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Butterflies Will Burn

Butterflies Will Burn

Federico Garza Carvajal
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7560/701830
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    Butterflies Will Burn
    Book Description:

    As Spain consolidated its Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, discourses about the perfect Spanish man or "Vir" went hand-in-hand with discourses about another kind of man, one who engaged in the "abominable crime and sin against nature"-sodomy. In both Spain and Mexico, sodomy came to rank second only to heresy as a cause for prosecution, and hundreds of sodomites were tortured, garroted, or burned alive for violating Spanish ideals of manliness. Yet in reality, as Federico Garza Carvajal argues in this groundbreaking book, the prosecution of sodomites had little to do with issues of gender and was much more a concomitant of empire building and the need to justify political and economic domination of subject peoples.

    Drawing on previously unpublished records of some three hundred sodomy trials conducted in Spain and Mexico between 1561 and 1699, Garza Carvajal examines the sodomy discourses that emerged in Andalucía, seat of Spain's colonial apparatus, and in the viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico), its first and largest American colony. From these discourses, he convincingly demonstrates that the concept of sodomy (more than the actual practice) was crucial to the Iberian colonizing program. Because sodomy opposed the ideal of "Vir" and the Spanish nationhood with which it was intimately associated, the prosecution of sodomy justified Spain's domination of foreigners (many of whom were represented as sodomites) in the peninsula and of "Indios" in Mexico, a totally subject people depicted as effeminate and prone to sodomitical acts, cannibalism, and inebriation.

    eISBN: 978-0-292-79861-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. NOTES ON TRANSLATION AND TRANSCRIPTION
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xxii)
  7. PROLOGUE VARIED TEXTURES
    (pp. 1-14)

    Like many of his fellow contemporaries in early seventeenth-century Seville, Fray Pedro de León believed that sodomy constituted a sin and a crime contra natura, one that had been imported from abroad and then spread like some contagious, pestilential plague—“la lacra,” as he often stated.¹ In fact, wrote de León, the Lord Mayor of His Majesty’s Prison in Seville had the “brilliant foresight to imprison the sodomites apart from the other prisoners for fear of their contamination.”² “Very dangerous,” thought de León, “to allow two boys to lie together in bed.”³ But the pestilential vice respected no boundaries.

    One...

  8. CHAPTER 1 A TOTAL MAN AND A TOTAL WOMAN Textual Effigies and the New Postcolonial Historian
    (pp. 15-38)

    In 1626, as Alonso Díaz Ramírez de Guzmán, a Spanish ensign, sat on a stone cliff in front of a palace in Genoa, a “gallant and well-dressed Italian soldier” sporting a grand wig of many locks, approached him and asked, “Sire, are you a Spaniard?” To which Alonso responded, “Yes.” “In that case,” mused the Italian soldier, “your lordship must be quite haughty and arrogant, like most Spaniards, although you are not the proud heroes you tend to boast about.” “I,” retorted Alonso, look upon Spaniards as “quite manly in every respect.” “And I,” insisted the Italian soldier, “take them...

  9. CHAPTER 2 A BRIEF HISTORY OF EARLY MODERN SPAIN ON SODOMIE
    (pp. 39-73)

    The expulsion of the Moors by Spanish troops from Granada in 1492 initiated a period of somber culture in Spain. “After so much travail, expense, death and bloodshed,” wrote King Fernando, “we have won for the glory of God, for the exaltation of our Holy Catholic Faith, and for the honour of the Apostolic See, this Kingdom of Granada, occupied for 780 years by infidels.”¹ From that day forward, a new culture would emerge, one in which Catholicism portrayed sexual mores in light of the new religiosity.² At the forefront, the Council of Trent—obsessed with sexophobia and the concept...

  10. CHAPTER 3 MARINER, WOULD YOU SCRATCH MY LEGS? Sodomy Prosecutions in Andalusia, and the Ensign Who Liked His Kisses with a Bit of Tongue
    (pp. 74-130)

    In 1698, Magistrate Villarán pronounced both Bartholomé, a mariner from Sicily, and Giovanni Mule, a native of Palermo, guilty of having committed the “nefarious sin of sodomy” on board Nuestra Señora del Carmen, an admiral’s ship docked in the harbor complex of Cádiz while waiting to set sail for the Indies. Three years later, after a lengthy appeal process before the Royal Council of the Indies in Madrid, Bartholomé Varres Cavallero, who was twenty-six years old, “with minute diffidence came out of the Royal Jail in Cádiz mounted on an old beast of burden, dressed in a white tunic and...

  11. CHAPTER 4 COTITA AND THE ANTIPODAS or How a Cadre of Effeminate Sodomites Infested New Spain with an Endemic Cancer Known as the Abominable Sin contra Natura
    (pp. 131-183)

    When Juan de Correa, aged “over seventy years,” appeared before His Majesty’s High Court in 1656 Mexico City, the “old mestizo” continuously denied ever having committed the nefarious sin against nature. But the lord magistrate persisted in his interrogations of Correa, and the old man finally admitted that he had committed the pecado contra natura “for more than forty years with many persons,” whose names he also revealed. The surgeons of the Mexican High Court, in fact, “proved that Correa had committed sodomy since the age of seven.” Correa so “lamented the past.” Thus, he “applauded” the fact that “the...

  12. EPILOGUE He Died of a Broken Heart
    (pp. 184-188)

    In this book, I have attempted to demonstrate how the prosecutions of sodomites in Spain/New Spain were intertwined with perceptions of manliness, a historical phenomenon inextricably linked to cultural shifts—religious, political, economic—in the imperial sphere. The first royal sodomy Pragmática of the early modern period, issued in 1497, marked a rupture with the libertinism afforded sodomitical practices in the peninsula in previous decades. This decree, in addition to subsequent royal sodomy Pragmáticas and other historical occurrences, such as the reconquest of the Spanish peninsula from the infidel Moors, the exile of Jews, and the discovery of America Septentrionalis...

  13. APPENDIX 1 NATURA ARMADA
    (pp. 189-192)
  14. APPENDIX 2 TENTANDO PIJAS Y SIESOS: COMO SE CONFIRMA EL DERRAMAMIENTO DE LA SUCIEDAD
    (pp. 193-199)
  15. APPENDIX 3 COTITA QUE ES LO MISMO QUE MARIQUITA Y SUS LINDAS NIÑAS EN LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (1657–1658)
    (pp. 200-202)
  16. NOTES
    (pp. 203-256)
  17. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 257-268)
  18. WORKS CITED
    (pp. 269-302)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 303-310)