Antonio Roig's Kafkaesque Laughter: (Anti-)Oedipal Parody
in Todos los parques no son un paraíso

David Vilaseca

[1]The name of the ex-Carmelite priest Antonio Roig (Eivissa 1939) is by now inextricably linked in Spain to the controversy which, during the years of the Transition from Francoism to democracy (1975-1981), [1] followed the publication of his three autobiographical works, in which Roig came out as a gay man: Todos los parques no son un paraíso (memorias de un sacerdote) ("All parks are not a paradise [memoirs of a priest]") (1977); Variaciones sobre un tema de Orestes (diario, 1975-1977) ("Variations on a theme of Orestes [diary, 1975-1977]") (1978), and Vidente en rebeldía: Un proceso en la Iglesia ("Seer in rebellion: a trial in the church") (1979). [2] The period in which Roig wrote is one of landmark social and political changes in Spain [3] —which, as far as the configuration of homosexual experiences is concerned implied, as Alberto Mira points out, a transition of its own from the "homosexualidad forzosamente armarizada" ("compulsorily closeted homosexuality") we encounter during the dictatorship to the "identidad gay potencialmente pública" ("potentially public gay identity") expressed in the first person characteristic of the democratic era (Mira 416).

[2] Focusing on the author's experiences during a three-year period of soul-searching and self-imposed exile in London—including detailed accounts of his sexual adventures in the capital's parks and public toilets and the harrowing story of the narrator's doomed love-affair with an older bisexual man— Parques came out finalist at the 1976 edition of the prestigious Planeta literary prize and was subsequently published in Planeta's alternative series "Fábula". The personal consequences which the publication of the book had for its author, however, were quick to follow: in December 1977 Antonio Roig was suspended "a divinis" by the Archbishop of València on the grounds that his ideas on sexuality were incompatible with the catholic Church, and shortly thereafter he was defrocked and expelled from the Carmelite order to which he had belonged since the age of seventeen (Vidente 13-14).

[3] Notwithstanding the commercial success which, within a year of its publication, had catapulted Parques to its seventh printing, Roig's book of memoirs elicited a lukewarm response from Spanish gay readers. As repeatedly noted in Variaciones and Vidente [4] the author had hoped that his coming out narrative would provide a point of identification and give voice to a homosexual community which, at that point in Spain, was the object (in his own words) of a "terrible discrimination" (Vidente 136). Thus, Roig insists on the social and political significance of his autobiography, noting for instance: "Con mi libro he prestado voz a unos hombres que no tienen voz" (Vidente 52) ("With my book I have lent a voice to men who do no not have a voice"). And then: "Muchas veces he pensado que si alguien hubiese escrito un libro semejante y yo hubiese tenido la fortuna de leerlo, mi vida hubiese sido distinta […]" ("Variaciones 107) ("I have thought many times that if somebody had written a similar book and I had had the good fortune of reading it, my life would have been different […].")

[4] Roig soon realizes, however, that such aspirations are met with scepticism by members of his own community. As is made painfully clear to him at a 1978 meeting with the gay collective in València reported in Vidente, Roig's tame pleas for homosexual "acceptance" and "equality" in Parques, and his repeated criticisms of typically "closeted" homosexual practices such as those which can take place anonymously in parks, cinemas and public toilets, are interpreted by those he had hoped to represent as misguided and exaggerated—ultimately, as proof of the fact that the Carmelite's discourse, for all its good intentions, is still hopelessly indebted to a Christian ideology for which homosexuality must constantly seek justification and approval from the dominant order. As a nameless speaker in that meeting put it to him: "Tratando de conseguir que [la Iglesia] nos acepte no nos haces ningún servicio. Aunque nos aceptase, ya sería demasiado tarde" (Vidente 217) ("In trying to get [the Church] to accept us, you are not doing us any favours. Even if it accepted us, it would already be too late"). And then, referring to Roig's stance against gay sex in public places: "Exageras en la importancia que das a ese tipo de desahogos. Tu sentimiento de culpabilidad es una reliquia de tu pasado clerical […]. Muchos homosexuales encuentran esas aventuras llenas de alicientes" (218) ("You give an exaggerated importance to such activities. Your feelings of guilt are a relic from your clerical past […]. Many homosexuals find such adventures full of incentives").

[5] The ambivalent response of some contemporary gay readers of Parques as reported in Vidente is analogous to what is the general consensus among present-day gay-identified critics about the significance of Roig's work within a still incipient gay Spanish autobiographical "canon". The emergence in the late 1980s of lesbian and gay/queer studies as a specific discipline in the humanities, and in particular within Hispanic Studies, [5] provides us at present with a much more sophisticated set of theoretical tools with which to tackle the issues at stake here, yet in its essence the criticism which Roig faced in Vidente parallels that which contemporary critics make of his work. In his pioneering monograph on Spanish gay autobiography The Hispanic Homograph (1997), for instance, Robert R. Ellis notes that although Roig "sets as his goal the affirmation of a positive gay identity, he ultimately reiterates the most heterosexist stereotypes of gay male sexuality" (27), thus calling attention, just as the author's earlier detractors did, to the affinities which, at a symbolic and structural level, appear to link Roig's writings to the very homophobic ideology they wished to oppose. According to Ellis, Roig's attempts at articulating a gay self ultimately failed "because the voice of the heterosexual other had anchored itself primarily within him, defining him in alterity and relentlessly ventriloquizing his own voice." Hence, Roig's writings are considered "heterobiographical" in that they "simply transcribe […] the gay life as dictated to the homosexual life writer by the heterosexual other" (Ellis 37).

[6] Along a similar vein, in his monumental cultural history of homosexuality in twentieth century Spain, De Sodoma a Chueca (2004), Mira recognises that Roig's work—along with that of other writers such as Alberto Cardín—aimed at establishing an unequivocal homosexual discourse during the Spanish Transition (460-465). Drawing on a paradigm first established by Jonathan Dollimore (Sexual Dissidence 3-18), Mira relates Roig to a confessional, essentialist tradition of homosexual writers whose most clear exponent would be André Gide (in opposition to a camp, anti-essentialist tradition represented by Wilde and his followers). Such an alliance, however, is also responsible for the main shortcomings in Roig's work, which Mira describes as guilt-ridden (460), solipsistic, dependent on homophobic discourses, and lacking in historical conscience (464). "En su escritura", Mira notes, "Roig se sitúa fuera de cualquier referente que remita a una identidad articulada socialmente: es un homosexual solipsista que articula su discurso entorno a […] tradiciones homófobas que se revelarán como inadecuadas; su homosexualidad parece situarse fuera de la Historia" (464) ("In his writing, Roig positions himself outside any referent which might link him to a socially-defined identity: he is a solipsistic homosexual who articulates his discourse around […] homophobic traditions which will reveal themselves inappropriate; his homosexuality seems to be placed outside History").

