Azorín

We’ll read him next semester.

«Nuestro atraso cultural se evidencia cuando nos comparamos con otras naciones. Aún no se han impuesto aquí con toda fuerza el derecho, la libertad, el deber. La tierra clásica del honor es la tierra de la arbitrariedad: en política, en el caciquismo deshonroso; en literatura, el elogio interesado y la censura rencorosa.

Se duda de si la ley del progreso es una verdad en España. La apatía nos ata las manos: callamos ante la injusticia y confirmamos las palabras del ilustro arzobispo De Pradt: “La geografía ha cometido un error colocando a España en Europa, porque pertenece a África. Sangre, costumbres, lengua, manera de vivir y de luchar, todo en España es africano”. El militarismo nos ahoga, la marea de la reacción religiosa va subiendo. Espíritus enérgicos, que trabajaron siempre por la ciencia y el arte libres se rinden a un sentimentalismo religioso que antaño les hacía reír. Revolucionarios de toda la vida, vuelven su cara atrás y refunden su programa sobre las bases de la Iglesia y el Ejército.

Cuarenta millones se dedican a los gastos de culto y clero; seis a la enseñanza. Los catedráticos son separados arbitrariamente de sus cátedras. El Poder legislativo es una comedia; el judicial, un orden dependiente del ejecutivo; el ejecutivo, un servidos de la ambición. El obrero no espera nada del Estado.

Dejemos los entusiasmos exagerados y el lirismo del mal gusto. La época de las declamaciones ha pasado. Necesitamos ahora científicos. El triunfo de las nuevas ideas vendrá por la ciencia. Haga la iniciativa privada y particular lo que el Estado no hace: Fúndense instituciones para la enseñanza, laboratorios para científicos, escuelas donde el obrero aprenda a ser hombre y a hacer efectivos sus derechos. Que aprenda el obrero a desconfiar de los apóstoles del falso socialismo; que medite que el credo católico es incompatible con las aspiraciones del mundo que trabaja.» [1895]

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Resist

It is not what they do to you, it is what they can get you to do to yourself, is an important point for those of us who are dealing with misogyny or any kind of discrimination, really.

Another thing to remember is that although we are constantly told that most people can never admit they are in the wrong and that the sign of moral progress is to do so, even when you are in fact the wronged party, people lose respect for you when you apologize and you should consider not doing it. Do they? When they have in fact committed major crimes? They do not.

What I would like, though, for 2018 is to have more authority over the students, and therefore be in a position to be kinder to them or at least feel less wounded by them. In the old world, this authority existed in the structure of programs but now it does not. You have to be very, very solid in the bubble that is your courses, your world, and leave things at that.

I am on it.

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Revista Iberoamericana 126 (enero-marzo 1984)

This was an issue of the journal I liked quite a lot at the time and always kept to reread, but that has yellowed. Yet we can still read it.

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The Spanish Bawd

Here is a book we definitely need to get.

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Rien n’est fini

But it seems that my father is going to die. Here is something his accountant suggested as a mantra.

In purest outpoured light, shimmers the godhead of the world… (it begins)

this is a verse Rudolf Steiner wrote, so the godhead is many gods that have dwindled or died

and live in the (ether-spiritual-other world, world of nature)

Your dad has a shimmer in his eye that, somehow there is a reflection of the other world space

it is quite peaceful and accepting

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Sur la linguistique

Why was it that, back then when we were in Comparative Literature, we thought Linguistics was the other cool field? I think it had to do with not being a discipline that reproduced a nation-state or the Area Studies model, and that was theoretical, and that (we thought then) could begin to dismantle colonial arrangements of knowledge. And Philology was falling out of fashion. I announce that I have now decided Linguistics is about as uncool a field as can be found. I am for Philology and against Linguistics, on grounds that linguists do not speak languages or know anything about them. Linguists with deep knowledge of a language other than their own may receive an exception, as may those who study their own language exclusively. All others, however, are frauds. They should return their degrees, and resign their professorships. If you do not realize there is a difference between being a fully educated speaker of a language and a person who is functional for tourism in it, then you have no respect for it or for its speakers, let alone for it as an academic field; you have no business remaining in play.

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P.S.A.

1. Catalan is a language, not a dialect. 2. All of Spanish America speaks Castilian. 3. There are very many literate Mexicans, including winners of the Nobel Prize in literature, and Mexicans are completely comprehensible to other Spanish speakers. 4. I, as a person who speaks educated Spanish and am really competent in it, can (a) INSTANTLY switch to using the vosotros form for you informal plural, it is no stretch, and (b) INSTANTLY switch to voseo for you informal singular, it is no stretch at all. 5. Forsooth, those kinds of grammatical differences among regions, and differences in regional vocabulary, are ELEMENTARY. 6. There are ways in which my Spanish is not as sophisticated as that of some educated native speakers but these subtleties lie at FAR more advanced levels than being able to understand regional differences in normal speech. 7. In academia, we hire on expertise and publications, not on accent. So YES, it is possible to be an expert on Spain without being a Spaniard or speaking like one, and YES you would still be respected as an expert.

I guess you can tell I had an argument with someone today.

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