Monthly Archives: May 2016

Textos rescatados de Vallejo

Here is a description of the book, in a HALLALI, a cultural studies journal on the Great War and the Hispanic world. It is an attempt to throw light on the life and work of Vallejo from the point of view of documents that have been hard to get or to see heretofore. It includes facsimiles. The authors say that they, like Coyné in 1949, want to go beyond hagiography and work toward intellectual biography.

The part of the book I am most interested in now is the third chapter, on heated polemics by and around Vallejo and his poetry that took place in print before even his first book was published.

I have the book from a library and am thinking of buying it, which one can do — but I will wait until I see whether I want more books from the same place. The library I check the book out from is so near, yet so far.

César Vallejo: La escritura del devenir is another book I would rather own than check out repeatedly from a faraway library, although I do not like the book as much as others do and would not buy it if we owned it ourselves.

The reason I do not like any of Julio Ortega’s work as much as others do is that I find it informed and suggestive, but also vague and lacking in exegesis. It is as though he were just chatting about the topic, and the real text were elsewhere.

This book would have to come, that is to say, could come from La casa del libro.

I should want to buy Orrego, Mi encuentro con César Vallejo, but I do not because of the brownness of the pages and the poor quality of the print. I will have to keep taking it out of the faraway library, and read it at a library table with good light.

I do want to buy Autógrafos olvidados but it is expensive; I would also like to own a copy of the Izquierdo Ríos book, yet cannot find one. So I will keep driving back and forth to renew these at libraries, and that will be that.


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California Rancho Cooking

Clay’s Kitchen on Sarsa

Clay got this recipe from California Rancho Cooking by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan. He says it makes about 5 cups.

The word sarsa belongs to the old vernacular favored by Californios when referring to their favorite things. Salsa and sarsa are sort of the same thing but sarsa is meant to be chunkier and calls for milder green chiles. Add a jalapeño or two if you want a more picante sarsa. Finally, everything is anointed with wine vinegar and olive oil.

Sarsa is typically eaten on top of frijole or wrapped in a tortilla, but barbecued meats were never served without it.

4 large tomatoes
4 green anaheim chiles
1 sweet red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fruity olive oil
¼ cup finely snipped cilantro
1 sprig of oregano

Char the tomatoes over a gas flame or on a grill. Char the chiles until blackened in the same way. Place the chiles under a damp cloth or paper towels to steam for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pull off the tomato skins, cut the tomatoes in half, and remove the seeds. Dice the tomatoes. Use a paper towel to rub off the blackened skins from the chiles. Slit the chiles open and pull out the seeds, reserving some of them. Dice the chiles and add to the tomatoes. Add the onion, garlic, salt, vinegar, olive oil, and cilantro. Add enough reserved chile seeds to lend authority to the sarsa. Immerse the oregano sprig in the sarsa and set in a cool place until the barbecue is ready.

Fresh sarsa keeps for a day, but if you happen to have some left over, simmer in a saucepan for 5 minutes and serve over eggs: Huevos Rancheros. To make sarsa spicier, add 2 to 4 teaspoons chile powder.

I am also told corn tortillas were for Indians and flour ones for Spaniards, but not everybody is sure this is true. My town was Chumash. It has the oldest skeleton in North America, dating from the end of the last Ice Age.



Filed under Arts, News

Mary Niall Mitchell, Akala, and more

Δ This blog has few readers but me. It is a reason why I should merge it with my research blog, and work more on my research blog. Or spend more time organizing research notes in other platforms.

Δ In any case, Mary Niall Mitchell at the University of New Orleans has this important project and may know things about New Orleans history that will support my project. I must be inspired.

Δ There is an inspiring British rapper named Akala whom I should use as an inspiration deity. This is his website. He is very intelligent and versatile. He has books, but I am interested in his graphic novel first.

Δ I need to read Ann Twinam’s Purchasing Whiteness and want to buy it, but should look for it in a library first.

Δ Allegory is not about mechanical meanings but about inner life and complex imagery. We are freed to contemplate these things since there is no doubt about theme.

Δ Many works of literature have multifractal structures.

