Women and Poisson-chats: a Nameless Desire in Monique Lange

  • Silvia Nugara University of Turin, CIRSDe
Keywords: Monique Lange, Queer, Fag hag, Kissing fish, Desire for the Elsewhere


Women in love with men who love men: a woman’s desire for a gay man is an enigmatic configuration of desire often trivialized if not stigmatized both by terms such as fag hag or fruit fly (frociarola in Italian) and by grotesque literary representations (David Leavitt, Robert Rodi). On the contrary, French writer Monique Lange (1926-1986) has turned such desire into an actual topos deeply investigated throughout most of her production and especially in her début novel The Kissing Fish (1959). The story portrays a bond of fraternity and identification capable of defying hetero-patriarchy as well as sexual and gender norms. Lange’s work therefore depicts a queer form of affection in a sometimes joyful sometimes painful search for social and erotic alternatives.


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Author Biography

Silvia Nugara, University of Turin, CIRSDe

PhD in French Linguistics (University of Brescia and Université de Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle), Silvia Nugara teaches French Linguistics at the University of Turin. Her domain of scientific research is the relationship between gender studies and semio-linguistic disciplines (semiology, rhetoric, critical discourse analysis, lexicology) with reference to the role of discourse (institutional, political, militant and literary discourses) in the construction and circulation of gender norms and representations. She has worked on the notion of “androgynous mind” in Virginia Woolf and of “Neutre” in Roland Barthes.


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How to Cite
Nugara, S. (2013). Women and Poisson-chats: a Nameless Desire in Monique Lange. Between, 3(5). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/885