[denial of difference]

I gave this paper in 1990 wherein I said the problem in this novel was the “denial of difference” [sic]. I am still working on the problem. Now I see a 2011 article saying: “What is suggested by [this] tragedy is a twenty-first century solution: the expansion of the notion of national identity to include those who are understood to be ‘different’ and the allowance for the possibility of inhabiting multiple identities at once.”

Very well, or a U.S. solution, I’d have said; everyone always told me my expectation was U.S., based on segregation, and that the idea of multiple identities was racist and un-Latin American. And I always told them that their idea of one national culture, one national identity, was Eurocentric.

Qu’est-ce qui arrive là?

ETA: The final paragraph of the article reads:

“For [this character], nineteenth-century discourse of national identity makes it impossible to inhabit multiple identities. She cannot be both an upper class, white Colombian woman, and therefore a proper mother for the nation, and a Jew. However, her treatment in the novel and her fate point out the problems that can result from programs of mestizaje. Rather than highlight the potential future of the nation through homogenization, [the character] exemplifies the dead end that is the erasure of difference. In this way, as a foundational fiction, [the novel] suggests that future productivity depends upon allowing for the possibility of multiple national identities rather than limiting them to one homogenized model.”

Emphasis added. This emphasized phrase is what my paper, that I should have published, said. Well, then, at least someone sees it.


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