[7] It will be one of my main contentions in this article that those contemporary gay readers who, as reported in Videntes, accused Roig of indirectly colluding with Christian beliefs on homosexuality as well as present-day critics who likewise have focused on the "heterobiographical" nature of Roig's autobiography have missed the crucial point about the author. In their monograph on Kafka, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature (1975), Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari successfully demonstrated how a whole tradition of critics intent on extracting facile psychoanalytical conclusions from the abundant Oedipal motifs found in Kafka's oeuvre failed to see what is most interesting and relevant in it: the fact that, beneath a guilt-ridden, Oedipalized surface, we find in Kafka a deeply subversive writer, one who, through an a-signifying, "minor" use of language, engages in a playful critique not only of the structures of Oedipalisation, but also of those upon which humanist notions of being and identity are founded. "[P]eople treat [Kafka] as a writer of intimacy, finding a refuge in literature, as an author of […] guilt, of an intimate misfortune" Deleuze and Guattari point out, "[yet Kafka himself] held out that interpretation in order to anticipate the trap through his humour. There is a Kafka laughter, a very joyous laughter […] He is an author that laughs with a profound joy, a joie de vivre […]" (41).

[8] Relying on Roig's avowed admiration for the author of "The Metamorphosis" (1915) (see Variaciones 33-34), it is this image of a "laughing" Kafka—of a Kafka who, against his critics' attempts to read Oedipal guilt and subjective solipsism all over his work, always had "the last laugh"—that I would like to hold up as an example in my study of Roig's autobiography. In this article I will be proposing an anti-humanist, anti-essentialist and anti-homophobic reading of Roig, one which, drawing on Deleuze and Guattari's ideas in, among other sources, Kafka and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), does not deny the existence of Christian prejudices in Roig's writing, merely the conventional interpretation of their significance. I will be arguing, for instance, that Parques is less an anguished, self-defeating exercise in heterosexual "ventriloqu[ism]" on the part of the gay man (Ellis 37) than a playful exorcism of the overwhelming forces of Oedipalisation which Roig and those in his position had to confront in their specific social and historical milieu. Moreover, I will be suggesting a "Gaya Sciencia" (Bensmaïa, "Kafka Effect" xix) of Roig, a reading which, highlighting the "minoritarian" nature of his writings, will aim to show the full extent of Roig's transgressive potential for our contemporary identities.

[9] I should like to clarify that, in this article, I am not concerned with the basic opposition between "autobiography" and "fiction" which traditional literary scholarship has tended to establish. As Deleuze and Guattari point out in their reading of Kafka, insofar as it clings to a false belief in the primacy of "content" over "expression" ("signified" over "signifier", "reality" over "representation", etc.), the distinction between "living and writing, art and life" on which such an opposition is based is only operative from the point of view of a "major" literature and the territorializing humanist values which go hand in hand with it (Kafka 41) [6]. In this connection, the fact that Parques presents itself as "autobiographical" while some of Kafka's texts do not should be considered irrelevant to the argument I am putting forward here. [7]

[10] Antonio Roig likes Kafka. In a trilogy in which, as Mira points out (462), literary or any other form of cultural references are scarce, the paragraphs where Roig praises the turn of the century Czech-born German-language Jewish author—included in the 2 March 1976 entry from Variaciones—are conspicuous for their enthusiasm: "Diríase que hay una sensibilidad de fondo, una experiencia común que nos hermana y que me hace estar en comunión con [Kafka]" ("One would say that there is an underlying sensitivity, a shared experience which unites us and brings me in communion with [Kafka]"), Roig writes (Variaciones 33); and then: "Cuando leí 'La metamorfosis' entendí tan bien toda aquella pesadilla, aquella visión absurda de la realidad, que parecía estar contemplando mi propio mundo […]. Yo podía haber escrito aquel libro" (Variaciones 34) ("When I read 'The Metamorphosis' I understood that nightmare, that absurd view of reality so well, that it seemed to me that I was staring at my own world […]. I could have written that book").

[11] Roig goes on to explain what in his view that "underlying sensitivity" shared by him and Kafka consists of, comparing both the Czech's and his own biographical experiences to that of the insect-protagonist of "The Metamorphosis":

A veces los dos usamos los mismos símbolos […] [L]os dos nos sentimos extraños a este mundo […] [L]a comunicación no es posible, pues todo intento de acercarnos al mundo y arraigar en él está condenado al fracaso. Nuestros brazos tendidos, nuestros gritos son apenas el afán ridículo de un insecto monstruoso por acercarse a alguien que o bien no nos desea o es incapaz de comprendernos. (At times both of us use the same symbols […] [B]oth of us feel like outsiders in this world […] [C]ommunication is impossible, for every attempt we make to get closer to the world and settle in it is doomed to fail. Our extended arms, our screams are nothing more than ridiculous attempts by a monstrous insect to get closer to somebody who either does not want us or is incapable of understanding us.) (34)

Roig then speculates on a possible etiology for such an affinity, tracing it back to a supposed parallelism between Kafka's relationship with his father and his own with his (Variaciones 35). [8]

[12] Largely unsubstantiated though Roig's claims about Kafka's life remain in Variaciones—and moreover, unsophisticated though it may seem to fail to differentiate, as he clearly fails to do, between Kafka-the-writer and the protagonist of one of his short stories—, the Carmelite's wholehearted endorsement of and identification with Kafka goes directly to the core of what in my view constitutes the specificity of his work within the modern gay autobiographical tradition in Spain. The key to what both authors share, however (and to where Roig's originality should therefore be sought in that context), is not in the spurious, ultimately indemonstrable claim of an alleged communion of lived experiences. It is found instead at an empirical level in the radically anti-Oedipal and anti-humanist uses of subjectivity which the writings by both authors put forward. In order to demonstrate this point, let us first of all look in some detail at Deleuze and Guattari's monograph on Kafka.

