Monday I woke up in a remote Andean town and rode down 12,000 feet through the mountains to the Pacific coast, to lunch with many Peruvian regional dishes at the home of the rector of the university. Then I flew to Lima. The Avianca stewardesses wear red capes.
Tuesday I took the new Metro(bus) to Lima 1 and saw all the renovations of the 16th-19th century buildings, and was there as the Señor de los Milagros (el Cristo moreno) entered the Iglesia de los Desamparados — a fully viceregal scene. I knew where to walk as, coming back south, I got off the Metro at the new Aramburú station … knew where to find a cab later … knew what price I should bargain for and how to give directions back in heavy traffic to where I was staying.
This morning in Maringouin I called for another cab and it was driven by a Creole speaking man who said the trouble with youth today is that they do not clean their family graves on All Saints’ Day, which is coming up.
In Peru you can feel the presence of the Pacific, a certain kind of light and air that penetrates quite far inland. They are cutting sugar cane and burning the fields now, just as in Louisiana. We went by both the sugar cane plantation and the mine where Vallejo worked in administration. Not to mention his house, school, family graveyard; not to mention giving some versions of our papers in the hall where he graduated.
Central Lima is really beautiful now. Most of the reconstructions are wonderful. The renovation of the old Correos is an exception. They are working on Jirón Azángaro now, where I spent so many amazing afternoons at No. 722, the Librería Mejía Baca.
I am here again, with this event. Trujillo seems beachy and bright as always, with flags snapping in the breeze, as on a ship. On the Jirón San Martín there are letter-writers for hire on the sidewalk, with manual typewriters and carbon paper. I want to take their picture.
Peru is one of the countries that would most benefit from the elimination of motor vehicles, and the return of the electric tram. I am told Lima’s actual population is 11,000,000 now. But even little Trujillo is overpopulated with cars. Beep-beep!
If, when I was having all these problems with Vallejo in the 1990s and even the early 2000s, I had gotten in touch with the Peruvians, they would have taken care of it all. I should also have gotten in touch in the late 1980s, when I had different problems. But especially when I had all those problems of the 1990s.
Seriously, I did not realize this. But had we had the Internet, it would have occurred to me to find out. My student says the Internet is the most revolutionary thing that has happened since the discovery of America. Do you think?
He is an archipelago.
Trilce is filled with, even structured by fragments of the myth of Inkarrí.
From Los heraldos negros we know that a huaco is
…el pichón de cóndor desplumado
por latino arcabuz
[u]n fermento de Sol;
¡levadura de sombra y corazón!
The poetic subject is a solar being, latent but about to break forth. “Nostalgias imperiales” is an ironic title.
When I return from Peru I will set up course books on the web for spring, contact the high schools, and start building my course websites. I will call the handyman.
I will be in a position to write every day, and do things like yoga.
On authority and authoritarianism
My colleagues refuse to compromise with each other at all over methods for the multi-section courses.
Yet when I said one of my sections was so woefully unprepared that I was going to reteach material from earlier semesters while allowing students who are doing well to form a group and work ahead, and also offering them the opportunity to attend my other section which was doing better, they said: are you allowed to do that?
But why would I not allow myself to do that, if they all allow themselves to do whatever they want including not require students to form sentences? I do not understand the rigidity, and I am from California, and from the olden days.
On standing up for oneself, I did it seriously a few days ago and it has made a difference, or meant a shift.
Key words from meditation are disturbing and set adrift.
There are many perceptions to record and many things to say, but my next long meditation will be on Maringouin, our strange lives here.
It is time to actually read Anti-Oedipus and the discussions of it from those days, in places like this.
Here is my Vallejo problem: my issue is psychic invasion, and I have a visceral reaction to the idea of subject shattering.
“Then that is a non-liberatory, but binding, shattering,” someone said.
What is fractured subjectivity in and for Vallejo?