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ConnexionsHistories of Race and Sex in North America$
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Jennifer Brier, Jim Downs, and Jennifer L. Morgan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040399

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040399.001.0001

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The Soul of the Boy Was … Aztec

The Soul of the Boy Was … Aztec

Race and Sexuality in Ramón Novarro’s Self-Narrative

Chapter:
(p.127) Chapter 6 The Soul of the Boy Was … Aztec
Source:
Connexions
Author(s):

Ernesto Chávez

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040399.003.0006

This chapter focuses on the life of the Mexican film star Ramón Novarro. It interrogates how Novarro used his racial identity to mask his homosexuality throughout his forty-year career. By excavating images of and articles about Novarro in print culture, the chapter reveals how Novarro self-fashioned a narrative that obfuscated his sexual orientation and at times coded his sexuality through a complex narrative of self-presentation. In doing so the chapter seeks to provide a counterpoint to the usual narratives of Novarro as an unfortunate victim of his era, by presenting him as a vibrant historical actor rather than as a tragic movie star.

Keywords:   Ramón Novarro, racial identity, homosexuality, race, print culture, sexuality, self-presentation, self-narrative

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