'My Bones Shine in the Dark': AIDS and the De-scription of Chicano Queer in the Work of Gil Cuadros

UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, 2007, 32 (1 (Spring)), pp. 23 - 52
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The autobiographically modulated poetry and prose collection City of God (1994) and other published works by the late Gil Cuadros (1962-96) survive as an important set of AIDS testimonials, the first of their kind in Chicano literary production. This paper explores Cuadros's preoccupation with processes of identificatory signification and corporeal scripting. I regard his writings as a sustained textual response to the multiple signifying systems that battle over the Chicano queer body, which is always an ambivalently U.S. body, and, in his texts, a body living and dying with AIDS as well. Accordingly, my main interest lies in plotting how Cuadros's work confronts and evades the sociocultural imperative to make of the queer Chicano subject a body that can be read, known, and potentially punished.
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