Tres oraciones en treinta minutos

This is to say that inclusivity does not resolve the problem of racial difference but functions to mask or render unspeakable the mechanisms of exclusion and hierarchization which still persist. The elasticity of the category Hispanic does stand in contrast to the less flexible categories that have operated in the United States or South Africa, enabling José Martí to posit in 1891 the existence of a specifically Latin American cuture where “[n]o hay odio de razas, porque no hay razas” and “El alma emana, igual y eterna, de los cuerpos diversos en forma y en color.” Yet inclusion in the raza hispana does not confer recognition as blanco, as Martí’s own text suggests, and history shows that conflict ensues when mestizaje mounts a serious challenge to hierarchies of lineage and color.

I started with the notes I had made yesterday, wrote and revised this, and decided which of the other points I want to make in the paper follows from right here. This is my old-old composition strategy, developed from the sixth grade forward.

I know this is only 132 words. They were actually written in 30 minutes, far too slow for Trollope. I lazily couched the accomplishment of this work somewhere in four hours, during which I also thought about it, made coffee, read news, and chatted with a former student about teaching ideas and an article of hers.

The Boyceans would say I was procrastinating and should have used my time more wisely but this was how I wanted to do it, and it’s a Friday in summer so I could, and I thought it was all very human, and this is what I like those large blocks of time for, some days.



Filed under News, What Is A Scholar?

10 responses to “Tres oraciones en treinta minutos

  1. Z

    Aline Helg to the rescue. We actually have this book in our library, too. Was Bolívar concerned about Haiti? Surely.

    Liberty & equality in Caribbean Colombia, 1770-1835

    Author: Aline Helg
    Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, ©2004.

  2. I haven’t read it. It is not exactly what you seem to be working on, but here are a few references:

    And here, a brief article by the author on the topic:

    Gruner is an Argentinean scholar working in Argentina, so that is an important context (influences, who is he is dialogue with, scholarly works in Argentina, etc).

    • Z

      Aha! The article is fantastic and I did not know it. I am rereading Julio Ramos on Sarmiento as we we speak. I am trying to get us beyond Doris Sommer on the 19th century. This is a paper for a Comp. Lit. audience that may not know anything Latin American. Abstract I appear already to be superando or cambiando:

      The Darker Side of Mestizaje

      This paper rereads three nineteenth century novels from the Americas: Jorge Isaacs’ María (Colombia), Cirilo Villaverde’s Cecilia Valdés (Cuba/U.S.A.), and Aluízio de Azevedo’s O Mulato (Brazil), in light of David Theo Goldberg and Denise Ferreira da Silva’s theoretical work on race, modernity and the state. If race is constitutive of the modern state, as Goldberg demonstrates (2002), or of modernity itself, as da Silva argues (2007), the liberal assumption that inequality can be addressed within the framework of the nation does not hold. How might this perception change our readings of the nineteenth century texts commonly read as signs and symptoms of a mestizo or post-racial nation to come?

      María, Cecilia Valdés, and O Mulato are all “foundational” texts in their national canons. Like several other novels of the period they tell stories intertwining incest and miscegenation. Read through the lens of the national projects based on cultural mixture embraced in the 1930s, the literature of this earlier period can be seen to form a corpus in which newly independent nations trace a common origin and project future cohesion. The texts examined here, however, chronicle rupture and and loss, not union or suture; they might more accurately be considered novels of originary violence than of national conciliation.

      At stake in these writings is not only the formation of a national culture but also that of the racial state that lies behind it. The reader may be witnessing a shift within the modernizing state, but not a challenge to the patriarchy and its racial hierarchies. Goldberg and da Silva, both comparative scholars working beyond the frame of the nation, may help elucidate some of the complexities around the articulation of race and state in these texts, and shed light on some of ambiguities and impasses present-day discourse on race inherits from this era.

      The paper draws on research on race and the state in the Hispanic world by Jens Andermann, Joshua Goode, Joshua Lund, Deborah Poole, and Javier Sanjinés, as well as and recent work on race and social policy by Gonzalo Portocarrero, Sérgio Paulo Guimarães, and Robert Cottrell. It considers Villaverde’s New Orleans sources, parallels and intertexts including George Washington Cable’s Les Grandissimes and Charles Gayarré’s Fernando de Lemos, and the fact that Cuba’s national novel was written over thirty years’ residence in the United States.

  3. And I am sorry, the Amazon link seems an affiliated link. I didn’t mean to do it, but I don’t know how to turn it off

  4. No, it is the right one. I have an affiliated link for my blog (I’ve made a whooping $50 bucks on Amazon since the blog inception), but I didn’t realize I was leaving my link on your blog and I was apologizing for that

  5. A few chapters of Gruner’s book are on Scribd

  6. Z

    And the Scielo piece is related to the Mayhew idea on exceptionalism as discourse of modernity.

    Jonathan said…

    Yes. I’m trying to argue that exceptionalism is a discourse of modernity, even when it appeals to the past / the primitive, etc… I’m finding this true constantly. It makes sense when you think about it. Those kind of appeals only make sense in relation to modernity itself, if only the modernity of mall culture.

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