“This thing of darkness” (more for Ferreira da Silva)

I have been working on this whole thing for so long that it is disheartening, but I have to make PROGRESS this time. I am finding so many notes, so many half-done things.

Anyway, I am digging it all out.  I will remember that article on Schwarz, the phrase “the most specific feature of Brazilian society (and, by extension, its culture) is to be permanently maladjusted with respect to itself, precisely because of its peripheral-capitalistic character.” [To say that you have to explain dependency theory, though.]

Caliban: “This thing of darkness I acknowledge mine,” said Prospero, who had exiled Sycorax. (Note: she was from Algiers, whence she had arrived already pregnant with Caliban.)

In one very old series of notes I am *also* talking about Telles and Lim (Demography 1998) – it seems this article was seminal for me. Telles was a good support of counter-argument on Sansone. Degler’s “mulatto escape hatch” doesn’t exist in Brazil, for instance, but does in the U.S. Wade: mestizo, in Lat. Am., is included in white; Indian and black, and to a large extent mulatto, is nonwhite [so it IS still a binary system, as long as you don’t take “white” literally]. I am also talking about Pontocorvo and Portocarrero in these notes / this paper. Here I also have notes on Burdick (black movements) and the brilliant John D. French paper — on how so many are still hostage to the Freyrean Brazil / U.S. contrast.

Schwarz, and work elaborating on him, can help counter Brazilian exceptionalism, because of the “misplaced ideas.” Ferreira da Silva, in an early piece and others say Winant has ethocentric universality, projects the U.S. case (as though there were only one U.S. case) on everyone, but does he? F. da S., Sheriff, and so many keep saying blackness is different in Brazil, and racism is different, but it is as though they were saying this to stop the discussion, not to explain how those differences work, I feel.
(I’ve recycled the Sansone notes and I am calling that progress — I will have to reread him if I need him; the thing about him is that he wants to get rid of “ethnicity,” I think he means get rid of the possibility of “seeing race” and I don’t think that is possible.)

And then: I took notes on Jorge Domínguez’ old essay and must look up his work. Key: the racial order of the Spanish empire was less extreme in some ways, than the Latin American one. In Venezuela, for instance, royalist troops were integrated, but insurgent ones were not; Bolívar, in the earlier years of the war, made amazingly racist statements.

Was “Independence” independence, or rather a series of civil and international wars? The unrest of the 1810-1860 period had long-term consequences that are a legacy of these processes. Another legacy is the problem of identity: the question is how to make patriots out of the royalists? A third legacy is the RESTORATION of a racial order. Many had called themselves patriots, yet defended slavery or segregation, and the white elites manage to reestablish Gramscian hegemony in matters of race. That is what I think these novels are about.

*Remember Toussaint and the limits of modernity*
Axé.

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