[13] Deleuze and Guattari's collaborative work needs by now little introduction neither in Anglo-American studies nor (thanks mainly to Josep-Anton Fernàndez's pioneering Deleuzo-Guattarian readings of contemporary Catalan gay literature and culture) in Hispanic studies. Drawing on, among other philosophers, Spinoza, Nietzsche and Bergson, Deleuze and Guattari, as Ronald Bogue points out, "substitut[e] for Kant's transcendental idealism […] a transcendental empiricism" (152)—an empiricism which, however, far from constituting a naïve materialism, "characterizes the world as the interaction of formless forces and incorporeal surfaces", thereby "depriving thought of any foundation in an empirically certain physis" (152). Challenging both essentialism and humanism, Deleuze and Guattari abandon the rationalist conception of the subject as a principle of unity and self-presence and emphasize instead "the mind's multiplicity" (Hughes 39). They posit an "impersonal and pre-individual" field of singular points which "traverse men, plants and animals independently of the matter of their individuation and the forms of their personalities" (Deleuze 131; qtd. in Bogue 152).

[14] Deleuze and Guattari's "anti-philosophy" is best known in literary studies for the radical challenges it poses to the standard, Oedipally-centered psychoanalytic doxa. The modern counterpart of Nietzsche's The Antichrist, Anti-Oedipus constitutes, according to Bogue, "a frontal assault on […] the Oedipus complex" and ultimately on "every psychological theory that elevates family relationships and the unified self to positions of pre-eminence" (83). Against the emphasis which has traditionally been laid on the triad "daddy-mommy-me" (Anti-Oedipus 50), for instance, Deleuze and Guattari focus on "sub-individual body parts and their supra-individual, social interconnections", contesting any identification of desire with lack and, instead, treating the Freudian and Marxists theoretical domains "as a single realm of desiring-production" (Bogue 83). Furthermore, their innovative notion of desire as "practice and production" (Hughes 12) goes hand in hand with a no less radical overturning of the standard concept of the unconscious, which according to Deleuze and Guattari cannot be conceived of as a domain of "interiority" and imaginary or verbal "re-presentation", but should be viewed instead as a pre-subjective and outwardly oriented "factory" (Anti-Oedipus 24) whose multiple expressions, in Bogue's words, "need only be described", not interpreted (108).

[15] In Kafka, Deleuze and Guattari engage in a type of literary reading which is vehemently opposed to the logic of representation and "interpretation". Examining Kafka's corpus in terms not of what it "means" but of what it "can do" (i.e. in terms of "desiring-production"), [9] they consider it Kafka's writing "machine" (Kafka 32), by which they mean a de-centred ("rhizomatic") assemblage of independent elements in clustered "proximity" (Bensmaïa, "Kafka Effect" xv), one which is traversed by a variety of intensities or "lines of flight" (Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus 4) [10] and which, in its irreducible multiplicity, remains unattributable to a singular author or Subject. [11] Disregarding, as we noted earlier, any conventional distinctions between art and life, Kafka's literary machine draws indifferently from both of them; moreover, as Bogue points out, such a machine is characterised as "an anti-Oedipal machine, a revolutionary political machine, and an a-signifying linguistic machine" (108).

[16] Let us look at this aspect in some detail, as it will play a crucial part in my reading of Parques. In what sense can Kafka's corpus (so profusely and unquestionably traversed by Oedipal motifs and figurations) be qualified as "anti-Oedipal"? Deleuze and Guattari's argument at this point is impeccable in its very simplicity. Focusing, among other works, on Kafka's Letter to His Father (1919), they claim that, in his paternal fixation, Kafka is not so much voicing an Oedipal anxiety as effecting a parodic deformation of the very structures of Oedipalisation under whose influence he finds himself. When Kafka notes how he is made to feel continuously guilty by his predecessor's authority, when he blames everything he considers to be wrong in his life on his influence ("[…] if I had sexual problems, if I don't get married, if I cannot write, if I lower my head in public […]" [Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka 9]), the writer, according to Deleuze and Guattari, is "mak[ing] a paranoid and perverse use of Oedipus" (10); he is "augment[ing] and expand[ding]" Oedipus beyond all reasonable limits (11)—he is "exagerat[ing]" (11) and "enlarg[ing] it to the point of absurdity, comedy" (10)—in order all the better "to escape from submission" (10). Thus, as Deleuze and Guattari point out, in the last instance the joke is on us, for ultimately Kafka knows quite well "that nothing in [the Letter to His Father] is true" (9). Beneath the guilt-ridden, Oedipalized surface of his writing, there is in fact Kafka's joyful awareness that such character traits as his inaptitude for marriage, his writing, etc., are "completely positive motivations from a libidinal point of view; [that] they aren't reactions in a derivative relation to the father" (9).

[17] Before going any further into this theoretical exposition, I would like to turn to Antonio Roig's autobiography in order to see in what ways Deleuze and Guattari's insights on Kafka as described above can help us to shed light on it.

[18] It would be difficult to overemphasize the centrality that is given to Oedipal motifs in Parques. The Oedipal scenario casts such a long shadow over the phantasmatic structure of this work that one could be forgiven for saying that, in a similar way to Kafka's, for its narrator Antonio, reality never seems to provide enough reasons for him to feel "guilty", or enough paternal figures for him to project his ambivalence towards the Oedipal rival, or enough situations in which unconsciously to re-enact the "daddy-mommy-me" triangle, etc.

[19] This point can be observed at different levels. The relationship between Antonio and his close family circle is a key recurring theme in Roig's work. Harshly referred to at different points as "una viscosa mancha de aceite que cuanto más se la mira más repugnante parece" (Parques 23) ("a viscous oil stain which the more one looks at it the more repugnant it seems"), "un nido de arpías" (Variaciones 66) ("a nest of harpies"), "un nido de sanguijuelas donde el aburrimiento, el interés y el egoísmo lo manchaban todo" (Variaciones 126) ("a nest of leeches where boredom, selfishness and egoism tarnished everything"), and "una ciénaga podrida" (Vidente 110) ("a rotten swamp"), however, the extent of the narrator's (dis-)loyalties and (dis-)affections within that circle clearly betrays a strong Oedipal foundation.

