Log November 5-20

5-6. I got rid of this reference: Hall, Stuart. “Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation.” Framework: The Journal of Cinema and Media 36 (1989): 68-81. I did not actually cite it. But I like this text, it is evidently one of my favorite ones since I assumed I had cited it or would do. I got rid of a footnote on Doris Sommer, where I point out that in the chapter on allegory, dialectics and romance, she says the discomfort around mestizaje is dramatized to get a national consensus; I say it’s to get a national hierarchy. I did some other things. By doing bibliography I found a problem in the order of my argument.

On to the clipboard is this paragraph: An aim in some of the more challenging avant-garde and experimental writers is to fragment the bounds of the subject and open us to materiality, to the thingness of things. We have already mentioned Ulysses (1922). In “La nadería de la personalidad” (1922) Borges says the transcendental “I” is an illusion. Vallejo fractures it in Trilce (1922) and submerges the fragments in noise and matter. Artistic experiments and critical perceptions like these were an archive for the critical studies on avant-garde writing and materiality like Coward and Ellis (1977), Kristeva (1980), and Bürger (1984), as well as the poststructuralist and postmodernist critique of the middle and later twentieth century. This archive has not been exhausted, and some of it is more radical than the critical and theoretical work it inspired; García Lorca’s lesser-known and more daring writing including the impossible theatre (Svich 2000) is a clear example. We might reread such work considering da Ferreira da Silva’s critique of the transparency thesis and its persistence. [I put that back in]

Onto the clipboard, this note to self: The second essay in A Dívida Impagável (85-120) is a Portuguese version of “Toward a Black Feminist Poethics: The Quest(ion) of Blackness Toward the End of the World” (Ferreira da Silva 2014). I talk about another of the essays below and should reorganize this section to talk about this essay as well. It is a key text and ADI reemphasizes it in note 99, p. 141.

7. I finished rewriting the text again and now am REALLY in notes, bibliography, and formatting. Formatting means getting MLA totally consistent and also formatting for the journal. I changed journal choice and worked on the IILI abstract, too. I removed a footnote on: Ramos, de Castro, Miller, and Moreiras, who work on mestizaje, and should perhaps put at least Moreiras back in (he is the one who says it’s incoherent). Or maybe that discussion is for another piece.

Also onto the clipboard: Is there literature or art that interdicts the resuscitation of the transparent “I”—as opposed to fragmenting or decentering it? Is that why some experimental work is found unreadable, or not reducible to a digestible and imitable (or commercializable) form? Who speaks outside the bounds of universal poesis? What tactics come after “strategic essentialism” or mimesis (Irigaray 1977)?

I will now read the Lisa Ruddick piece Beyond the fragmented subject. AND it is very useful.

Onto the clipboard, notes for notes toward another paper: Schwarz does say the Brazilian situation has an international context. He also says things about “evoke and elide.” Here think more about Cornejo: Cornejo posits heterogeneity as term and model instead of mestizaje. But these “heterogeneous” literary projects also have engulfment, evoke-and-elide, etc.; Arguedas, for instance, literally shipwrecks. // I also cut a note on Bourdieu and Wacquant.

I cut a note on the phrase “I was dead before my father was born.” It’s for another piece. The notes toward the note said: That’s also a figure of the space of death/interaction, the middle passage, the hold where modernity/coloniality starts. She has a statement about this and it’s in the Johnson novel Middle Passage as well.

I cut Borges, Jorge Luis. “La nadería de la personalidad.” I finished figuring out the footnotes, which means I polished the text some more. I now have to actually write the footnotes nicely, complete the bibliography, and proofread for format. This is the 6th: I could write a footnote a day and have those done in a week. That would be the 13th. I could then do part of the bibliography each day for a week and be done. That would be the 20th. I could then proofread for format and I could be finished before Thanksgiving.

(Goals now are to start writing steadily, without going into these unhealthy frenzies.)

I cut this reference: Irigaray, Luce. Ce sexe qui n’en est pas un. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1977.

8. Much more got done. I’m still working on it. I don’t even need to take notes on what I’m working on. The piece is the same size, more or less, but as bibliography and notes get done I am improving it more. I still want to finish by Thanksgiving.

9. More is done on it, and there is still more to go. Notice, though, how easily I work each day. I started the book review, too.

10. Touched it. I may be able to put in the Sylvia Wynter reference earlier on. Then ground on it some. It’s going to be stronger because of this. BUT: it’s time to be cool and take some distance, literally stand back and look at it.

11. Marilyn’s article. All those years where I didn’t have peace of mind to write. The constant attacks. Parents. Francine. The things in BR. Pomona. Terry. Goose. UL. Anyway I worked on Unzueta. His book is semi-destroyed due to my spilling wine in the past but I will not replace it in paper at this time, it’s in archive.org. And I got the Unzueta footnote right.

I cut out this footnote but the points are important. Césaire, Discours sur le colonialisme, came out in 1950, and presents a really different attitude than Carpentier, one must say. Annd Carpentier was stuck in VE due to problems in Cuba when he was writing this novel, and this, someone has said, influenced his dark view of Haiti. Ti Noël the character is a victim of the revolution and not an analyst of it. And as others have noted, many elements and historical figures in the revolution are left out.

