1. The national novels are disturbing for what they do with incest, race, death [originary violence, romance of origins]
2. They’ve become nat. novels and also, under influence of Jameson & then Sommer, been read as nat. allegories
3. At that point the 1920s/30s national projects, which reflect some letrado discourse from further back (e.g. Bolívar), get projected back into the said novels
4. But these happy readings, about progress, don’t fit with actual policy — nor with the texts themselves
5. The texts aren’t always about forjando patria, but are diasporic, fragmented, fragmenting, exhibiting fissures, intimating failure
6. A novel like C.V. is about the impossibility of foundational discourse, or at least a foundational discourse based on mestizaje, progress, liberal principles
7. In fact such novels – Sab, María, C.V., others – may be about the prevention of solutions and the preservation or reinstallation of hierarchies
8. Indeed, this fits historically, because the earlier 19th century was the era of republican modernity, and in the second half things get much more conservative
9. This ambivalence is what the novels embody and manifest.
II [This needs development]
1. One of the key ways in which they embody and manifest this ambivalence is via “evoke and elide” – do we want to acknowledge and address the race problem, or not? F. da Silva can help us think about this, because
a/ she has a sophisticated way of talking about production of the L.A. subject
[showing why it NEEDS to be racially unstable/ambivalent]
b/ it explains why what I am calling “evoke and elide” keeps happening — shows that it actually is important, central, the formation of discourse on race in L.A.
*note: her theory of the L.A. subject isn’t just the criollo or the entre-lugar, it is more precise
*note: for her, mestizaje is real but is not a solution
*note: what is interesting about her is that she is looking at a global theory of race, so is not looking to claim L.A. or BR exceptionalism, but is looking at specificity
*note: as we know, she says race is a constituent element in modernity/coloniality & as such is not going away [this is going to have to be explained, but how much will I have to summarize and justify, is the question]
*[what was I saying, in the café, about overdetermination?]
***VERY important note: because modernity is coloniality and depends on race, we don’t get to iron race out of modernity: so when we look at things from her paradigm, we can see what is really happening without asking ourselves to see progress or a linear/single/facile narrative***
I have to keep working on this, there is so much to it. KEY: these texts are not talking about mestizo nation but transnational racial state — diasporic, regional, all of it at the same time. Historians are thinking this way about the continent and we should consider whether the literature is doing the same thing, in its way of engaging/producing national discourse / civic space / identity / etc.