[20] With the father long dead, one brother living in South America and another one locked in a mental institution, Antonio's old family home in the Balearic island of Eivissa is dominated by the mother and two older sisters—three figures portrayed as clinging, mean and intransigent, whom the narrator accuses of hiding him like a "mancha" ("stain") from their fellow locals (Parques 264) and of harbouring a visceral "desprecio de las realidades masculinas" (Variaciones 60) ("contempt for masculinity") which made it impossible for any man to live at their home (60). The narrator's representation of these three women whose presence had presided over his childhood and adolescence is unflattering, harsh and resentful to the point of caricature. The latest son to have been born into their large, already struggling fisherman's family, Antonio accuses his mother of having had an instinctive "repulsion" for him (244-5). She is further accused of having "ignored" and "humiliated" Antonio's father throughout their marriage (Parques 235) and of having tormented his mentally retarded brother with cruel threats (265). For their part, Antonio claims to be "scared" of his two older sisters—"tanto las temo" (1977 238) ("I fear them to such an extent")—, noting that their love for him is "absorbente, aprovechado, inconsiderado y cruel" (239) ('demanding, selfish, inconsiderate and cruel').

[21] Focusing on Roig's representation of his mother, there are two points which I should like to mention. First, the fact that such a representation so neatly falls within the patriarchal polarization of "angelic" (selfless, supporting, self-sacrificial…) versus "witch" (selfish, evil, castrating…) maternal figures which, as E. Ann Kaplan once noted, has presided over Western discourses of motherhood since the nineteenth century (9). The fact that Roig's figurations of the mother function as a textbook case for such a paradigm is proven not only by the constant criticisms by which she (along with Antonio's sisters) is made to appear as "wanton cruel" (Ellis 32) aside from any social, historical or gender-related considerations; it is also proven by the fact that side by side with such criticisms Antonio's perception of her turns on occasions unexpectedly idealised. Thus for instance the narrator calls her "mi santa madre" ("my saintly mother") (114) and "¡[p]obre madre!" ("poor mother!") (115), noting how, as a child, "[y]o tenía hacia [ella] un afecto tan profundo que ahora, tiempo de distanciamiento, apenas puedo reconocer como mío. Y sin embargo, era yo aquél niño que se deshacía en caricias […]" (Roig, Parques 24) ("I had such a deep affection for her that presently, at a time when we have grown apart, I can hardly recognize as my own. Nevertheless, it was me that boy who would melt in caresses [...]").

[22] The second point which I should like to mention regarding Roig's representation of the mother concerns its Oedipal undertones. Commenting on Roig's deprecating portrayal of his mother and his comparative idealization of his father, Ellis writes about "a kind of Oedipal reversal" in Roig's writings (32)—a reversal which would have led the author to "suppress the voice of the maternal figure as he ha[d] internalized it and allow the paternal voice within him to speak" (31-32). Much as it would suit the overall Deleuzoguattarian argument that I wish to put forward to support Ellis's claim, it would be unwise for me to make a case for a real undermining of Oedipus based on it as no true reversal exists here—unless of course by reversal we mean a mere inversion of terms leaving the underlying Oedipal structure unchanged.

[23] To prove this point suffice it to recall that, in "The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex" (1924), Freud writes about not just one but two possibilities of satisfaction offered to the little child by the Oedipus conflict: an "active" one, involving his "put[ting] himself in his father's place […] and having intercourse with his mother as his father did", in which case "he soon feels […] the latter as a hindrance" (Freud, "Dissolution" 318); and a "passive" one, involving the child's "want[ing] to take the place of his mother and be loved by his father", in which case it is now the mother who is resented and perceived as "superfluous" (318). Rather than a sign of his deviating from Oedipus in any significant way, therefore, from a strictly Freudian point of view, Antonio's preference for "daddy" over "mommy" in Parques is merely indicative of his having undergone the second, "passive" type of Oedipus conflict. Moreover, this perspective goes some way towards giving us the underlying structural reason for the exceedingly harsh, caricature-like portrayal of Antonio's mother and sisters in Roig's work. As in Bruno Bettelheim's famous interpretation of Cinderella's stepmother and stepsister in the eponymous fairy tale, their representations can now be seen as indirectly fuelled by our narrator's antagonistic feelings towards his Oedipal rivals—those who, in his psychosexual structure, never ceased to be his direct "competitors" for the father's love (see Bettelheim 248). [12]

[24] If Roig's anti-Oedipalism cannot be located at the level of his relationship with his mother and sisters—a relationship which, as we have seen, reinforces the Oedipal structure rather than diverges from it—where, we might ask, should we look for such a feature? As in Deleuze and Guattari's reading of Kafka, the answer to this question lies precisely in the way in which, rather than directly transgress Oedipus, Roig chooses to exaggerate it and make a parodic use of it; in the way he "augment[s] and expand[s]" the Oedipal drama beyond all reasonable limits, "enlarg[ing] [it] to the point of absurdity" (Deleuze and Guattari, Kakfa 10) and caricature so as all the better to escape from its tyranny. I should like to clarify that in claiming that Parques is, in the specific sense just outlined, a "parodic" text I in no way presuppose a specific "intention" along these (or indeed any other) lines on the part of Roig as "author". Once again following Deleuze and Guattari, I am not concerned here with an author's "interiority" or "individual psychology", but quite the contrary with how his autobiography, conceived of as "writing machine", can be practiced in ways which exceed, deterritorialize and escape (the romance of) the self (cf. Polan xxiii).

[25] In order to demonstrate this point let us address what is the key aspect in Antonio Roig's autobiographical writings: the narrator's libidinal attachment to his father. Antonio Roig lost his father six years before going on the London journey whose account constitutes the main focus of Parques, and in his sexual attachments as a gay man, he looks for nothing but a substitute for him. As he himself explains to a Barcelona psychiatrist whom he visits after his first return from England: "[S]oy homosexual […] Me inclino por personas maduras a las que identifico de alguna manera con mi padre" ("I am a homosexual […] I am attracted to mature people whom I somewhat identify with my father") (246-247). Despite the use of the understated phrase "a los que identifico de alguna manera" ("whom I somewhat identify"), Roig's sentence at this point goes far beyond what in traditional psychoanalysis might be explained as a generalised tendency for subjects unconsciously to look for their childhood Oedipal prototypes in their adult libidinal choices. In Roig, Freud's famous claim that "the finding of an object is in fact a refinding of it" ("Three Essays" 145) has a disturbing literality which leads him at different points openly to proclaim his incestuous fantasies to his mature lovers, persisting in calling them "father", focusing on those character-traits of theirs which most closely resemble the father's, and even describing his self-imposed London exile as a symbolic journey in search of the lost father (Parques 154). It is the very excess with which Roig proclaims his Oedipal affiliations, therefore—the very perverseness of his expanding Oedipus beyond all reasonable "interpretations" to make a defiantly literal, queer appropriation of it in his writings—that gives us the key to the author's Deleuzoguattarianism.

