Google

I truly resent Chrome and Firefox demanding your phone number or other information if you try to open e-mail at the public library; I have never given them my number nor do I feel they are justified in expecting me to even have a telephone. I do not believe their requirements exist for my own protection. I don’t use the Google search engine and now I am going to drop gmail. I think I will go with kolab. What do you use?

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Questions

Ho Chi Minh 1924

It is well-known that the spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Race book, Uncategorized

Ginzburg, Melville

The July 29 New Yorker has a beautiful article about Natalia Ginzburg, who is wonderful, and a fascinating one about Melville. Ginzburg: imagination is stronger when you are happy – suffering makes the imagination weak and lazy – drowning in emotions, and in particular, in pain is NOT what women writers should do. This is in the 1949 essay “My vocation” and the author notes that Woolf said something very similar in AROOO. Melville themes: whiteness, race, family romance, and insanity. I love Melville and this article.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bibliography

The new outline

I

1. The national novels are disturbing for what they do with incest, race, death [originary violence, romance of origins]
2. They’ve become nat. novels and also, under influence of Jameson & then Sommer, been read as nat. allegories
3. At that point the 1920s/30s national projects, which reflect some letrado discourse from further back (e.g. Bolívar), get projected back into the said novels
4. But these happy readings, about progress, don’t fit with actual policy — nor with the texts themselves
5. The texts aren’t always about forjando patria, but are diasporic, fragmented, fragmenting, exhibiting fissures, intimating failure
6. A novel like C.V. is about the impossibility of foundational discourse, or at least a foundational discourse based on mestizaje, progress, liberal principles
7. In fact such novels – Sab, María, C.V., others – may be about the prevention of solutions and the preservation or reinstallation of hierarchies
8. Indeed, this fits historically, because the earlier 19th century was the era of republican modernity, and in the second half things get much more conservative
9. This ambivalence is what the novels embody and manifest.

II [This needs development]

1. One of the key ways in which they embody and manifest this ambivalence is via “evoke and elide” – do we want to acknowledge and address the race problem, or not? F. da Silva can help us think about this, because

a/ she has a sophisticated way of talking about production of the L.A. subject
[showing why it NEEDS to be racially unstable/ambivalent]
b/ it explains why what I am calling “evoke and elide” keeps happening — shows that it actually is important, central, the formation of discourse on race in L.A.

*note: her theory of the L.A. subject isn’t just the criollo or the entre-lugar, it is more precise
*note: for her, mestizaje is real but is not a solution
*note: what is interesting about her is that she is looking at a global theory of race, so is not looking to claim L.A. or BR exceptionalism, but is looking at specificity
*note: as we know, she says race is a constituent element in modernity/coloniality & as such is not going away [this is going to have to be explained, but how much will I have to summarize and justify, is the question]
*[what was I saying, in the café, about overdetermination?]

***VERY important note: because modernity is coloniality and depends on race, we don’t get to iron race out of modernity: so when we look at things from her paradigm, we can see what is really happening without asking ourselves to see progress or a linear/single/facile narrative***

I have to keep working on this, there is so much to it. KEY: these texts are not talking about mestizo nation but transnational racial state — diasporic, regional, all of it at the same time. Historians are thinking this way about the continent and we should consider whether the literature is doing the same thing, in its way of engaging/producing national discourse / civic space / identity / etc.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Vallejo

I’ve got to create a more efficient way of noting the files I clear, but I don’t want to make the invention of e-bibliography and file systems my center project right now.

Photocopies I am recycling today, great and classic articles:

  1. Ulises Juan Zevallos Aguilar 2001 on Peruvian avant-garde, a wonderful piece that I love.
  2. Stephen Hart, César Vallejo y sus espejismos, another really good article, Romance Quarterly (49, 2:111-118, 2002).

I really like all this work and I get frozen on it because of what US academia has been like for me and how I have not managed to withstand its ills. But this work is such a welcoming world.

