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

Silvia Nugara


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.


Monique Lange; Queer; Fag hag; Kissing fish; Desire for the Elsewhere

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)


Achache, Carole, Fille de, Paris, Stock, 2011.

Butler, Judith, Bodies That Matter: on the Discursive Limits of Sex, London, Routledge, 1993.

Duras, Marguerite, Yann Andréa Steiner, Paris, P.O.L, 1992.

Duras, Marguerite, Le Monde extérieur, Paris, P.O.L, 1993.

Goytisolo, Juan, Ella, Elle, Hya, Barcelona, Sirpus, 2010.

Halperin, David, Saint Foucault: Toward a Gay Hagiography, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995.

Jansiti, Carlo, Violette Leduc, Paris, Grasset, 1999.

Kosofsky Sedgwick, Eve, “A Dialogue on Love”, Critical Inquiry, 24.2 (1998): 611-631.

Kosofsky Sedgwick, Eve, Epistemology of the Closet (2008), trad.it. Stanze private. Epistemologia e politica della sessualità, Ed. Federico Zappino, Roma, Carocci, 2011.

Lange, Monique, “Anne et les poissons chats ”, Nouvelle Revue Française, 76 (1959a): 604-628.

Lange, Monique, Les Poissons chats, Paris, Gallimard, 1959b.

Lange, Monique, I pescigatto, trad. it. di Bianca Garufi, Torino, Einaudi, 1960 e di Sara Levi, Napoli, Cargo, 2006.

Lange, Monique, La plage espagnole, Paris, Gallimard, 1962.

Lange, Monique, Cabines de bain, Paris, Gallimard, 1982.

Leavitt, David, Family Dancing, New York, Knopf, 1984.

Lingiardi, Vittorio, “Diversi come due gocce d’acqua”, Il sesso, Ed. Luigi Abbate, Milano, Raffaello Cortina, 2004: 79-107.

Matacotta, Franco, “La Sagan è una collegiale al confronto di Monique Lange”, l’Avanti, 8 aprile 1960.

Maupin, Armistead, Tales of the City, New York, Harper and Row, 1978.

McAlmon, Robert, A Companion Volume, Paris, Contact Publishing, 1923.

Mieli, Mario, Elementi di critica omosessuale, Torino, Einaudi, 1977.

Ramster, John, Ladies’ Man, London, Little Brown, 1999.

Recalcati, Massimo, Ritratti del desiderio, Milano, Raffaello Cortina, 2012.

Rich, Adrienne, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” (1980), trad. it. “Eterosessualità obbligatoria ed esistenza lesbica”, DWF, 23-24 (1985): 5-40.

Robertson, Pamela, Guilty Pleasures. Feminist Camp from Mae West to Madonna, London, I.B.Tauris, 1996.

Rodi, Robert, Fag Hag, New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1992.

Sagan, Françoise, Bonjour tristesse, Paris, Julliard, 1954.

Seidman, Naomi, “Fag-Hags and Bu-Jews. Toward a (Jewish) Politics of Vicarious Identity”, Insider/Outsider: American Jews and Multiculturalism, Ed. David Biale – Michael Galchinsky – Susannah Heschel, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998: 254-267.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/885

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17433

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Between is published by the University of Cagliari - Maintenance for this OJS installation is provided by UniCA Open Journals, hosted by Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo.

Between Journal was founded in 2011 with the financial contribution of Fondazione Banco di Sardegna (years 2010-2011).

ISSN 2039-6597 

CC-By lockssDOAJ seal SPARC Europe