I learned from Vanessa Nelsen that Creole costumbrista authors putatively intent on demonstrating social realism pulled characters not from reality, but from a historiographical discourse that they themselves had already created.
Does Nelsen know that one of the lettered discourses masquerading as reality is the plaçage myth? It is all quite interesting because the way Emily Clark says the plaçage myth works socially in the New Orleans imaginary is the same as the way Nelsen says these other lettered discourses work in Cuba.
One way or another one must exert narrative control over the lower classes and over one’s own fears of their rising. The plot really is thickening.