12. Fixed a sentence and realized I HAVE to figure out Sylvia Wynter and say a bit more about her … and now I’ve done that (I think). I cut this footnote draft because I don’t think I need it, but I do need the knowledge. “FdS is not isolated in this effort to delink Human from Enlightenment but not getting rid of it altogether. As Bedour Alagraa reminds us, Cesaire called colonialism inhuman and demanded a humanism ‘a la mesure du monde.’ Wynter per ‘1492: A New World View,’ has been raising the question since 1995, trying to root the human in anticolonial thought instead of Enlightenment. I have been advocating for a rereading of everything in the light of this body of work, i.e. for setting what we think of as ‘universal’ into a global context.” There is still a bit of writing to do, but I a getting closer and I am glad I sent off those abstracts (and have the review to write)–this will get me closer still (to understanding it all). My current total word count is 10,433 and I wish it could come down to 10,000–but am glad the planned journal’s maximum is 12,000, so I can at least be below that.

Back to the clipboard comes this: “Is there literature or art that interdicts the resuscitation of the transparent “I”—as opposed to fragmenting or decentering it? Is that why some experimental work is found unreadable, or not reducible to a digestible and imitable (or commercializable) form? Who speaks outside the bounds of universal poesis? What tactics come after “strategic essentialism” or mimesis (Irigaray 1977)?”

Cut: “By advocating the relevance to Hispanism of an Afro-Brazilian scholar who now lives in Canada and collaborates with Black scholars based in the United States I doubt I am falling into the trap of “imperialist reason,” pace Bourdieu and Wacquant (“On the Cunning of Imperialist Reason”).” Also cut: “Here I have discussed the relevance of Ferreira da Silva’s philosophy to Iberian and Latin American literary studies. I began with Toward a Global Idea of Race and the question of racial representation in the nineteenth century and came to Unpayable Debt and the twentieth century avant-gardes.”

13. I ended up working on bibliography and formatting all day–and dealing with other small details. I have three more bibliographical items to fix and then I have to go through and double check all citation formatting, items, and so on. I am guessing I can do it this week, aim for Thursday/Friday, the 17th/18th.

14. I am now finished with bibliography and a lot of formatting. I have to double check MLA style in both citations and bibliography. I have to make sure it’s clear when I’m paraphrasing Ferreira da Silva’s read of Chakrabarty, and when I’m making my own comments–and decide whether or not Chakrabarty is a work cited. I have to see about languages. I could revisit the question of subheadings. DONE.

My sections now: Intro 906 words. Long section on work through 2007 and relevance to Latin American literature, 4810 words. Long section on work after 2007 and relevance to international avant-gardes, 2292 words. Section on the Thing, 833 words. Section on the horizon of death, 927 words.

There’s a problem with one of my paragraphs. I figured out, to some extent, how to fix it but have not yet. I discovered this problem by doing bibliography so that is good.

15. Stuart Hall: Racism is like dreamwork–it condenses, displaces, denies.

Cut–I think I’ve said this already: “These texts have often been considered This is to suggest (or is further support for the analysis – awk.: I’VE BEEN SUGGESTING THIS AND REPEATING IT) that the late colonial and early post-colonial Latin American writing associated with the building of national communities is more closely concerned with the creation of modern racial states. These texts are often called instrumental in the creation of conciliatory “mestizo nations,” but in our analysis many do not do so even at a surface level. In fact, they may question the discourse of (idea of mestizaje as bridge—it was good in the colony but is not conciliatory again until mid century) mestizaje and advocate for a more overtly stratified state (Cecilia Valdés does this even as it exposes injustice) or appropriate the mestizo image to criollo purposes.”

I’ve got a couple of things going on in the paragraph. 1/ Emergence of creole subject, which we know is racist/etc. — I’ve got to explain that in a condensed way because the point isn’t to rehearse it. 2/ My interest: how this works in those racial texts, what is going on.

Cut–and I can put it back, also (I DON’T THINK THE WALKER PART IS NEEDED: What this national subject would like to blur is that his own existence depends upon racialization. Each new creation of this (ultimately Europe-derived and oriented) subject means a re-creation of its others, since as Clarence Walker puts it, “Blackness is a creation of whiteness” (82).

Walker, Clarence E. Mongrel Nation: The America Begotten by Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. University of Virginia Press, 2009.

Now left to do: three bibliographical items, and then print it out and do a full-on read-through for readability and format.

16. Adjusted some more and finished the bibliography. Printing now, to do a full-on read-through against the MLA style sheet.

17-20. Fixed style and a few typographical errors, and submitted today, ahead of my Thanksgiving goal! I started working on the review but MUST FIRST read the translation I am reviewing, not just the original, and read: F da S on Wynter, in the book I have, and Alagraa again, and some of Wynter — what is her version of [homo modernus], which F da S is in part speaking to? That will make the review different from the article material, too.

I think I need a new laptop. Yet another expense but oh well–I will be more careful with the new one, and maybe this one can be fixed, and it’s Black Friday at Best Buy, and you can buy in 24 payments sem juros.

I’ll start a different log later.


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