An earlier work plan

(According to Reeducation, your baseline should be that you are too unhappy to function and your goal should be to function minimally nonetheless, or attain feelings of happiness, just for the day. Before Reeducation I did not think a great deal about happiness, although I was happy most of the time. If your baseline is that you just don’t worry about these things, you are feeling how you are feeling, or perhaps you aren’t questioning yourself so you are comfortable, then you can just do things.)

So I am to: finish the da Silva paper and write a new da Silva abstract. Then write the Sommer paper. Then finish the Anzaldúa paper. Then, within the year, resubmit Pedro’s poems and prepare and submit the Moro — if that press ever has a reading period, that is; otherwise, it may become important to find another. Even White Pine.

Da Silva. Let us start warming back to this topic by reading on her in review essays. I’ve got so many notes of my own already, but we will start with Benito Cao and Greg McCarthy, just so that I will de-intimidate myself. Some reasons I am interested in Da Silva: it’s a global theory, it explains why hybridity theory is part of racism, it takes gender into account, and it addresses what I’ve called “evoke and elide.”

Cao also talks about Telles; note that Portocarrero says the same of mestizaje and racismo (which is why it is suprising to see Anzaldúa still talking about mestizaje as a solution to racism):

In essence, Telles unpacks the apparent paradox of the coexistence of racism and hybridity by revealing how racial inclusion (produced by hybridity) and racialexclusion (produced by racism) coexist and complement each other in Brazil. Indeed, hybridity is not antithetical to racism as popular belief and ‘common sense’ might suggest. Instead, hybridity is the way racism operates in Brazil. Hybridity is the Brazilian contribution to the ‘global idea of race’ unearthed by the archaeological work of Denise Ferreira da Silva.

Cao on the chapter “Tropical Democracy”:

Da Silva offers a critical genealogy of the idea of race and of the emergence of European man as a deeply racial/ised subject. She reveals how European man came to see himself as the transcendental Subject of History, the carrier of the Spirit of Humanity, of (Universal) Reason, whilst seeing non-Europeans as the exterior and inferior Objects of History or peoples without history, to borrow from Eric Wolf (1982). This deeply racially inscribed subject, European man, used skin colour as the key to determine who could and could not be civilised, categorising and determining the fate of peoples encountered in the five centuries of exploration and imperial expansion across the globe. The result was often the (re)creation of a new political formation, the nation-state, deeply inflected by racial discourses, as was the case of Brazil. The configuration of race was encrypted in Brazilian identity through miscegenation, namely the inter-mingling of Indians, Europeans, and Africans. However, as da Silva notes, the process (and representation) of miscegenation was driven primarily by the (sexual) desires of European man, projected onto the bodies (racially inscribed as red and black, respectively) of Indian and African women. Thus, the so-called racial democracy would be more aptly described as a racist (and patriarchal) hierarchy, with Luso-Brazilian men at the top and Afro-Brazilian women at the bottom. This is a seemingly straight-forward conclusion, but da Silva offers an insightful genealogical analysis of how that hierarchy was formulated and came to be seen as the natural state of (racial) affairs in Brazil. In particular, she provides a philosophical account of how gender and sexual desire were crucial in the formation and formulation of the myth of racial democracy. She examines statements deployed between the 1880s and the 1930s to show how miscegenation was formulated using <strong>‘the logic of obliteration’, a logic designed to engulf and ultimately destroy the Other,</strong> producing the Brazilian national subject as a transparent ‘I’. Miscegenation was rewritten as ‘‘an eschatological signifier’’ that would result not in the ‘‘degeneration’’ of the European but in <strong>the obliteration of the Indian and the African from Brazilian bodies and minds’</strong> (p. 238). Crucially, she notes how in this formulation of race and nation ‘the productive power, the‘‘inner force’’, belongs to the Portuguese because their ‘‘inclination’’ to sexual intimacy produces the slightly tanned Brazilian subject’ (p. 244). In essence, da Silva reveals the workings of miscegenation as ‘a process of productive violence’, a racialised and gendered process that produces a ‘slightly (tanned) transparent subject’: the Brazilian. This arguably genocidal violence that underpins the articulation of miscegenation in Brazil had been already exposed and denounced, notably by Abdias do Nascimento in <em>O Genocídio do Negro Brasileiro</em> (1978), but da Silva’s analysis is the first systematic and philosophical articulation of this argument available in English. Given the mystique of Brazilian hybridity (especially outside of Brazil), this chapter is a must read for anyone interested in matters of race in Brazil, and for anyone interested in the intricacies of miscegenation in the construction of national identities.

In the meantime, MURPHY’s run-down is good and key is that da Silva is following Foucault, so perhaps what one may not like about Foucault is also in da Silva.

Re Anzaldúa: the proposal of hybridity as solution if you are familiar with the relationship between mestizaje and racism. To whom is Anzaldúa speaking, and where is she speaking from ? It is the US side of the border. She’s resisting the Anglophone monolith, she’s the difference within, THIS is the interesting key to her (cf. the conversation on Goethe’s Yiddish background, and so on). So: the minor voice, what goes against the grain . . .

Back to Da Silva and the modernity thesis. Of course Dussell has pointed out the colonialist tropes in Hegel, etc., with juicy quotations.

