Passing in Catalonia: Performative Nationalism in Lluny de l’horitzó perfumat

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This article examines the politics and erotics of Catalan nationalism in the 2004 novel Lluny de l’horitzó perfumat (Far from the Perfumed Horizon), written in Catalan by the Palestinian-Catalan writer Salah Jamal and set in Barcelona during the Transition to Democracy. The article argues that the narrator’s ability to “pass”—across ethnoracial, religious, linguistic, socioeconomic and political lines—is not only an individual’s tactic for securing social mobility, but also a gauge of shifting national narratives in the Transition. The article shows how socioeconomic class played into racial constructs that, in turn, supported the nationalist reimagining of Catalonia as a space apart during the Transition. By way of conclusion, the article proposes one of the novel’s many satirical monikers, “Moroland,” as a keyword for conceptualizing Catalonia as a transnational space of passing. “Moroland” offers a theory for rethinking Transition-era Catalonia in terms of the instability and performativity of identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-568
Number of pages24
JournalHispanic Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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