I am going to write a bureaucratic document I am afraid to write, this afternoon. Doing it is necessary for one thing, and finishing it should improve me. I fear that by doing it I call doom on my head. Actually by doing it I stand up for myself, define myself, distance myself from evil, stand in the light.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

The common good

We don’t know, of course, if anyone believes in the common good, or the public good any more, but here are some fragmentary notes from a conversation we had.

1. We should talk much more about research. In class. College has to become more interesting – we cannot allow it to be further redefined as rote credentialing. We need research at lower levels.

2. We need a description of the “academy” from an academic point of view. Everyone else is saying what college should be but what do we say?

3. If the university is a public good, it should be supported by public revenues – not special interests.

4. As a public good, the university has non-pecuniary benefits, and these have value even if it is not measured in gold.

5. The liberal arts – intellectual discipline, intellectual agenda, sets intellectual agendas.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under ALFS presentation, ULS Presentation, What Is A Scholar?

Ancient

Ancient notes, I think from a conference 20 years ago, that I kept and kept. What did they say and why did I keep them?

Postmodernism as grand récit flattens out the complexities of Latin American modernism, which had postmodern characteristics and also more, it was more complex. It tries to articulate national and continental modernities from the point of view of a mobile subject.

It looks at itself from Europe and from “America,” and that America is itself fissured. Vallejo’s clear view of fissures in his own identity (and identity itself?) comes from his being from a fissured place. Despite his attempts at creating monumental art, he always ends up emphasizing the fissure.

* Somewhere in PH he refers to Peru as undigested matter
* He was interested in the contingent self – formations from nothingness – not the questioning of an already formed transcendental subject [this was what I used to claim, it was my key idea, and it is something that really needs research and substantiation, that I think exists]
* He was serious about Peruvianness as part of this identity — it is not just something he writes about in his prose to be “PC” or follow current fashion [again, this is something that really needs investigation]
* Peruvian modernity as an “idea out of place”
* Berman, modernism as reaction to modernity – and note Vallejo has been written on with Berman in mind; modernity in Peru had not been realized; note authoritarianism of Peru, combined and uneven development.
* Mariátegui talked about how to modernize and whom to include in modernization; this is important.
* Revista Mundial; Leguía; Revista Peruana, Mercurio Peruano, Amauta
*
There were two vanguardias: the international and the indigenista one. Los heraldos negros does both
* See the revista Anunciación and the writer César Atahualpa Rodríguez, of Arequipa

And we have a few more notes, before I end this round of mind-watering and start seriously writing. I always get really nostalgic when I see my notes, the research I was so interested in but that was to be done by the self I was so alienated from. Here are some notes on that, from a conversation with Quinn. I wish I could reconstruct more of them, and I do not fully understand what I have. They say, or Quinn said:

– I have trouble working because the environment feels so oppressive.
– Work is what I want but it is also a PTSD trigger.
– I was taught to catastrophize and THAT is a PTSD trigger, too.
– DO NOT CATASTROPHIZE.
– Anxiety and so on are, or are results of brain trauma. Think again about PTSD, complex PTSD. (Think of that serious-comic video we were watching.)
– This university gaslights you, makes you doubt reality or your reality; they’re outright mean, denying rights and projecting low motives into everyone
– Again, always de-catastrophize.
– Again, it is hard to concentrate due to the oppressive atmosphere and the PTSD triggers; these things lead to EXECUTIVE DYSFUNCTION
– Executive dysfunction: “If I experience this, if I have these feelings, I will die”
– Dissociating because of this
– The self-deprecating humor of people from the margins is actually humiliation, and it is something people do to get permission to speak
– But actually, nobody has the right to treat anyone poorly
– I have been in so much pain so many days, and under so much pressure / feeling as though there were nowhere to turn
– When you soak a child in shame they cannot develop the neural pathways that lead to self-worth
– According Robert Scaer (trauma expert and neuroscientist), “trauma is any life stress that occurs in a state of helplessness.” [Source]
– I was taught you should succumb to [negativity] to prove you “were not numb” (which was a sin) but that was WRONG. You should stand up for yourself, care for and about yourself, believe in yourself, NOT allow destruction to colonize you.

