Z: What are the characteristics of “Our America” in the famous essay by the same title?
Student: Well, I understand that the author is referring to the multicultural, intellectual and spiritual Latin America as opposed to the industrial, utilitarian, and Anglo-Saxon United States. But when you actually read the essay this is not so clear. “We” Latin Americans are multicultural, but “we” are also concerned to engage with a “they” that is Native American or Afro-Latin. So who is this “we?” It seems that the essential Latin American person here is a white man trapped in a brown body!
In the time of Reeducation I had a recurring dream, part of which is recounted here. It involved the aftermath of a hurricane in my building. One detail not included in my earlier post were that there was a cadaver hanging in the shower – of the author I was working on – and the body was as heavy as lead, we could not lift it out, so we could not take showers even if the plumbing were working (it was not working well – the pipes were crooked), and we had this macabre cadaver on our hands. Another detail was that the coffeemaker would make coffee, but would spit it out everywhere except in the pot. I saw a dream analyst who said it meant I was putting energy everywhere except where it would nourish me – enough to be able to move the cadaver, for instance. I got a T.A. today, against all expectations, and I have the general impression that the coffee is now running into the pot.