Excuse our Portuguese, and pardon the long title, but there’s a lot packed in these critical 266 pages. Without giving away any spoilers, there’s insight provided by Georges Bataille, a fertile wizard of gory-erotic poetic imagery, into the nature of pseudonyms. For one, Glauco Mattoso is a semantic stage-name of sorts—in Portuguese, it becomes a punk rock play on words roughly translating into “one who has glaucoma.”
Perversions on Parade: Brazilian Literature of Transgression and Postmodern Anti-Aesthetics in Glauco Mattoso by Steven F. Butterman (Author), Rebecca Saraceno (Illustrator)
But the punk rock nature of Mattoso’s work goes further, actually toeing the fetishistic fixations of Quentin Tarantino: namely upon feet. But, we’re not here to be basic, to shock you into reading a book about weirdos who are turned on by toes (shrimping is a term that we highly encourage you “NOT TO GOOGLE”). No, in this serious academic text, Judith Butler shares insight into the pleasure which is derived from the troubling nature of the categorization of the binary gender performative. Mattoso, according to Perversions on Parade, manages to fetishize feet so much that he negates the categorization itself and invokes a genderless subject who is overtaken by the excessive joy of the conceived/perceived “foot.” All in a day’s worship,— sorry, a day’s work.
But don’t let us tease you any further. Pick up a copy of Steven F. Butterman's Perversions on Parade here. It turns us on. Really. And it solves one more predicament. Mattoso remains quite obscure to the English-speaking world. In fact, for those of us who don’t know Portuguese, there’s not much to read about the man, and not much of his work available. For those of us restricted to simple Google searches, few solid English translations of his poems exist. So: if you or anyone you know translates Portuguese and enjoys LGBTQ theory, poetics, performative, etc., get at us. ASAP!
Pictured: Glauco Mattoso