Tag Archives: Vallejo

My old dissertation/book

I am not sure where to put this but it was on paper / in a dream and it seemed important at the time I wrote it because I could at least think about it clearly. It isn’t new at all.

It said: Vallejo is hard to read because there is no centered subject to guide us and no clear story to follow — he is undoing the transcendental subject and undoing representation. But at the same time he is refuting dehumanization and fomenting ethical self-awareness and engagement with others.

I had intuitions in those days, mixed with visceral reactions that had little to do with school.

Axé.

 

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Vallejo

I’ve got to create a more efficient way of noting the files I clear, but I don’t want to make the invention of e-bibliography and file systems my center project right now.

Photocopies I am recycling today, great and classic articles:

  1. Ulises Juan Zevallos Aguilar 2001 on Peruvian avant-garde, a wonderful piece that I love.
  2. Stephen Hart, César Vallejo y sus espejismos, another really good article, Romance Quarterly (49, 2:111-118, 2002).

I really like all this work and I get frozen on it because of what US academia has been like for me and how I have not managed to withstand its ills. But this work is such a welcoming world.

I am going to write a bureaucratic document I am afraid to write, this afternoon. Doing it is necessary for one thing, and finishing it should improve me. I fear that by doing it I call doom on my head. Actually by doing it I stand up for myself, define myself, distance myself from evil, stand in the light.

Axé.

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That postmodern subject of PASSING

This is an old article I had kept to think about subjectivity in Anzaldúa and also Vallejo. It’s outmoded now, but some of the points are still valid, on the precariousness of identity and subject positions. Having no secure position to which to return distinguishes “passing” from “passing as,” she says. “Passing” is like Morrison’s “becoming” — entering what one is estranged from, reconsidering the self one has long thought one’s own. We want to NOT resurrect the humanist subject. If we do, we all have to be either confessional – “authentic”, or fraudulent. Instead, we should keep the provisional nature of every “I” firmly in mind … because the humanist subject is NOT the solution to the cultural problematic that places us all in the position of having to pass.

There is something suggestive here, too, about Cecilia Valdés: you cannot pass as a mother.

Axé.

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Qué estará haciendo esta hora mi dulce y andina Rita

Here’s an old article I like, from files I am clearing out. [Mazzotti, José Antonio (2000). “Retos y soluciones en la edición de la poesía de Vallejo: El caso de la diagramación en Los heraldos negros.” 10.31819/9783964564825-013.] In book Edición e interpretación de textos andinos, 231-240.

Hinostroza 1967: “Vallejo is not a poet, but a myth.” Mazzotti says that since V. is a myth, and has become sacred, he is very hard to edit and annotate — yet people keep doing it, and there is no reason to think any edition is actually definitive. HN is seen as the simplest book and has therefore been neglected (perhaps also because it was published in the author’s lifetime, although both it and T have been published in a lot of versions.

HN and T have more andinismos than people even realize: temples (not templos); blancuras meaning sheets; and much, much more. Editors have also inappropriately modernized punctuation in HN, and also the spacing of strophes (which is important). They ignore the “materiality” of the collection (the way it was printed mattered).

And this piece is old, and more editions have appeared since, but these ideas matter.

VALLEJO not as poet but as myth.

Axé.

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A comment on my once and future book

For the new year (this is the Jewish new year) I had hoped for a new beginning and I got, by random chance, comments on the blocked book manuscript that wrought such havoc on my life.

I confess to just having looked it up and skimmed a bit — you write well. For your conceptual blockbusting: deconstruction, à la Derrida, relies on a reified Cartesian self that can be sullied and broken (= Freud). Most of Latin america does Lacan, not Freud, which has the notion of a plural and situated self (see Kristeva and Black Sun). It’s also a Catholic thing and a Marxist thing, neither of which fits Derrida. Look at Deleuze — What is philosophy. The subject does not exist, it arises from being a position in (there) a discipline or a symbolic order (Lacan’s version). Thus subject POSITIONS are critical, not SUBJECT. If Vallejo ventriloquizes different subjects, it’s because he’s interested in post-Marxist concepts of plural subjects. I’ll stop now. I don’t know Vallejo but have worked with enough LA-ists to ask pointed questions. It’s not non-Western, it’s collectivist Western, which lost in Europe and Anglo-America (Calvinist countries all – “all about me”) which half of France (Deleuze/Foucault/Bourdieu half) remembers, too.

