Pedro Lemebel

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Pedro Lemebel was a gay novelist, chronicler, and essayist who was openly gay. He was a notable advocate of gay rights as well. He also adopted the name of his mother to be his surname. Lemebel was also popular for speaking frankly about Chile's dictatorship. Pedro develops a distinctive style in his art that memorializes, decorates, and decomposes the remains of marginal figures. He rejects the gender paradigms that undermine the survival of his country's democracy and participatory government. He dreams of a Chile that is not dictator-ruled and not embroiled in dirty wars. He brings the connection between neoliberalism and gender to attention in his writing. He also explains the unseen patterns of consumption and expenditure that some people might interpret as violent or obscene stories. By the time he died i.e. in January 23rd, 2015, Pedro Lemebel hard attained legendary status due to his performance, activism, and personality. The writer was specifically considered an icon when it came to the Chilean counter-culture. As such, this paper traverses through Pedro Lemebel’s life and contributions to the artistry field an society at large, particularly regarding the Chilean dictatorship.

In his poem “Manifesto: I Speak For My Difference,” Lemebel addresses the political situation in the country. He says that he does not like injustice and he will speak freely. “I speak for my difference…Injustice stinks” (Bramwell 2). The poem was written when Chile was still under the dictatorial rule of Agusto Pinochet. The poem was a warning to Chileans about the injustices that took place during the dictatorial era and the hatred of gay people. The poem uses regular language to describe the Chile’s gender politics. “You don’t know/ What it is to deal with this leprosy… he’s a fag” here, Pedro describes how people stay away from him simply because he is gay.

In his poem “For My Sadness: Blue Violet” the persona talks about his deceased mother and the perfect place to bury her. His mother always wanted to be buried next to poor people in the Metropolitan Cemetery; the persona’s maternal grandmother was buried at the same place. His mother said that she wanted to be next to Mario Palestro and Miss Maris, a hotdog vendor. Maria Palestro was a famous politician from Chile. He was born in 1921 and died in 2000. He belonged to the Socialist party of Chile and was successfully elected to numerous political seats between 1949 and 1973. Mario was very popular in Santiago, where Lemebel grew up. Agusto Pinochet placed him on the top ten list of the most dangerous individuals to the country; he therefore went into exile in Norway where he organized a resistance. He went back to Chile in 1988; he was re-elected as a local representative due to his popularity in 1989. 35 textos (Greenwell).

Pedro Lemebel is well-known for stimulating the cronica (chronicle) genre. Moreover, the artiste transformed the structure a poverty, gay, and marginalised angle. In other words, he campaigned for the rights of all marginalised groups depicting a unique mind-set in a country compounded by dictatorship. The Tengo miedo is one of his eempplary novels that made him famous. Unlike other authors, Pedro Lemebel was courageous enough to resist the dictatorship within the country and even portrayed all these aspects through his works. As an activist for equality, he would intervene in numerous occasions to save the public from the hands of dictatorship. Through his work, people were able to see the dark side of the country’s modernity. Lemebel’s chronicles dwell on pop figures, exiles, drug addicts, drag-queens, acquintances, and lovers among other traits of the country’s urban periphery. Lemebel’s works illustrates an erotic perception of the city, which revolves around individuals who have been neglected from the normative treatises of the neoliberal city. It provides an accurate perception of the post-1970s Chilean myth (Greenwell).

The book My Tender Matador revolves around the historical aspect that transformed Chile forever after Augusto Pinochet was nearly killed. It an explosive piece that enlightens people regarding the dictatorship surrounding the country. The fact that he could write about the real happening within the country made his works even more enticing. Augusto Pinochet was slowly losing his grasp on power. Outlining the actual events surrounding the country’s politics was a courageous act, particularly due to dictatorship. The novel is an excellent piece dwelling on forbidden love, revolution, as well as Chile’s political situation. Though funny, the authors prose depicts a close window into Pinochet’s world. It is worth noting that Lemebel critiqued the authoritarian nature of the country’s leadership. Pinochet struggles with radical nonentities, adverse world view, despotic contemplations, petrifying hallucinations, and a limitlessly babbling wife who has more affection and respect for her stylist instead of her husband (Howard).

Overall, Lemebel remains an icon due to his courageous fight against dictatorship. The country was entangled in strange leadership that marginalized other groups without any concern. As an activist, Lemebel fearlessly fought for the rights of the underprivileged through actions and writing. The author accurately portrayed the country’s political situation through his novels. To some extent, Chile’s progress in terms of leadership is associated to Pedro Lemebel.

Works Cited

Bramwell, Charity. "Sergio Holas-Véliz and Israel Holas Allimant." 1 May 2015. .

Greenwell, Garth. "A Surreal End for an Unforgettable Queen: Pedro Lemebel, 1952-2015." 28 January 2015. .

Howard, April. "In Memoriam: Pedro Lemebel’s Chronicles of the Pinochet Dictatorship." 29 January 2015. .

July 24, 2021

Identity Human Rights

Subject area:

Gay Advocacy Civil Rights

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Expertise Civil Rights
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