1887
Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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Abstract

In The Maltese Falcon (1929/1930), U.S. hard-boiled author Dashiell Hammett used common colloquial terms (queer and fairy) and specialized slang terms (gunsel, the gooseberry lay) to include homosexual characters at a time when pulp magazines and mainstream publishers frowned on diverse sexualities. Hammett subversively introduced these terms in a resolvably ambiguous fashion, relying on readers to trigger underlying homosexual interpretations. Instances of queer and fairy were attenuated in early versions (1933, 1946) but in more recent versions (1968, 1974, 1992, and 2011) were generally preserved (marica) or even intensified (maricón). In many cases, the Spanish translators misinterpreted the gooseberry lay, which has no sexual connotations at all, thinking it meant something homosexual. In all cases, the term gunsel, which does have a homosexual meaning, was stripped of all male same-sex significance and was cast into slang terms for gunman, thug or killer.
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/content/journals/10.1075/target.26.3.01lin
2014-01-01
2019-12-05
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References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/target.26.3.01lin
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ambiguity , hard-boiled novel , homosexuality , literature , sex-related language , slang and translation
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