[26] Let us focus on this question in some detail. Right from its very opening section, describing the moment in which the narrator momentarily mistakes an old fisherman he has encountered while walking on the beach for his deceased father (and his subsequent sadness at instantly remembering that his father is dead and therefore cannot be the man he is looking at [Parques 16]), Antonio's longing for a father figure and his realization that, in his actual experience, such a figure remains hopelessly lost lies at the very core of Roig's autobiography. "Los ojos me escocían como si los tuviese abiertos ante una hoguera" ("My eyes stung as if I were staring at a bonfire"), the narrator writes, capturing the crucial transition from (mis)recognition to affliction which characterises his sudden recognition of the father's death: "Aquel hombre era mi padre. Me estremecí de ternura y, en el momento siguiente, la angustia me consumió como una cisterna maldita. Mi padre ha muerto" ("That man was my father. I felt a shudder of tenderness and, right after that, anguish consumed me like an accursed tank. My father is dead") (16).

[27] What is of particular interest in Roig's representations of the father is that, in his biographical experience, Antonio's longing for the father and his disappointment vis-à-vis somebody who, even when alive, could never live up to his expectations, are two inseparable, structurally-bound phenomena. Thus, Antonio's paternal memories are marked from the start by a constitutive ambivalence: the one defined, on the one hand, by the son's need to see his predecessor as that guarantor of fantasy and self-recognition which the Oedipal father once embodied (i.e., his need to elevate the father to the place of the Other with a capital O, making him stand for its truth), and his embarrassment or disillusionment towards the actual human being (or "other" in lower case) who, as such, could never fulfil such a role (O). [13] Thus for instance, Antonio remarks often on the "vergüenza" ("shame") which his father, a humble fishermen, would cause him in front of other people, noting how, as a child, his heart was often torn between "la necesidad de un padre" ("the need for a father") and "el sentirme defraudado, humillado y repelido por aquél a quien más necesitaba" ("my feeling disappointed, humiliated and repelled by the person whom I needed the most") (Parques 22). Furthermore, as a student in the Seminary, Antonio preferred not to be visited by his parents as they would embarrass him in front of the other novices, noting: "En vez de los míos, soñaba con otros padres distintos, unos padres a quienes fuese honorable presentar y de quienes pudiera enorgullecerme. Los míos me humillaban" ("Instead of mine, I dreamt of having different parents, parents whom it would have been honourable to introduce to other people and of whom I could have been proud. Mine humiliated me") (28).

[28] The longing for the father as (the fantasy of) the Other securing the narrator's own self knowledge, and the encounter with a series of barred "others" who, in Antonio's actual experience, can only leave him "desamparado" ("neglected", "abandoned" but also, following the false Spanish etymology, de-fathered) [14] constitutes a recurring theme in Roig's writings. Moreover, in as much as the place of the Other with a capital O, according to Lacan, is equivalent to the place of God ("God and the Jouissance of The Woman" 142-3), the vehemence with which Antonio articulates his longing for "daddy" acquires in his case obvious blasphemous implications, elevating the narrator's predecessor to the position of God and symbolically placing him, a defrocked priest in exile, as a forsaken Jesus Christ going through his own personal Calvary. Roig self-consciously draws at this point on the rich Spanish literary tradition of the mystic poets (particularly on St John of the Cross). In one of the most "perverse" (in its Deleuzoguattarian sense) [15] episodes of Parques, for instance, the narrator recounts an experience of nocturnal gay cruising in London's Hyde Park. In an indented paragraph written in the present tense (a typographical distinction which the author often uses to interrupt the continuity of his narrative introducing a more intimate, poetical and timeless voice), Antonio then fantasises about having a loving encounter with his father. The libidinal impact of the passage lies in its very parodic excess, as Antonio's incestuous Oedipal urges evoke the Soul's ecstatic happiness at having reached the union with God in the closing verses of St John of the Cross's famous song "La noche oscura" ("The Obscure Night of the Soul") (1577):

¿Quién traerá a mi padre? ¿Al soplo de qué viento acudirá? Porqué esta tarde tiene que venir y se sentará en el banco del quiosco. Yo no tendré frío cuando me recueste sobre su pecho. Con un brazo me rodeará, con el otro me apretará dulcemente contra sí […] Con los ojos cerrados apuraré sin temor la dicha que al fin se me concede. Mi padre estará aquí y yo con él. Formaremos en el parque una escena de ternura. Todos respetarán el amor que florece en este rincón del parque. [16] (Who will bring my father? With the blow of which wind will he come? For this evening he must come and he will sit down in the bench by the refreshments stand. I will not feel cold when I lean my head down on his chest. He will put one arm around me, with the other he will sweetly squeeze me against him. […] With my eyes shut I will absorb without fear the joy which is finally granted to me. My father will be here and I, with him. In the park, we will form a scene of tenderness. Everybody will respect the love which blossoms in this corner of the park.) (Parques 63)

Antonio's search for an absolute Father figure reaches its peak in London, in his love-affair with an older bisexual man named Ronald. As I shall attempt to demonstrate, it is through his relationship and eventual breaking up with Ronald that Antonio's longing for "daddy" is taken to the most extreme point of parodic excess in Roig's writings, while the anti-Oedipal "joy" which underlay such a longing is finally revealed to us in all its Kafkaesque splendour.

[29] Antonio explains that the day in which he met Ronald in a London pub he wrote in his diary: "Hoy he encontrado a mi padre" (Parques 122) ("Today I have found my father"). He finds in Ronald—a fifty-nine-year-old upper-middleclass English bisexual widower and father who allegedly bears a "parecido extraordinario" ("extraordinary resemblance") to Antonio's deceased predecessor (313)—his libidinal and paternal prototype, telling a best friend: "Me parece que toda mi vida he estado buscándolo sin conocerlo. Cuando me vi en sus ojos supe que era él" (135-6) ("I reckon I have been looking for him all my life without knowing him. When I saw myself in his eyes I knew it was him"). The traits on which the narrator's perception of Ronald focuses are consistent with an idealised view of patriarchal authority. He admires in him "aquel aire de distinción con que daba sentido a las acciones más triviales: desde ponerse las gafas para leer […] hasta probar el primer sorbo de vino" (178) ("that air of distinction with which he invested with meaning even the most trivial of actions: from putting on his glasses to read […] to tasting the first sip of wine"). Antonio also praises his new friend's signature, remarking on "el buen gusto de la leyenda que figuraba impresa junto al nombre" (187) ("the tastefulness of the inscription which was printed by his name") in his Christmas card. According to Antonio, Ronald is "el mejor de los caballeros" (180) ("the best of gentlemen"); he enjoys sitting on his lap (191) and, to the widower's obvious annoyance, he insists on calling him "father" (184).