This is Vallejo.

Graniza tánto, como para que yo recuerde
y acreciente las perlas
que he recogido del hocico mismo
de cada tempestad.

No se vaya a secar esta lluvia.
A menos que me fuese dado
caer ahora para ella, o que me enterrasen
mojado en el agua
que surtiera de todos los fuegos.

¿Hasta dónde me alcanzará esta lluvia?
Temo me quede con algún flanco seco;
temo que ella se vaya, sin haberme probado
en las sequías de increíbles cuerdas vocales,
por las que,
para dar armonía,
hay siempre que subir ¡nunca bajar!
¿No subimos acaso para abajo?

Canta, lluvia, en la costa aún sin mar!

Axé.

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Of interest

Diglossia: Vallejo and Verlaine

Ballón Aguirre’s curious text

Axé.

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Books and journals going now

…because they are just too tattered, they are depressing me. They are wonderful and epoch-making as well, and I hate to let them go since they are like limbs. They are:

New German Critique 22 (Winter 1981), special issue on Modernism. Articles by Habermas, Giddens, Bürger, Huyssen, Nägele, Bainard Cowan, Michael Ryan, more.
Revista Iberoamericana 118-119 (enero-junio 1982), with classic articles on the avant-garde, wonderful (if outdated) texts I should really reread; 127 (abril-junio 1984), a marvelous issue on “la proyección de lo indígena en las literaturas de la América Hispánica” with articles on Mariátegui, indigenismo, and much more; 175 (abril-junio 1996), with additional wonderful articles on modernisms I want to reread.
Santiago, Silviano. Uma literatura nos trópicos.

There is so much that I don’t read or write because I do not feel at ease or at home. I am concentrating on holding things together, repressing the desire for life, and containing or tolerating pain and outright terror.

I read and wrote little for several years because I had a book contract. I was not sure I agreed with the revisions I had promised for commercial reasons, and I knew this project could not be finished in six months. But I could not say this, because I was afraid that if I said so out loud I would be accused of laziness or conspiracy to procrastinate, and would have to undergo torture for it. So I did not read or write for other projects, because I was to manage time such as to concentrate on this project; yet I could not find a way to plan the time since in fact, there was no feasible way to read enough in six months to consider whether or not the required revisions were desirable, let alone make them.

Without that six-month deadline, that recurred again and again, I could have worked these things out but the six-month deadline, with the exhortations about time management, laziness and conspiracy to procrastinate, but due to these exhortations I mostly transformed myself into a rabbit or cat, hid behind the couch, and panted.

After that I came here to Maringouin. I had wanted to do something more interesting but had been exhorted not to. I felt guilty about the pain I would cause others if I did not do as they wished, and fearful of the torture I would have to undergo if I caused them that pain. I came here to Maringouin on the theory that now, relieved of that deadline, I would write and read.

What I did was build program and serve others, because they were crying out in pain and requiring it and also because we were all threatened with annihilation if I refused, I was told. Now I do not know whether I would write and read the things I would write and read as an academic in this field if I were no longer employed in it, but I can no longer tolerate this repression.

Let us look at the ways in which I have been repressed by certain categories of academic work, or more accurately by their distortion under neoliberalism:

  1. Teaching. Your primary interest is to be a nurturing teacher of lower division students; your next interest is accompanying advanced undergraduates as they emote with literary texts. Those students may deserve someone to do this with them but it is not me.
  2. Research. You should publish, but not what you are interested in or think best. You should do only what is most marketable, because the objective is not knowledge but measurable production in the most visible English-language venues possible.
  3. Service. You should over-function. We will give you no credit for this, in fact we will penalize you for this, but we will annihilate you and yours completely if you do not over-function.

Mutilate yourself to survive the present, so you will still be alive to regenerate and flourish in the future, is the message I have always perceived. That, of course, fits my personal history but I think there is also a politics to this: teaching as caretaking, research as product preparation, and service as defense against siege.

Axé.

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