Samples of Intersexual States in El ángel de Sodoma

In the novel El ángel de Sodoma, published in Spain in 1928, Alfonso Hernández Catá introduces homosexuality through his 18-year-old protagonist called José María. Different authors have studied the protagonist’s homosexuality and the reaction of the novel’s society to it (Bejel; Galdo; Mejías-López). Furthermore, the character is also surrounded by very peculiar family members. Maite Zubiaurre has expanded the previous analyses by focusing on the inversion presented in the sisters Isabel and Luisa, and the duality between the traditional versus the modernity represented by don Santiago, José María’s father. Nevertheless, the present presentation moves a step further and analyses how Hernández Catá employs all six family members, including José María’s brother Jaime and their mother, to normalize homosexuality and other intersexual states present in society. This normalization is accomplished by applying the theory of the well-known Spanish endocrinologist Gregorio Marañón from his books La evolución de la sexualidad y los estados intersexuales and Tres ensayos sobre la vida sexual to the novel. Through the presentation of the samples of different intersexual states, Hernández Catá demonstrates how frequent these states are in society and facilitates, the readers at that time, its understanding through his novel.


  • Spanish Peninsular Studies