I will get rid of my photocopy of this book since our library actually has it, and others do, too. I like Martín-Barbero’s work a lot, even though this book seems old now.
The book, very loosely speaking, is about the poverty of progress, as E. Bradford Burns put it in a related context, or the (alleged) desencuentro of modernization and the razón histórica of Latin America. I will check it out as a book and read it as recreaction. But it is hard to let go of the photocopy so I will copy the first paragraph here.
Mucho antes de que la escuela de Frankfurt tematizara el concepto de razón instrumental, América Latina tuvo la experiencia de una racionalidad moderna convertida en “arsenal instrumental del poder y la dominación” (Quijano, Modernidad 53), esto es de una modernización cuya racionalidad, al presentarse como incompatible con su razón histórica, legitimó la voracidad del capital y la implantación de una economía que tornó irracional toda diferencia que no fuera recuperable por la lógica instrumental del mal llamado desarrollo. El debate en torno a la modernidad nos concierne entonces porque a su modo –al replantear aquel tramposo sentido del desarrollo/progreso– hace posible percibir la pluralidad y discontinuidad de temporalidades que atraviesan la modernidad, la larga duración de estratos proundos de la memoria colectiva “sacados a la superficie por las bruscas alteraciones del tejido social que la propia aceleración modernizadora comporta” (Marramao, “Metapolítica” 60). Este debate contiene a América Latina: la resistencia de sus tradiciones y la contemporaneidad de sus atrasos, las contradicciones de su modernización y las ambigüedades de su desarrollo, lo temprano de su modernismo y lo tardío y heterogéneo de su modernidad. Debate que se ha constituido además en escenario del reencuentro de las ciencias sociales con la reflexión filosófica de ésta con la experiencia cotidiana: esa que tanto o más que la crisis de los paradigmas nos está exigiendo cambiar no sólo los esquemas sino las preguntas. (Martín-Barbero 9)
…Really, there is so much in this book that is such a good review, I will perhaps keep the photocopy and give it to a student so they know these things… for instance, that one can consider cultura nacional, identidad colectiva, espacio audiovisual and comunicación ciudadana together…and honestly, so much here is worthwhile as material to make the mind limber again.
I am perfectly well, perhaps the best ever, but so introverted. It is possible that other people have these phases as well, when they are on sabbatical. I am not working on teaching, research or service, I am going through my books and creating a more amenable, and also more up to date work environment for myself. I’ve needed to do this for some time but now I am impelled. I always question people who say they did something because they could not resist but I do understand.
When I went into shock in November, 1991 I bookmarked my books and journals, to come back to later. I have kept all of these since, but not read them. Now they are yellow. I should stop listing what I discard here, and create an electronic library, and I will; for now, though, I want to say I am discarding:
— a copy of Luis Alberto Sánchez, VALDELOMAR O LA BELLE EPOQUE (México: FCE, 1976), which is of historical interest;
— Tom Weiskel’s THE ROMANTIC SUBLIME: STUDIES IN THE STRUCTURE AND PSYCHOLOGY OF TRANSCENDENCE (1976), which I had because I thought/think that if one understood these sources one might understand more about subjectivity, shadows and terror in Vallejo;
— CRITICAL INQUIRY 13:3 (Spring 1987), a special issue on “Politics and Poetic Value,” which I had kept by now in large part for Rob Nixon’s article on Caribbean and African appropriations of Shakespeare’s Tempest, which I thought would be good for teaching but which obviously, if I still need to see a piece this old, I can look up again.
— a bound photocopy of Meo Zilio, STILE E POESIA IN CESAR VALLEJO. It is a classic, but I do not believe I will ever have the patience for it.
I also got rid of two thick files of student papers and exams from some semester several years ago, and my 2006 TEI materials. I still think a digital archive of Vallejo with text versioning would be a good thing to have, but these materials are out of date and digital humanities irritate me. That is the project I’d like to do at the end, or start at the end of my life.
Because of the obsolescence of digital platforms this is a series of experiments I would like to do with text versions, and then write articles about.
I will take this post and add to it, creating a co-authored piece for the Academe blog.
I’ve gotten rid of my Meyer Abrams books because they are just too tattered but The Mirror and the Lamp is very important to read if you work on modern poetry. I want to read it again in a clean copy one day, in a good library or a nice café, with the sun shining.
I will have a hauler take the old bookcase and futon away. I will resist the acquisition of a different bookcase, even on the theory that it will help me organize books; I will proceed with book reduction. I will, however, acquire three more blinds and a mirror, and then more blinds.
All of this has to do with making my house into more and more of a haven, something I do need.
Today I wrote 302 words and discovered lacunae in my research — serious ones. Advice to new faculty is that it is never true that reading and writing, in that order, do not come first — no matter how many times they say that in your current context, this is not true.
I have too many interests and projects. The standard remedy is to prioritize but I have not yet seen how to do that effectively here. It would help if I would commit to myself. What I have decided is that I live here. What I mean by that is that always before, I considered I had been cast here — psychologically overpowered. Deciding I live here, in a lovely house, no less, is a major change and I like it. I have things I want to do and perhaps I will just do them, whether they close the department or not.
This is a cheesy article in some ways but it has a list of types of emotional pain that are all results of internalization of mistreatment. Our whole department has these feelings and it is worth considering. We all need to realize that these feelings are imposed.
How will I combat it? I will say I live here and I am working for our field. I spent the entire day on research-y things and the more I get into it, the happier I am. What do I want? To live somewhere and be a professor. Secretly that was all I ever wanted, but I always had to face the undermining and try to defend against it. One can say I do not want this but really all I do not want are abjection and drudgery.