ABSTRACT

Spanish authors explored through the figure of the “chica rara” (“queer girl”) feminist themes of discrimination and used this narrative type as a tool to explore tensions in female subjectivity. Often, these tensions had an autobiographical dimension, closeted but revealed in memoirs, autobiographies such as the novel Oculto sendero (Hidden Path by Elena Fortún), and personal letters. This research uses the trope of the closet to discuss historically the autobiographical and authorial dimension of the “chica rara.” The closet is one of the most important contributions of queer theory to identity politics. It is also a narrative structure as resilient and productive as the “chica rara” herself. Both constructions have an exterior that looks proper but hides mysteries. These secret narratives are about gender, sex, and the body and point towards key feminist debates that deserve analysis and discussion. This chapter will discuss the “chica rara” from inside the closet, as a key manifestation of feminist authorship and gender dissidence by using unpublished materials and letters by Elena Fortún and other writers and intellectuals part of her contact networks.