This novel is about the problems of white society defining itself; there are all these Afro-Cuban characters with interesting stories but the issues on which the novel centers itself are managing these people and defining whiteness, distinguishing degrees of whiteness (see J. C. Sánchez, apud Monteleone).
The OJO CONOCEDOR is the OJO NACIONAL because only criollos are able to distinguish and arrange colors correctly.
The novel focuses on incest as the problem, displacing mestizaje, but the problem is race and it is the contradictions that inhere in the discourse of whitening that create the conflicts in the novel.
Richard L. Jackson is one of the few who come out explicitly against the discourse of whitening as an “ethnic lynching.”
This is where Isafahani-Hammond’s book comes in. I should also look at Martí and Julio Ramos and actually, now is the time. Because while people like Bolívar, Martí, Vasconcelos and Freyre speak, at least in certain readings, in a utopian way about all of this, historical processes do not accompany their declarations in a direct way and there is much in their own texts that locates them differently as well.
All right, all of this should really have been done on my actually academic blog but I did it here as part of work-tracking. I may really need Scrivener. I have not really kept time, and I haven’t gotten to the teaching work yet, and this is a low guess but I am taking credit for four hours of work today of which at least two were on research.