August log

  1. I’ll go back to July’s log and take notes from it, but I essentially struggled the whole time when I did try to work and could not figure out my transitional sentence. I did that today, August 1, and polished it. It wasn’t a writing problem, it was a thought problem. I think that, except on teaching days and days I’m out of town, I’ll just aim for a sentence a day right now. Or maybe this: a sentence every day, and more if I am not teaching and not visiting with people. I have 2106 polished words.
  2. I cleared up a box of files, finding some notes for this piece that I like. I also found my notes saying that Kirsten Silva-Greuz’ work shows that the United States has always been far more Latino than we recognize. It’s not just CA/TX and the border, and so on. I did get another sentence done as well, and some thought done, and my word count is 2136.
  3. I found a scrap of paper on which I said what I wanted to do to my dissertation: a. condense the early chapters, since Smith’s book on the subject had come out since I wrote them; redo the chapter now called 4, along the lines of the “theory” part of the MLA paper I gave; strengthen the self/other chapter; change or modify the discussion of allegory to something more Laclau/Mouffian thing. I have no idea whether this would have helped. I also went through some current notes and consolidated them, getting rid of paper, and did some editing, writing, and drafting. My current polished word count is 2210.
  4. Touched it a bit. Now at 2223 polished words.

General notes: Black Spartacus, Schwarz, Machado de Assis. Note the instability of Independence: if there is not freedom for all, freedom for anyone is unstable.

Virginia Whatley Smith on New Orleans literature: this is for the future.

Walker (Mongrel Nation): The US really wanted to be white. Is Villaverde using US standards (“one-drop rule”) when he judges Cecilia for being Black? The US wanted to be white and Lat Am constructed itself as mestizo from the beginning. The first chapter of Walker is the interesting one, talks about sexual frontiers (to set whites off from Blacks), other theoretical issues, and does have information on Latin America but this book is very largely an essay about the US and its interesting rejection of its own “mongrel” origin.


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