Borderlands

The thing about Anzaldúa’s book is that it is not just about any borderlands, it is about a specific region. Yes, I know she extrapolates a great deal from there, but it is STILL into largely US based theory (gone global). But it is from a region and the writing voice does have an identity, even if not a flat one.

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La bibliothèque

I have to get the things I said I would, and López Velarde, and the Anzaldúa book I don’t have, and that’s there. I ordered the other one, and might donate it to the library. I’ll see about the Thomas Ward article (Gloria Anzaldúa y la lucha fronteriza).

I’m keeping in mind this manifesto on G.A. and healing and also the books that seem to have ended up in my Amazon carrito and not on a library list. I’ll keep the Saldívar-Hull introduction to the 1999 Borderlands in mind — the border subject is anyone, it says almost literally. I’m keeping in mind Kraniauskas on hybridity, and his references.

There is also the Crítica de la razón andina AND the critiques of postcolonial and ALSO of decolonial reason.  And there are the books I have hiding in my nascent electronic bookshelves, in Apple and Google.

And those e-shelves are probably where I should put the books I keep on Amazon wishlists. And it does not seem I will ever really use Jabrefs  or Zotero, although I know they are cool — these things remain to be seen.

I need Unzueta’s book, and I need to check out, for teaching, the anthology Spanish American Thought and Culture ed. by Jorge Aguilar Mora, Josefa Salmón, y Barbara C. Ewell.

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A Wrench in the Gears

This is the most brilliant blog ever, and we should all be studying it.

Also: why did I not know about Gamaliel Churata?

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La imaginación histórica y el romance nacional en Hispanoamérica

I will use Interlibrary loan and get this book. I don’t want to spend almost $40 to buy it used. The nearest copy is in Texas, 208 miles away. But it should be in all libraries, including at least two in this state. I will do it tomorrow.

I don’t like interlibrary loan because first you wait, then you quickly xerox because the three days you have the book won’t be the three in which you can read it. I wish I had a PDF of it.

Maybe there are articles that became chapters of this book, and I can read those. There are also later articles.

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Filed under Banes, Race book, Resources, Working

Reading novels

I am not a good consumer of novels, they seem long and not always interesting enough for the effort they take, but on the plane I started reading David Trueba’s Saber perder and I liked it. I have slightly ruined it by speed-reading and also reading ahead, skipping around. I should not do this because the reason I like it is precisely because its understated prose is so composed as to allow you to walk along the book at a nice pace. I like Carlos Velázquez’ El karma de vivir al Norte, too. I like the stark and devastating, or devastated prose. I like it in the way I like the prose of Daniel Sada. Prose of the desert. I’ve been reading Velásquez’ chapters backward and out of order, too, and to have read from the first page forward would have been another experience.

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The edge of democracy

It is a film by Petra Costa about Bolsonaro and it is opening in San Francisco January 5, although it is almost a year old and is apparently available on Netflix already. Apparently it is very important and we should show it in class if there is any way to justify doing something in Portuguese.

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Filed under Cinearte, Teaching

For Anzaldúa and JALLA

For ages I kept around this essay by Linda Gordon, from Dissent (Spring 1999, 41-47), called “The trouble with difference.” As she notes, it follows on a piece of hers in Genders (1991) on related issues. She says gender difference called up hopes of community among women, sisterhood; differences among women (typically racial) reinforce bonds within smaller groups. This idea of difference, though, also impedes connection and the imagining of a larger community. It’s fragmenting. (Note that she points out that the discourse of personal guilt is not helpful.) Also, she notes that difference talk leads us away from specifying the relationships that give rise to gender, racial, class and other inequalities / alienations. “We need to ask for much, much more than merely respecting difference.” [47, emphasis added] Mere respect depoliticizes the idea of difference — and “difference” and “diversity” come to mask power (46). It is a smart piece.

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The JALLA paper is about alternatives to Sommer, and the possible impossibility of positing a nation. This old paper by Alberto M. cites an old paper by Jean F. that talks about novels dealing with the impossibility of construction of the modern Latin American state. Franco apparently looks at GGM, Yo el Supremo, and some of Rodríguez Juliá. She is engaging in a polemic with Jameson … and doesn’t talk about Arguedas/Zorro which does fit Jameson’s model while turning it against itself. . . . Magical realism seeks its own undoing; can we say the same of transculturation?

From the fourth section of the piece: Zorros opens up a new cycle of LA writing because it closes the possibility of anthropological writing, or ethnofiction. It does so by taking anthropological ethnofiction to a breaking point. There, magical realism, the organizing principle of ethnofiction, is epistemologically shattered because it is revealed to be inexorably dependent upon the subordination of indigenous cultures to an always already Western-hegemonic machine of transculturation: to modernization itself. The indigenous components are enormous and they break the frame, as it were; it is not possible to join Andean culture and modernity in a relation of non-subordination; transculturation is still part of coloniality . . . and magical realism is as well.

Earlier on: “Transculturation is a war machine, feeding on cultural difference, whose principal function is the reduction of the possibility of radical cultural heterogeneity.” (94)

That is key, and I have always like this article, and that has always been my impression of Latin America, before I could say it: a place of radical heterogeneity that everyone is trying to contain.

I will keep trying to work on this, too, and I think the radical heterogeneity is the germ of my JALLA paper. But I was reading this, on Arguedas, for Anzaldúa, and Moreiras quotes Spitta (all of this is so old) — see p. 88, A.’s subject would be that perfectly transculturated one.

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