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  • ICAA Record ID
    778162
    AUTHOR
    Monsiváis, Carlos
    TITLE
    Los 41 y la gran redada / Carlos Monsiváis
    IN
    Letras Libres : Revista mensual (México, D. F., México). -- No. 40 (Abr., 2002)
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 22-28 : ill.
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Journal article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Carlos Monsiváis. "Los 41 y la gran redada." Letras Libres: Revista mensual (Mexico City) 4, no.40 (April 2002): 22-28.
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    Cuéllar, José Tomás de; Díaz, Porfirio; Prieto, Guillermo
Editorial Categories [?]
Synopsis

As part of his research into the rumors and the legend concerning the Baile de los 41 [Dance of the 41]—a scandalous police raid in Mexico City in which 42 homosexual men were arrested—Carlos Monsiváis turns to contemporary newspaper reports. He reads books on the period of the Porfirio Díaz administration and scours a variety of documents in search of the truth. Among other goals, Monsiváis seeks to discover the present name of the street known as “calle de la Paz,” clarify the scandal surrounding the involvement of Porfirio Díaz’s family and members of Mexico’s high society, and explore the presence of homosexuality in Mexico’s nineteenth-century literature. 

Annotations

The writer and journalist Carlos Monsiváis (1938-2010) provides hitherto unknown information about the legendary dance of The Forty One, held in 1901, that was disrupted by a scandalous raid that led to the arrest of 42 men, many of whom were dressed as women. Monsiváis refers to contemporary attitudes to homosexuality by quoting from an excerpt from the novel La linterna mágica [The Magic Lantern] by José Tomás de Cuellar titled “Chucho el Ninfa” [Chucho the Hooker] (1871). This excerpt depicts the tacitly accepted lifestyle of men who eschewed accepted rules of morality and lived alone in the shadows, hung around public baths, arranged secret parties, and possessed a heart divided in two. All this allowed them to live unmolested during the nineteenth century. 

After that night, the term “forty one” in Mexico has come to imply homosexuality and intolerance. There are paintings by José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), Diego Rivera (1886-1957), José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949), and Antonio Ruiz—which refer to the event in a grotesque, mocking manner—that reveal the effeminate nature of a certain Mexican subculture.

Researcher
Alejandro García : CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit
Courtesy of the Private Archives of Carlos Monsiváis, Mexico City, México

Location
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional