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Allied EncountersThe Gendered Redemption of World War II Italy$
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Marisa Escolar

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823284504

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823284504.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

A Queer Redemption

A Queer Redemption

John Horne Burns’s The Gallery

Chapter:
(p.91) 4 A Queer Redemption
Source:
Allied Encounters
Author(s):

Marisa Escolar

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823284504.003.0005

Chapter 4 examines how the conventional gendering and sexualization of redemption is revised in John Horne Burns’s internationally beloved novel The Gallery (1947) as Naples—long described in terms of “porosity”—becomes a queer, trans-national space. The Gallery rejects the heteronormative encounter culminating in reproduction, dismissing it as the basis of a nationalistic egotism that lays the groundwork for war. Instead, the novel favors a momentary communion between Allies and Italians as the Dantean narrator’s rebirth culminates in an orgasmic encounter with a genderless Italian. Moreover, I show how the narrator’s redemption depends on a trans-national dimension that crisscrosses the Mediterranean, moving between the U.S., North Africa, and Naples, and a metonymic slippage between the Galleria Umberto I, Naples, Italy, and the universe. As it dehistoricizes Naples versus colonial Africa and materialist America, The Gallery erases all local identities, including the queer spaces and bodies that preface his redemption.

Keywords:   The Gallery, Galleria Umberto I, gender, Italy, John Horne Burns, Naples, porosity, queer, redemption, sexuality, trans-nationalism, World War II

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