Δ Border Cantosis — an exhibit I will see when I get to San José, which I will do, believe it or not.

Δ A smart, very balanced piece on the Clinton e-mail “scandal.”

Δ A comfortingly pessimistic view of the election and American militarism. Or unsettlingly pessimistic? What should one do (take on the arms industry and the military-prison industrial complex, has typically been my answer)?

Δ I thought steppes were cold Siberian plains with prison camps on them, and I was joking when I said the American prairies and pampas were steppes, but it seems they are. Some steppes are even subtropical. The Silk Road is on steppes, and I have been on one or two.


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Filed under Arts, Bibliography, News, Poetry, Race book, Resources, Songs

The one who is to come

Acaba de pasar el que vendrá
proscrito, a sentarse en mi triple desarrollo;
acaba de pasar criminalmente.

Acaba de sentarse más acá,
a un cuerpo de distancia de mi alma,
el que vino en un asno a enflaquecerme;
acaba de sentarse de pie, lívido.

Acaba de darme lo que está acabado,
el calor del fuego y el pronombre inmenso
que el animal crió bajo su cola.

Acaba de expresarme su duda sobre hipótesis lejanas
que él aleja, aún más, con la mirada.

Acaba de hacer al bien los honores que le tocan
en virtud del infame paquidermo,
por lo soñado en mi y en él matado.

Acaba de ponerme (no hay primera)
su segunda aflixión en plenos lomos
y su tercer sudor en plena lágrima.

Acaba de pasar sin haber venido.

–C.V. 12.XI.1937

I need a better Christian education to understand texts like this one but the Unitarians say “el que vendrá” in the Book of Revelation is not Christ but God. The One who is to come appears as well in more than one Gospel.


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Books I should have read: Alberto Flores Galindo

I should have read, and should still read, Alberto Flores Galindo, Utopía en los Andes and Buscando un Inca.

I was reminded of these reading an old review essay on views and representations of the Andean past and future.

These things are important and I need to get cracking.

I do not like working in academia but it is the price one pays for liking research. It is painful to work in institutions that do not support research but one must resist.


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Filed under Bibliography, What Is A Scholar?, Working

The Libyan Situation

This is a New York Times article worthy of study. There is a marvelous quotation from H. Clinton on Qaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died!” and much else in the piece.

I would have loved to visit Libya. And Iran and other places.


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Filed under Banes, News, Resources

Those MLA language consultants

“The report acknowledges the intrinsic value of language study but also argues for the necessity of thinking more about instrumental applications of language.”

Should we invite one of these consultants or are they wolves in sheep’s clothing?



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Filed under Questions, Resources, Teaching, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Louisiana State Penitentiary

Cotton Picking Farm Line 16 1998Warden's House

Above is a mounted guard and a prisoner picking cotton in 1998 (some guards have rifles). Below, the warden’s house in the same period. This is at Angola, the flagship prison, located on the former Angola Plantation.

These images are not mine, nor is the one of the electric chair a post or two ago, and I can give the source if readers are interested.



Filed under Movement, News

María: yes, it is the patriarchy

A friend says that the reason people in Louisiana so fear sex, despite having quite a lot of it (despite having it compulsively, I would say), is that they still regret losing the Civil War and slavery. So they are nostalgic for an earlier time, like the more reactionary Muslims of the Middle East, he says.

In this (Victorian) time you would have the cloying upper-class white women, certain vixen types, and then a lot of slaves and working-class women you could rape and exploit. So it is slavery, which requires an extreme form of patriarchy, that has created the sexual habits and attitudes of the Louisianians, he posits.

This, of course, would explain why my first reaction to Jorge Isaacs’ María was, “This novel is about the fear of sex.”

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Filed under Race book, Theories

New and fascinating information on Moro

From one Rafael Ramírez Mendoza, who seems to be really nice.

“Deseos de modernidad y fronteras de lo primitivo: territorialidad y autenticidad en el debate por un nuevo imaginario peruano en Abril, Westphalen y Arguedas”. Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana 75 (2012): 253-82. (You can read this via and Ebscohost.)

A surrealist letter-poem you can see at the Getty Research Institute.


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