Monthly Archives: October 2018

Mais c’est nouveau

I have my own domain name, because I am tired of having ads on this site. I want it to be a new spell … I should perhaps have gotten a new identity, but I got a domain name.


This, of course, is why I am fixated on the question of curriculum. What I learned in school, both college and graduate school, was to keep coming up with jewel-like papers in fields and on topics unfamiliar to me. A huge collection on a broad spectrum. Then you write a dissertation in yet another largely new field. Then start working as a professor in another field again, and in a place where the ideal specialty would have been something other than what you’d settled on. The general lesson, the practice taught, was not to specialize but to flit about, and to have the object upon which you are concentrating yanked away again and again. “No, you must do this now.” “No, you must be that now.” “Be grateful that you are at least allowed to be, and do THIS now.”

Still, it is fun to explore and I am cross-disciplinary. I would just like to have more time to spend on MY combination of interests instead of the university’s idea of my combination of interests. Our guest this weekend works really hard because in his job, at an R1, he gets to use his judgment; I remember someone saying long ago, “we have to get you out of all this drudgery.”


Yet I am changed, which is why I have the new URL, and I am trying to imitate our guest by doing as I see fit.


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Working at a university that is cannibalizing itself, in department that is, and a state that is, is disheartening and it is hard not to feel downhearted, not to feel joy. I used to be energized by work and inspired by what happened on campus — it was why I liked school — but here I only feel sad and ashamed.

Earlier on my poststructuralist education was disconcerting to me, being who I was. The messages I received were: you must not trust yourself, but decenter yourself; you should not trust your thoughts; and your words cannot mean what you believe them to mean. I was arguing against these ideas in my beautifully written, yet malformed dissertation and it was very visceral.

These topics are still hard to write near. To write, you must trust yourself and your words to some degree, and you must place your voice in your work. It is not enough just not to yell at yourself. You also have to trust yourself. You have to believe you are real. You also have to believe you do not deserve destruction. You have to believe you have value of at least some kind.

I would like to believe I had some sort of value. Once I did not question my own value. Questioning of the value of people was not part of the world then.


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Filed under Banes, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Impostor syndrome

…and refusal to hatch. The reason Reeducation was so destructive was that it said I was an impostor. I was just reading about “first generation” students and impostor syndrome and realized I have it.

A friend from long ago says she channels my voice to write, and did it to face childbirth as well. For her I am calm courage and incisive framing. She of course knew me before Reeducation, knew me when I may not have been confident about everything but was for academic things and bureaucratic ones.

But I have impostor syndrome and refusal to hatch. A friend said: “The university is cannibalizing itself after the manner of the state and the country, but the phenomenon is particularly visceral here.” I said:  “And I spend too much time on service that depletes me and does not necessarily stem the tide, not enough time on things that nourish me, and too much time on angst. I put off the great works that are in me. The atmosphere enocourages this, but these are also my own problems.”

Learning not to yell at myself is one project. To do that, I have to learn to recognize when I am yelling at myself. But the larger project is learning to believe I am real. At a deep level I don’t think I am, and it is part of why I like going to places where I am not known. Then I am unreal for good reason — I am not yet known — but nobody has told me I am not real or cannot become real. Then, in this fantasy world, this life-from-scratch world, I can become real. It always works, if I am free to walk away from anyone who says I am not real.

How can I claim reality in a world where one is told one is not real? How not to internalize that? This is why I always admired those who suffer discrimination, yet see themselves as real even when being told they are not. Someone pointed out that it does not take a great deal of destructiveness to destroy.

In any case: I am struggling with this paper and I think I have discipline and time management and concentration problems but the anxiety I feel comes from impostor syndrome and refusal to hatch. So now, in addition to not yelling at myself, I have to remind myself I am real. I actually think this will help.


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Another film course

Jerónimo Arellano has an article in RHM (2016) called “The screenplay in the archive: screenwriting, new cinemas, and the Latin American boom.” The boom novelists also wrote screenplays, not all of which were published. This raises a number of interesting questions I am interested in the article primarily for purposes of course creation. Could one not read boom novels and screenplays together, and watch boom films?

It seems that the Cineteca Nacional and Escuela de Cine Universidad Mayor in Chile have published a series of ten key Chilean screenplays. One could get these, and any films that have been made with them, and there would be a course. Similar projects have been undertaken by the Asociación de Guionistas Colombianos and the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía, in collaboration with the Editorial El Milagro.

(Note how this post would be a perfect item for a file for me in Evernote, about courses, and it would be connected to the stable URL of the article, and everything.)

The corpus in question includes screenplays, teleplays, and film treatments written by García Márquez, Vargs Llosa, Cortázar, Donoso and Cabrera Infante during the 1960s and 70s. There is some work on the connection between the Boom and a/v, and between literature and cinema (see the article, p. 116), and Fuentes’ adaptation of “¿No oyes ladrar a los perros?” and Antonioni’s of “Las babas del diablo” are well known. Vargas Llosa wrote one in 1972 for Os sertões. García M.’s Tiempo de morir (1965) is an allegorical Western. Indeed, the Boom writers appear to form a screenwriting collective of sorts (see further examples, p. 117 and beyond; Rimbaud and Juan Goytisolo are involved, as well as connections Idelber and Brett have made between all of this and “Latin Americanism”).

A keyword here would be transmedia studies, transmedia poetics. Consider the concept “nuevo guión hispanoamericano” (p. 119). Fuentes had 32 film projects that were not made into films, but whose existence makes a difference to the understanding of what the boom was. (And note: there is my languishing article on nueva canción; this is all of a piece somehow.) The screenplay of the boom is “born literary,” says Arellano. NOTE: this means that the Boom writers did not always insist on the primacy of the author (pace Beverley)?


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Zotero and Endnote, and this pesky paper

I have them both, and keep forgetting passwords and forgetting how to really use them, and I have Evernote, too. I keep using this blog and my other one to take notes, but now I want to use these other sites more.

I am going to give a seminar called Global Lorca, or something close to this. García Lorca and modernism. Algo así.

The Moodle gradebook: to move items, you should check the box far to the right side.

About this paper: point 1 is 1518; point 2 is the middle ages; point 3 is the present: we, nowadays, evoke and elide the question of race in the same way as Latin Americans did in the 19th century and beyond, when we claim to be anti-racist or post-racial in polite company, but then have the mistreatment of migrants, the openly racist politicians, and grossly racist policies.


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Literary bondage

I have to check out and reread this book.


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An unscientific survey of students revealed these as their favorite films in Spanish. I haven’t seen them all, and some of those I have, I have not seen in a long time. But it is a rather good list.

21 gramos
Azul y no tan rosa
Hable con ella
María llena de gracia
Nueve reinas
Relatos salvajes
Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados
Y tu mamá también


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