This book

The blurb: Rejecting the view that social categories of difference such as race and culture operate solely as principles of exclusion, Denise Ferreira da Silva presents a critique of modern thought that shows how racial knowledge and power produce global space. Silva proposes that the notion of racial difference governs the global power configuration because it institutes moral regions not covered by post-Enlightenment ethical ideals.

[Station break: I am reader 144365 and should call in. The university system is not your friend, nor is the university (necessarily). This is my first self-care day at work in many years.]

Here is a useful review. I would like to be able to read the whole thing but this is useful. And there are my extensive notes. Remember: race is constitutive of modernity and this is why the problem of racism does not go away. Also remember: I understand this book better than I think and it is probably also better than I think.



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Una iluminacioncita

The rhetorical and narrative move I have been referring to, to myself, as “evoke and elide” all this time, is also, or is parallel to another which is “assimilate and erase.”


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I can look at Piedra for my text. (My favorite article ever is this one.) And if I have trouble writing, I can consider using Scrivener.


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De bonnes choses

I will start studying Russian at breakfast instead of looking at Facebook, I think. And Filipino food sounds great.

There is a good article about race and representation in that region said to be Acadian.

Chomsky has an article on the death of universities. On organizing, he says “Don’t be intimidated, don’t be frightened, and recognize that the future can be in our hands if we’re willing to grasp it.”

Morris Berman is convinced it is time to go.

The Andes Imagined, a book on indigenismo and modernity I want to read.

There is a journal of antinarrative poetry. I like the category and I think the poems I am working on fit it.

Race and gender, race and patriarchy (which is white): slavery was passed down through the mother.

Race as we know it appeared in fact in the 16th and 17th centuries (see essay above) and was part of coloniality/modernity. There is a tension between coloniality and modernity whose asymptote, as it were, is slavery and race, as Toussaint saw.

DFS is a major work, not used enough because of its difficulty. It makes the argument others have also made — that racism and modernity are one — and it is attractive because it casts race in a global frame. That means that it does not permit us to avoid discussions of racism by exceptionalism. I find it valuable for that reason; I am not sure if I can evaluate DFS’ apparent claim that it all comes down to the cogito. Nevertheless it is valuable because it allows us to look at white supremacy as world system and not bog down in the idea that one can only understand race if one accepts (I would say) the strategies of avoidance used in a particular place. More than that, it identifies specific mechanisms that keep white supremacy in place and that allow us to elucidate some short circuits that appear again and again in Latin American writing.

Note Kassie’s point from the spring: the way appropriation happens, such that white Latin Americans are able to say they are not European and are “natives.” This comes into play here.

I need to get these ideas clear.


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World on a Wire

We will see this film!

I don’t know whether to submit these poems to The Nation or to Two Lines. I am thinking Two Lines is a good place to send this author, although they want a longer set than what I was about to send off.

There are other journals: Latin American Literature Today, Modern Poetry in Translation, and more, but the first two are the ones I am drawn to now.



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I woke up thinking of a poem to write and later while folding clothes thought of another. This is unusual. I should keep them in mind and work on them when I sleep again.

One is about my death row prisoner. I think of him as work and he thinks of me as love. The poem would explore these ideas, including the money-love connection, too. It sounds boring but the rhythm and my brilliant diction would make it into a nice modernist poem in English.

The other, similar in style, is about things. I have jewelry from my mother and grandmother, some of which I am already ready to give to my niece. I’ve got clothes and other items too and in the past they would have been precious to share but now they would be white elephants. Things have lost their value.

I want to stay by myself and meditate, and when I go out see kind people, who also meditate and do other things that enrich their minds. Not battle.


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Homi, Foucault, Anderson, sexuality, race

This is interesting. The comments on Anderson are instructive, and the reminder about Foucault on sexuality and race is useful.

Yet more interesting is the book it is in, a large compendium on transformation, called both atlas and monument.


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