[30] Antonio's breaking up with Ronald is one of the most traumatic episodes in Parques. The fact that what is ultimately at stake in this long and painful separation is the narrator's relinquishment of (the fantasy of) the Oedipal father becomes evident as, at crucial points, the events taking place in the diegesis trigger in Antonio earlier memories of his biological father and of his eventual death in Eivissa, which (just like in the technique of cinematic "cross-cutting") are then interspersed in the text.

[31] Only after having spent his second night with Ronald, for example, the narrator appears convinced that he "ya no podía ser feliz" (142) ("could no longer be happy") by the widower's side, tormented as he is by the fear of losing him. He wakes up in the middle of the night and looks at the man in his sleep, which prompts an earlier memory of Antonio's father resting at home after a night at sea. "Mi padre, ¿dónde está mi padre?" ("My father, where is my father?"), the narrator asks in rhetorical mode: "Mi padre duerme. Ha estado toda la noche pescando y ha regresado con el alba agotado y roto. Ha caído sobre el lecho como si fuese su sepultura. Su fatigosa respiración se deja escuchar en toda la casa" (Parques 143) ("My father is asleep. He has been fishing all night and he has come back at dawn exhausted and battered. He has collapsed on his bed as if it were his grave. His laboured breathing can be heard throughout the house.")

[32] At a later stage, at a time when Antonio's dependence on Ronald has started to be a cause of concern for the widower, they spend what will turn out to be one of their last nights together. The memories of that night—in which Ronald refuses to have sex with Antonio, and at the end of which he announces that he doesn't want to see him anymore—are juxtaposed with memories of the last time in which Antonio saw his father alive, hence emphasizing even further the symbolic parallels of both situations in the narrator's psychosexual structure. "Toda la noche, mientras yacíamos juntos, veía desfilar delante de mí recuerdos de años lejanos" (156) ("Throughout the night, while laying in bed together, I saw memories of distant years marching in front of me"), the narrator points out. And then, remembering what went on the last occasion with his father: "La última vez que estuve con mi padre […] [d]ije en casa [que estaba muy enfermo] y no me creyeron. Veinte días después, mientras guardaba cama por una gripe de primavera, lo encontraron muerto en el lecho" (Parques 156) ("The last time I was with my father […] [I] told my family [that he was very ill] but they didn't believe me. After twenty days, while staying in bed because of spring flu, they found him dead").

[33] Antonio's actual separation from Ronald takes place a few weeks later, a period during which the relationship between the two men becomes progressively destructive—"[p]aso a paso" ("[s]tep by step"), we are told, "nuestras relaciones habían llegado a un punto donde todo, hasta la tragedia, era posible" (202) ("our relationship had reached a point where everything, including a tragedy, was possible"). Then, at Antonio's request, the two meet one last time at the widower's home. Exhausted after the violent argument which soon unfolds, they sleep together one last time in reconciled companionship (209). It is in this context that the last associations with Antonio's deceased father take place. Upon falling asleep, Ronald's peaceful breathing falls on the narrator's face, triggering a hallucination in which Antonio's loving union with his father has at last taken place, with both men merging in a final embrace of mystical/sexual communion. Wagner is not an explicit referent here, but (along with the already mentioned tradition of the Spanish mystic poets) the romantic excess with which the fantasy of the total union with the beloved goes hand in hand with ultimate happiness, nocturnality and death in this hallucination evokes the theme of "Liebestod" in Tristan und Isolde [17] :

Padre: mar, espuma, sol, viento, luna, noche, estrellas y muerte. Padre: muerte.
Esta noche escucharé el mar y mi padre estará más cerca que nunca. Silencioso, mecido en una barca, sobre un sendero de luna, padre llegará hasta mi corazón. La dicha será perfecta. Reclinaré la cabeza en su pecho, liso como un escudo. El tiempo se detendrá, porque el tiempo es sólo para medir las esperas.
(Father: ocean, foam, sun, wind, moon, night, stars and death. Father: death.
Tonight I will listen to the sea and my father will be closer than ever. Quietly, rocking inside a boat, on a moonlit path, father will arrive at my heart. Happiness will be perfect. I will lean my head on his chest, flat like a shield. Time will stop, because time exists only to measure periods of waiting.) (194)

Deleuze and Guattari define "Minor literature"—a concept which they extract from a diary entry by Kafka concerning Czech literature in Prague (Kafka, Diaries 151-152)—as the type of literature "which a minority constructs within a major language" (Kafka 16). Prague Jews found themselves between several languages (Czech, German, Yiddish…) and at home in none. As Bogue notes, rather than being unique to Prague Jews in the early twentieth century, this linguistic homelessness is typical of many minorities the world over who express themselves in the language of an alien culture and which, in so doing, "modify the major language to make it their own" (117). [18] The literature of such minorities (or minor literature) is thus defined by three main characteristics: firstly, in it language "is affected by a high coefficient of deterritorialisation" (Kafka 16). A minor writer makes an unorthodox, "impossible" use of the dominant language, making it "stammer" and generally bringing it to the limits of grammaticality. As Hughes points out: "The minor writer […] plays on language to pull from it expressive traits that exceed the functions of representation or the values of speech. Language itself becomes intensive, inclusive of as yet unformed potentials" (60). Secondly, everything in a minor literature is political, which means that, in it, each individual concern connects immediately with the social and political spheres (Kafka 17). Finally, following from the previous point, everything in a minor literature "takes on a collective value". As Deleuze and Guattari point out: "[In a minor literature] there are no possibilities for an individuated enunciation that would belong to this or that 'master' and that could be separated from a collective enunciation" (17).

[34] Antonio Roig's own bilingualism, as a native speaker of Catalan (in its Balearic modality) writing in Spanish, makes him particularly well suited to the label "minor writer". Indeed, the characteristics of minor literature can be noticed in the collective and political function which his autobiography (as we pointed out at the beginning of the article) aimed to have in speaking out in favour of homosexual rights during the Spanish Transition. Most importantly, however, it is in the rhetorical and stylistic excesses of Roig's writing as shown in the passages quoted above—breaking up the narrative, juxtaposing and cross-cutting memory blocks from different periods of his life, making language "stammer" with "a-signifying" rhetorical and poetical techniques so that, paraphrasing Hughes, it can "partake of something non-linguistic" (61), etc.—that the unmistakeable trademark of a minor writer can be detected.

