Half revealed, half concealed

Martineau, apud Aslakson, emphasis added:

What security for domestic purity and peace can be where every man has had two connections, one of which must be concealed; and two families whose existence must not be known to each other; where the conjugal relations begin in treachery, and must be carried on with a heavy secret in the husband’s breast, no words are needed to explain. If this is the system which is boasted of as purer than ordinary state of morals, what is to be thought of the ordinary state? It can only be hoped that the boast is an empty one.

There might be a rhetorical term for the way I would like this to work as an allegory of what I am talking about. The composition of the nation is inclusive and public; that of the state is not.

Double vision or half blindness is one of my themes. In the above situation it is the relationship to the pueblo that must be hidden from official discourse and white society. After mestizaje is appropriated for the image of the nation, it is the hierarchy that continues to structure the state which must be kept silent.

What is Cecilia Valdés about? Perhaps not just the danger to white exclusivity of having a large mulatto class that is furthermore related to it by blood, but also the simpler threat to the white family these mulatas represented. Aslakson quotes Grace King:

In regard to family purity, domestic peace, and household dignity,” the quadroon women “were the most insidious and deadliest foes a community ever possessed.”



Leave a comment

Filed under Bibliography, News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s