Greg McCarthy’s summary of Da Silva is better than mine, for its concision. <em>Note that Da Silva can help with Anzaldúa too.</em>

My thesis for paper #1 is that the evoke-and-elide movement in the 19th century novels is enacting or dramatizing the move Da Silva describes (the engulfment); <em>there is no way out</em> in the modern paradigm. Moving on to Anzaldúa: it is possible that she (and decoloniality generally) are trying to be the resistance to this, the path out of it. The question becomes how well does this theory or does Anzaldúa in particular do it.

We shall see.

<em>Axé.</em>

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Para una clase de cultura más avanzada

If I think it should be a junior level course, it should be senior / early graduate. This one would be on monuments. Each monument studied would lead to the study of many related things, and one would study their processes of fetichization (I have not worked this out very well yet). Some of the monuments are musical, and some are literary.

1/ Macchu Picchu, study of, fetichization of, nature of, implications of, history of; here we will also study Cusco.

2/ Martí, “Nuestra América.”

3/ Toledo.

4/ Tlatelolco.

5/ Plaza de Mayo.

6/ Cuban son.

8/ 100 años de soledad.

What else, or is this enough?

Axé.

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Martí and Lorca in New York

That is a class one could give, and discuss modernity. Or it could be a broader course, with Baudelaire in Paris, and more: writers in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Petrograd.

Maybe I can make all my courses like this now.

Axé.

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Things I learned at a conference

I was only there for 8 hours. It was a bright fall day on a pretty campus, where people are present and energetic. I want to read Poétique de la relation and find out what a dépassement is. I had an illuminating discussion with someone at a parallel institution in a state next door. She talked about the disadvantages of going R-1 without actually being R-1; about the authoritarian and top-down structure of our universities; about how different it had been to be at a similar university in Michigan; about how she is not the favorite of her chair and here there is no solidarity; each of is is all alone.

I learned that the rhetoric on the abuse of ICE detainees is the rhetoric of all abuse: look what you made me do to you. If you just hadn’t crossed that border, when I had told you not to . . .

I learned about Ignacio Ramírez and Monsiváis’ work on him (this is interesting and I’d really like to read the article). I learned why I should really read Radiografía de la Pampa.

I learned more about decoloniality (it is an otro saber and it comes from within L.A., not from without like postcolonial studies; I am not the only one who finds its subjectivism limiting).  I learned it is important to go back and read the texts I am interested in as attempts at [founding other modernities].

I was reminded that racialization is key not just in modernity but in the nation-state.

Axé.

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Transnational

In the office, I will find the notes on the transnational illumination I had the other day.

In the meantime, here we have Vilashini Cooppan in a very old (2000) article on the transnational study of race and nation, in this book. I had kept it, should I still? is the question. It is part of my thesis that race can be studied transnationally (an issue I would not question, or that I would not have a complex about, were it not for the experiences I had in Brazil). Quand même.

She is ill at ease with the term postcolonial, with its watchwords heterogeneity, difference, alterit7y, and hybridity. “Postcoloial studies, as several of its most incisive critics have noted, has compressed the differences of other peoples’ history on a methodological level while it has simultaneously asserted and celebrated those differences on a theoretical and discursive level.” (2) THIS IS PART OF MY ANZALDUA PROBLEM.

Cooppan thinks the categories race and nation “have become dangerously peripheral to what many would see as the ‘real’ work of [postcolonial studies].” (7) They seem too “essentialist” and too dependent on the idea of authenticity. But Cooppan thinks we need these terms and does not think they mean returning to fixity over the more effervescent post-colonial hybridity (paraphrasing 8). DECOLONIAL IS A DERIVATIVE OF POSTCOLONIAL AND IT HAS SOME OF THOSE PROBLEMS.

Tim Brennan (At Home in the World) and Aijaz Ahmad have criticized the notion, popularized by Rushdie and Bhabha, of an intercultural hybridity crystallized in the figure of the cosmopolitan migrant because it dismisses the penetration of capital, the proliferation of ethnic enclaves, and the consolidation of the nation-state form; Cooppan talks about the fact that racialized inequality has been increasing while the celebration of hybridity grows (Shohat has pointed out that it is the “palatable”, assimilable, pastoral version of difference. Race and nation smack of armed resistance, strategic political identification, and these are NOT the preferred post-colonialisms … and that is a problem.

The article goes on, but I am stopping here.

Axé.

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A course on poetry sung

The Ring of Words, the introduction and the section on Spain.

Jarchas, are there good recordings?
Cid, Libro de Buen Amor, Romancero, what recordings are there?
Songs in Lope; recordings of Góngora and Quevedo
Are there recordings of 18th/19th century uses of song in poetry?
Rosalía de Castro, décimas de todas las edades
García Lorca, La argentinita
Songs with Miguel Hernández
Civil War?
Germaine Montero
Paco Ibáñez
Víctor Jara, Lluís Llach, Joaquín Sabina, Silvio Rodríguez, more
Rock, rap

Necesito ayuda.

Axé.

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Clarissa’s psychological health challenge

8- Luxury

7- Water

6- Serious Baltic sauna

5- Uncluttering the mind

4 – Grounding object

3 – Deep breathing

2 – Concentrating on pleasant sensations

1 – Experiencing the end of sensory experiences

While doing these things you follow a Mediterranean diet and make your bed every morning.

Axé.

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