[35] As we noted earlier, it is the very (parodic) excess with which Kafka proclaims his Oedipal affiliations which, according to Deleuze and Guattari, best suggest his anti-Oedipalism, letting it be understood that "nothing in [the Letter to His Father] is true" (Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka 9) and that, beyond the guilt-ridden surface of his writing, Kafka knows quite well that his motivations are "completely positive [ones] from a libidinal point of view; [that] they aren't reactions in a derivative relation to the father' (9). Now, as Antonio's search for the Oedipal father, as his obsession with finding a "daddy" in his male lovers and his libidinal fascination with the signs of patriarchal authority appear to bring him so much despair and so little joy, one might be forgiven for thinking that, all in all, our narrator is much better off (as he eventually ends up in Parques) single and "fatherless" (desamparado). The point I wish to make here is the following: considering the typically "minor" political and stylistic features of Roig's writing; considering also the way in which the relationship with Ronald actually unfolds—with Antonio making ever increasing demands from the widower until effectively causing the relationship to break—, could it be the case that the final key to Roig's autobiography lays in reading his Oedipal affiliations as "parodic" in the same way that Kafka's are in Deleuze and Guattari's view? Rather than taking the Spaniard's words at face value, would it not be wiser to suggest that he, just like his much admired Kafka, knows quite well that nothing of what he says in Parques "is true"; to realise that the ultimate motivation behind his writing might be to rid himself of the yoke of Oedipus and those who stand in its position, rather than succumbing to it? In the last analysis, doesn't the very "minoritarian" excess with which Roig articulates his Oedipal disappointments in his autobiographical writing hide in fact the loudest, queerest, most joyful of laughs?

[36] Upon describing the effects which the untimely death of his father had on his life, the narrator of Parques points out: "Cuando lloré a mi padre supe oscuramente que mi persona había quedado sin raíces, sin terminar, inconstituída, no identificada, dividida, irreconciliada" (23) ("When I mourned my father I obscurely knew that my being had been left rootless, deprived of completion, unconstituted, without identification, divided, irreconciled"). In a similar vein, when his relationship with Ronald is finally over, Antonio notes: "Me sentí perdido sin saber a dónde acogerme. ¿Dónde me miraría para identificarme?" (190) ("I felt lost, not knowing where to turn. Where would I look in order to identify myself?"); and further on: "El mundo se me hizo un lugar extraño […]. Mis gestos se hicieron maquinales mientras mi corazón perseguía obsesivamente un orden que recompusiese y diese sentido a la realidad que se había fragmentado entre mis manos sin que yo supiese cómo" (233) ("The world became an alien place to me […]. My movements became mechanical while my heart sought obsessively an order which reconstructed and gave meaning to a reality that had fragmented between my hands without my knowing how it happened").

[37] Laden with confusion and self-doubt though these remarks about life without "daddy" clearly are, Antonio's mournful disposition on matters Oedipal is not to be taken at face value. Indeed, if finally finding himself in a world devoid of that ultimate signifier of patriarchal power and authority—that (illusory) guarantor of fantasy, truth and self-knowledge—to which he had so desperately tried to cling is a cause for some regret to the narrator, it is no less true that the entire personal/geographical journey on which Parques focuses can be seen as nothing but a successful attempt on the narrator's part to rid himself of the most essentialist, oppressive and homophobic characteristics associated with such a signifier. Under this light, Antonio's apparent despair at the fact that his identity, as a direct result of no longer having a father-figure to look up to and with whom to identify, has become inherently divided, deterritorialized and ego-less ("sin raíces, sin terminar, inconstituída, no identificada, dividida, irreconciliada" ["rootless, deprived of completion, unconstituted, without identification, divided, irreconciled"]) is no less parodic, I would suggest, than Kafka's expressions of Oedipal guilt in the Letter to His Father, and is similarly underpinned by affirmation, laughter and joy (joie de vivre).

[38] In the last chapter of Parques, in which the narrator looks back at the events described in the book with a view to making a balance of their significance, Antonio acknowledges that the trajectory which has brought him to the position in which he presently is was triggered by a need metaphorically to go in search of his lost father: "En definitiva," he writes, "es a él a quien he buscado" ("At the end of the day it is him whom I have been looking for"). The trajectory has brought the narrator to confront and to come to terms with the ultimate loss of the Oedipal father as a principle of truth and self-knowledge, a loss with which he seems finally reconciled: "Ahora sé bien que mi padre ha pasado y que no volverá más" (Parques 312) ("Now I know very well that my father has gone and that he will not be coming back").

[39] Symptomatically, however, the image with which Parques ends is not one of sorrow but, quite the opposite, one of laughter and joy. If his voyage of discovery has revealed to him his own self qua deterritorialized and "fatherless", the same finding has also enabled Antonio to move beyond "family" relationships and to recognise himself for the first time as part of a broader, gayer homosexual community. It is in this context that, upon his return to Spain, Antonio's church congregation metaphorically transforms itself into the clientele of the Quebec—the gay pub he used to frequent while living in London:

Al remover mis recuerdos, en ocasiones me he visto de nuevo transportado a las vivencias que los han originado. Incluso esta mañana, cuando he celebrado la misa, por un instante he perdido el sentido del espacio y la capilla se ha transformado en el Quebec. Ya no tenía religiosas delante de mí, sino aquella comunidad alegre, sensual, imaginativa de homosexuales. He sentido sus ojos dirigirse hacia mí y, al levantar las manos, es a ellos a quien he bendecido. When digging in my memories, on occasions I have been transported back to the experiences which originated them. Even this morning, when I was celebrating mass, I lost my sense of space for a moment and the chapel transformed itself into the Quebec. I no longer had nuns in front of me, but that cheerful, sensual and imaginative community of homosexuals. I felt their eyes looking at me and, at the point of rising my hands, it was them whom I blessed. (Parques 314-15)

At long last, that Kafkaesque laughter which had underpinned the narrator's discourse all the way through can now no longer be hidden or contained: "Después del vértigo", Antonio concludes, "se ha apoderado de mí una alegría desbordante: la alegría que vence la desesperación y la muerte; la alegría que sabe que en última instancia todo está bien" (Roig, Parques 315) ("After the vertigo an overwhelming happiness seized me: the happiness that overcomes despair and death; the happiness that knows that in the last analysis all is well"). A wink to the reader, this "in the last analysis all is well" is the ultimate proof if one were needed that Roig's rootless and "de-fathered" status at the end of Parques is, libidinally speaking, not a gloomy fate but an act of positive affirmation, and that the author's unique contribution to the Spanish contemporary gay canon, therefore, beyond the guilt-ridden and Christian overtones of his writing, is primarily of a subversively parodic anti-Oedipal character.


