This introduction accompanies a partial translation of southern Brazilian author Wilson Bueno's 1992 short novel Mar Paraguayo (Paraguayan Sea), originally written in a hybrid language of Portuguese and Spanish commonly known as Portunhol and mixed with ample vocabulary from Guarani, a cross-border indigenous language of the region. The text serves as an example not only of literary cross-identification between the male author and the presumably female, but also quite possibly transgender, protagonist, but also cross-identification in the particular transnational political and social context of the Southern Cone of South America in the decade following a series of violent CIA-supported military dictatorships. By translating the text at least partially into a similarly hybrid “language of empire,” one comprising both elements of English and remnants of the original text, how might this textual transformation perform an implicit critique on the usage of language as cultural hegemony—not only in the dissemination of gender norms as an integral part of the ideology of authoritarian nation-states, but also in the transnational imposition of such regimes in the geopolitical context of late Cold War US imperialism? Along with providing this complex transnational, cultural, and linguistic context, this introductory text also attempts to shed some light on the facts surrounding the author's murder in 2010 and question the process of justice, as well as ask whether translation, in the ways it introduces new linguistic and cultural contexts for discussions/denunciations of violence against gender minorities, might take on yet another performative critical function.

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