…to the races! Coming back to that paper again, I have decided not to worry that F. da Silva’s formula is too facile. I will take it for now. YES Descartes and Bacon with their division of Man and Nature, cosmic Subject and Object, enabled modern imperial ideology to “[define] women and colonies into nature” (Maria Mies) and so YES this parallels patriarchal marriage (where the husband guides and forms the wife) and yes “[t]hese associations are built into our gender-formative national imaginary.” (Goff 2019). Yes it was a mere op-ed that convinced me to drop doubt and actually work with the F. da Silva paradigm I have been struggling with, but I think that is fine. The images are helping me visualize that scene of separation and subordination and I will become articulate enough to finally explain the “scene of engulfment” and paradoxical establishment of the Latin American subject, I know.
For other reasons, I liked these lines from Goff:
Empire is materially established by exploitative flows between imperial cores and subjugated colonies. But imperialism is sustained, nourished, and mobilized by conquest masculinity. Oftentimes, our arguments against imperialism dash against this rock: Masculinity is self-protective, paranoid, and fragile, and so it must be walled in by a psychological fortress.
Meanwhile, I have two books in my Amazon list waiting to be bought but that I want to get in libraries. They’re both about Spanish North America and they both have material on Louisiana. One is by Robert Goodwin and the other is by Carrie Gibson; both came out this year.
This is a historian with fascinating interests: daily life on the Indies fleets in the 16th century; shipwrecks; civic reactions to 18th century earthquakes in Peru; general history of Latin America, and more. He says he got interested in shipwrecks because he wanted to see how people recovered from that kind of trauma, so he could learn some of their techniques.
When you are on a sinking ship and must throw things overboard to try to save it, you are to throw in this order: the King’s silver; other peoples’ silver; women, children and old men; slaves; apprentices; seamen; officers; captain. This is apparently the meaning of “women and children first!” and “the captain stays with his ship!”
These rules were not and are not followed, however. In a real shipwreck survivors tend to be young, strong men because they can beat most other people to the first places on lifeboats and rafts.
I would like to read more of César Aira, and I would like to read this book. “Politics … involves struggle against the scandalous inequality of human life and thus can never be reduced to mere governance.”
(What is happening to us here is political and ideological, and cannot be solved by mere governance although this is also important — we need governance but must see that the problem goes beyond this.)
I am also traumatized. I am not like this person (graduate school was not my trauma)
(I am putting myself in a program of trauma treatment, now that I see what the landscape is. It involves renouncing self-doubt, remembering that authorities are paper tigers, and keeping in mind that I can buy an annuity and escape.)
What am I? An intellectual, an artist and an activist.
(I think I will have microdermabrasion, yoga and shiatsu massage. In my self-directed trauma treatment I will remember to put all my priorities first, regardless of any crises others may have.)