[1] The death of General Franco in 1975 initiates the Spanish Transition while the failure of the attempted coup of 23 February 1981 and the rise to power of the PSOE a year later are generally considered to mark the end of this period (Montero 316).

[2] Henceforth abbreviated to Parques, Variaciones and Vidente, respectively. All English translations from the text are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[3] On the Transition see also Graham and Labanyi eds. Spanish Cultural Studies (1995) (311-418) and Vilarós's El mono del desencanto (1998).

[4] Variaciones, a collection of diary entries, was written after Roig's return from London in the interim period between the completion and publication of Parques. Vidente was written once again from London, and it focuses on the events surrounding the narrator's expulsion from his order, in València, during the years 1977-78. For reasons of space I will not include here a study of these two follow-ups to Parques, concentrating instead on the first of Roig's autobiographical works.

[5] Key texts on lesbian and gay theory in Hispanic Studies include: Paul Julian Smith's groundbreaking Laws of Desire (1992), Emilie Bergman and Paul Julian Smith's ¿Entiendes? (1995), Paul Julian Smith's Vision Machines (1996), Bradley Epps's Significant Violence (1996), Robert R. Ellis's The Hispanic Homograph (1997), Sylvia Molloy and Robert McKee Irwin's Hispanisms and Homosexualities (1998), Josep-Anton Fernández's Another Country (2000) and Alberto Mira's De Sodoma a Chueca: Una historia cultural de la homosexualidad en España en el siglo XX (2004).

[6] The values which the adjective "major" implies, according to Deleuze and Guattari, are summarised in the following quotation from A Thousand Plateaus: "Majority implies a constant, of expression or content, serving as a standard measure by which to evaluate it. Let us suppose that the constant or standard is the average adult-white-heterosexual-European-male-speaking a standard language […] Majority assumes a state of power and domination […] It assumes the standard measure […] whereas the minority is the becoming of everybody, one's potential becoming to the extent that one deviates from the model" (105).

[7] It is worth pointing out in this connection that the Madrid-based publishing house "Egales" produced a second edition of Parques in 2002 in which the parenthetical subtitle of the original edition ("Memories of a Priest") was elided. In this second, otherwise identical version (which counted with Roig's approval) the book is presented as a novel: "Esta novela es el testimonio valiente de un hombre atrapado por dos amores…" (Roig, Parques [2002 Edition] 290) ("This novel is the brave testimony of a man trapped by two loves…").

[8] This passage might also be read in the light of the Deleuzoguattarian notion of 'becoming-animal'. On this particular aspect of Antonio Roig's autobiography, see my own 'Of Rats and Men: The Homosexual's Becoming-Animal in Antonio Roig's Autobiographical Trilogy.'

[9] Deleuze and Guattari famously point out: "We will never ask what a book means, as signified or signifier; we will not look for anything to understand in it. We will ask what it functions with, in connection with what other things it does or does not transmit intensities, in which other multiplicities its own are inserted and metamorphosed, and with what bodies without organs it makes its own converge" (A Thousand Plateaus 4).

[10] In the words of John Hughes, "a line of flight […] involves a deterritorialization through a movement which interrupts or suspends familiar, confining, formal possibilities and their prescribed organic and social requirements […], a movement out in which the participating bodies are drawn along new vectors in experimental ways" (Hughes 47).

[11] Deleuze and Guattari point out: "There isn't a subject; there are only collective assemblages of enunciation […]" (Kafka 18). Moreover: "A book has neither object nor subject; it is made of variously formed matters, and very different dates and speeds. To attribute the book to a subject is to overlook this working of matters, and the exteriority of their relations" (A Thousand Plateaus 3).

[12] Bettelheim famously interprets Cinderella's story in terms of the Oedipal development of little girls, pointing out that, after "turn[ing] from her mother to her father, loving him and wanting to be loved by him", the girl's "mother and all her siblings, real and imagined, most of all the female ones, become her competitors" (248).

[13] On the Lacanian distinction between 'other' and 'Other' see Lacan (Séminaire 2, 276). See also Evans (132–133).

[14] The word "amparar" (meaning to protect, to support), from which "desamparo" derives, comes from the Latin anteparare (ante, "before", and parare, "to prepare, to place, to dispose") (see Corominas and Pascual 394). Given its root similarity with the Catalan "pare" (father, from the Latin "pater"), however, "desamparar" suggest also the state of being without a father, literally de-fathered.

[15] Freud defined perversion as any form of sexual behaviour deviating either in "object" or "aim" from the heterosexual genital norm ("Three Essays", 62). Lacan extended this definition to include a psychological structure, noting that perversion "is not simply an aberration in relation to social criteria, an anomaly contrary to good morals" (Seminar 1 221), but an infringement of the very normative requirements of the Oedipus complex (Lacan, Séminaire 4 201; qtd. in Evans 138). Deleuze and Guattari capitalise on Lacan's definition, opposing "perversion" to "neurosis" and claiming the former as a crucial term in their overall anti-Oedipal project (Kafka 9-10).

[16] The final stanza of "La noche oscura" is in fact explicitly quoted later on in Parques, in an excursus in which Roig praises St John of the Cross's poem as "[una] de las más bellas que jamás se hayan escrito" (Roig, Parques 132) ("[One] of the most beautiful that has ever been written").

[17] For an interpretation of Tristan in connection to Freud's "death drive" see Žižek's "I Do Not Order My Dreams" (2002).

[18] Other "minor writers" cited by Deleuze and Guattari include Joyce, Beckett and Ghérasim Luca, all of whom find themselves in similarly multilingual situations (A Thousand Plateaus 97-98). On "minor literature" see also Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka 16-27, and A Thousand Plateaus 98-110; Bensmaïa, "Minor Literature"; Colebrook, Deleuze 101-121. On the notion of "Minor Literature" applied to Catalan gay fiction see Fernàndez 175.

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