One Hundred Years of Solitude and the Inevitability of Race

I will go here, but will have to come up with something on women characters not women writers, I fear. I might argue that certain incomprehensible or hard to interpret classics are crystal clear if you think in forbidden terms about gender and race.

Cien años de soledad becomes very clear, for instance, if you read it through a racial lens. Pettway is talking about the invisibility of race but I say that race, while invisible, is also inevitable since it is what unravels the maze of short circuits one finds in this and many other texts.


11 thoughts on “One Hundred Years of Solitude and the Inevitability of Race

  1. “THE ALTAR, THE OATH AND THE BODY OF CHRIST: Ritual Poetics and Cuban Racial Politics of 1844,” a book chapter that examines how a Catholic sacristan subverted the purposes of his Holy Office to recruit an enslaved African into an antislavery insurgency. The sacristan, responsible for guarding the Host, instead used the Eucharist (the Body of Christ) the holiest item in Christianity, to seal the oath between Cuban and African-born blacks to destroy slavery and overthrow the Spanish government that relied on it for wealth production.

    Here is the book chapter itself:

    Pettway would like comments so we must look at this.

  2. And look: it is part of Branche’s 2015 edited book, which is about race and the state, so I am right in my research direction and should keep on pushing (in addition to reading Branche).

    1. I am going to use the first one & Jerome’s book title + that ancient José Piedra piece in NLH (“Literary whiteness…”) to come up with something for believe it or not letras femeninas. It will be to come up with a theory of post independence Lat Am lit that does not follow the Doris Sommer paradigm where mestizaje is a solution to all things — a very US p.o.v. although not even accurate for US really, and certainly not for Lat Am, activities of state are about hierarchizing not democratizing. It appears I should now think more about sexuality / gender.

  3. “The difficulty of seeing and speaking about race” [because racialization and racial hierarchization is so naturalized that they are hard to see]

  4. 100 years of solitude takes us back to a pre Vasconcelos moment (minute 19 or so) — the Buendías are buena familia, not mixed, New World equivalent of cristianos viejos … but they slowly mix and degrade; Vasconcelos had said mixture would not degrade but in 100 years, it does. Ursula keeps warnig of influence of “bad women” but this is a euphemism for negras

    Fear of what kind of kids you will have — they will have a pig’s tail — this is parallel to warning that kids will be mixed or too dark (how does this parallel work?)

    Vasconcelos — blackness is supposed to disappear

    The tradition is in many ways about disappearing blackness

  5. Aureliano Triste is the one who introduces the railroad

    Aureliano Amador is the one who lives among the Indians; he is killed and not remembered

    The 17 Aurelianos are massacred, they are killed off, the mulato desdendance is killed off

  6. In sum: this novel is about racial conflict, centrally so, yet works to make that invisible.


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