience
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2015-31-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 01:31 PM
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