Tulio Carella’s Recife Days: Politics, Sexuality, and Performance in Orgia

  • Severino J. Albuquerque


This essay contextualizes the queer project undertaken by Argentinian playwright and critic Tulio Carella’s alter-ego Lucio Ginarte in the performative narrative that makes up most of his hybrid diary, Orgia (1968; 2011). Ginarte’s symbolic, sexualized occupation of Recife’s downtown in 1960-1961 foreshadows the queering of public spaces and openly affirms the physicality and presentness of interclass and interracial gay sex in Latin America. The essay also shows how Carella’s visibility in the bustling Buenos Aires literary and theatrical scene in the 1940s and 1950s all but disappeared in the wake of the Recife “scandal” and the subsequent publication of Orgia. With the author relegated to “el closet de la crítica” (Molloy), his plays vanished from the stages.