Clorinda Matto REALLY believes in periodismo – believes in immigration and ANSINA – in sending Italians to Peru – because the Chinese are “enfermizos” whereas the Italians are part of the “raza latina.” The Italians came about 1840 because of the guano boom, GARIBALDI the nationalist arrived about 1852.

Matto favors professional education for women because it improves their lives and also makes marriage something other than prostitution. She points out that 60% of women are not mothers or wives (very interesting figure). AND she is against centralismo limeño. She talks about women as speaking subjects, not only objects of contemplation or study.

El Perú ilustrado and the ambiguous, or ambivalent discourse of progress. See also Gargurevich. Meanwhile González Prada, after the war with Chile, said the real Peru was the Indians. This, together with Matto’s turn to indigenismo, is a major shift. Matto, here and elsewhere, was interested in creating a national literature that did not follow European models — she was looking to PERUANIZAR EL PERU — and she looks back to Manco Cápac and people of that era. She believes in the press as a venue for this ideological work, and also that literature and commerce support each other.

W.E.B. DuBois wanted African-Americans to fight for their rights as a race – he believed in this U.S. idea of differences between people and cultures, but equality of opportunity and rights. I.E.: you did not have to be of one race and culture to have equal rights. That is, he thought black culture, African culture, were real. That may not be as clear in Brazil.

I have quite a few heavily marked pages from an old LARR article that is interesting, and seems to be a review essay; what I was marking about: when Brazil was advertising itself as inclusive and a racial democracy, it did not just have “informal racism” that enforced discrimination although not officially. There were very apparent patterns of state-sponsored exclusion during the 1st Republic. There’s a collection of essays, called Race, Science and Society (in Portuguese), edited by Maio and Santos, on these racial politics. Whitening was state policy. THERE WAS STATE POLICY. Another book, The Spectacle of the Races, is really important on this. And there is Hendrik Kraay’s collection of essays on Afro-Brazilian Culture and Politcs in Bahia, that ALSO indicates how much work the state did as guardian of inequality. This article also has some useful criticisms of F. W. Twine’s work, and the general takeaway is that research at the time this piece was written focuses on HOW discrimination operated (it had moved on from just showing, having to show that it had been there).

I know typing this looks like a form of procrastination but I don’t think it is really. I have to recover all the things I was thinking of, soak them back into me. Also: during this period I kept stopping work because I was so discouraged about self and life but the answer to that is to recover self-respect and keep on working. WHY was it in fashion to let detractors take one over? It was a bad fashion.

There is an R. Rosello article in Paragraph 18 (1) (1995), “Practices of Hybridity” that was worth looking it, talking about hybridity as a “beyond” space — I was interested in going beyond that idea. And there was Cornejo Polar, on the novela indigenista and hybridity. The novela indigenista had heterogeneity of elements; socio-cultural space de índole desigual y conflictiva. Mariátegui talked about the carácter no orgánicamente nacional de la literatura peruana, stemming from the language dualism, Quechua/Spanish. The real maraviolloso is also indigenista, about the cruce conflictivo de dos sociedades and dos culturas.

Un universo dividido: Peru was capitalist and also feudal, since inside production it was feudal even though the exterior was capitalist; there was also the interpenetration of Indian and white customs (cf. Arguedas). The dyad indianismo/indigenismo presupposes a dualidad indio/metrópoli — unlike González Prada, M. does NOT say the “true Peru”is Indian. Leguía’s indigenismo posited the indios puros as symbols; Cornejo likes Rama. M.’s indigenismo is progressive; heterogeneidad social is class struggle and indigenismo itself is heterogeneous as well as being about cultural heterogeneity (as we know, heterogeneity is distinguished from mestizaje). Also: cultural nationalismo is about returning to [“true” and unitary] roots.

Indigenista discourse presupposes a difference between the producers of the said discourse and those represented in it; this difference is determined societally and culturally. So again, indigenismo itself is heterogeneous and demonstrates the heterogeneity of the carácter nacional.

Axé.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bibliography, Borderlands, Race book