Paul Julian Smith – Hispanic Gay Autobiography: from Text to Film



Event Date: Tuesday 19 October, 6 pm
in Main Lecture Theatre (MLT), Founder’s Building,
Royal Holloway, University of London



The David Vilaseca Memorial Lecture

‘Hispanic Gay Autobiography: from Text to Film’ Professor Paul Julian Smith



On Tuesday 19 October 2010, Professor Paul Julian Smith will deliver the first David Vilaseca Memorial Lecture, ‘Hispanic Gay Autobiography: from Text to Film’, at Royal Holloway, University of London. The Annual Lecture honours the memory of David Vilaseca, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Critical Theory at Royal Holloway, who died tragically in a road traffic accident in London on 9 February 2010. It will be followed by the launch of David’s last monograph, Queer Events: Post-Deconstructive Subjectivities in Spanish Writing and Film, 1960s to 1990s, published by Liverpool UP.

Professor Paul Julian Smith is Distinguished Professor, the PhD Programme in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, USA.

Johnny Depp in Before Night Falls

Abstract of the lecture
David Vilaseca made a decisive and lasting contribution to a Hispanism by offering masterful readings of life writings by Catalan painter and genius of self-invention Salvador Dalí, Cuban novelist, exile, and PWA Reinaldo Arenas, and Catalan poet, aesthete, and reluctant businessman, Jaime Gil de Biedma, who also succumbed to AIDS. The aim of this first memorial lecture is to give an account of David Vilaseca’s subtle and uncompromising readings of these three figures and to extend that critique to diverse film versions of their very different life stories. These are: British director Paul Morrison’s account of Dalí’s abortive affair with poet Federico García Lorca, Little Ashes (2009) (starring Twilight-hunk Robert Pattinson); New York painter Julian Schnabel’s version of Reinaldo Arenas’ autobiography Before Night Falls (2001) (starring Javier Bardem); and Valencian Sigfrid Monleón’s debut feature El cónsul de Sodoma (2010), a scandalous recreation of the cosmopolitan and pleasure-loving life of Jaime Gil de Biedma in both Manila and Barcelona (starring Jordi Mollà).





Vote of Thanks by Richard Pym:



accompanying images:

Selected scenes from the films mentioned can be found on YouTube:

Little Ashes (2009)

Before Night Falls (2001)

El cónsul de Sodoma (2010)

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