Tag Archives: Cecilia Valdés

The paragraphs in question

Era su tipo el de las vírgenes de los más célebres pintores. Porque a una frente alta, coronada de cabellos negros y copiosos, naturalmente ondeados, unía facciones muy regulares, nariz recta que arrancaba desde el entrecejo, y por quedarse algo corta alzaba un si es no es el labio superior, como para dejar ver dos sartas de dientes menudos y blancos. Sus cejas describían un arco y daban mayor sombra a los ojos negros y rasgados, los cuales eran todo movilidad y fuego. La boca tenía chica y los labios llenos, indicando más voluptuosidad que firmeza de carácter. Las mejillas llenas y redondas y un hoyuelo en medio de la barba, formaban un conjunto bello, que para ser perfecto sólo faltaba que la expresión fuese menos maliciosa, si no maligna.

De cuerpo era más bien delgada que gruesa, para su edad antes baja que crecida, y el torso, visto de espaldas, angosto en el cuello y ancho hacia los hombros, formaba armonía encantadora, aun bajo sus humildes ropas, con el estrecho y flexible talle, que no hay medio de compararle sino con la base de una copa. La complexión podía pasar por saludable, la encarnación viva, hablando en el sentido en que los pintores toman esta palabra, aunque a poco que se fijaba la atención, se advertía en el color del rostro, que sin dejar de ser sanguíneo había demasiado ocre en su composición, y no resultaba diáfano ni libre. ¿A qué raza, pues, pertenecía esta muchacha? Difícil es decirlo. Sin embargo, a un ojo conocedor no podía esconderse que sus labios rojos tenían un borde o filete oscuro, y que la iluminación del rostro terminaba en una especie de penumbra hacia el nacimiento del cabello. Su sangre no era pura y bien podía asegurarse que allá en la tercera o cuarta generación estaba mezclada con la etíope.

Is she an angel or a devil? The bolded words indicate that my use of the word “discerning” for “conocedor” is in fact warranted.

Axé.

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Encore des nouvelles. On modernity, and on race.

– Thursday is César Vallejo’s birthday and he will be 125.

– This, as we know, could also be about Vallejo, as it is about many:

Living in Budapest, connected to a self-confident and industrializing West but set apart from it by language and often religion, Polanyi and his contemporaries embodied one of the central facts about the cultural and political ferment that we often equate with modernism: Its vitality depended on the admixture of a modern social order and outlook with often archaic folk communities. (Bartók’s music is a classic example.)

Polanyi is one of many intellectuals I would like to understand.

I am interested also in the conversion of the Jews in the nineteenth century, as both Marx’ and Heinrich Heine’s parents converted, as my ancestor did. Polanyi and other twentieth century figures longed, says Gareth Dale, for “a social order in which the entire issue of assimilation would be an irrelevance.” (It could be worth reading the book whose review I refer here to learn more about what this meant then, because it is yet another experience of race and difference in the high modernist period.)

Then there is Marisol de la Cadena:

…mestizo and mestizaje…are doubly hybrid. On the one hand they house an empirical hybridity, built upon eighteenth and nineteenth century racial taxonomies and according to which ‘mestizos’ are non-indigenous individuals, the result of biological or cultural mixtures. Yet, mestizos’ genealogy starts earlier, when ‘mixture’ denoted transgression of the rule of faith, and its statutes of purity. Within this taxonomic regime mestizos could be, at the same time, indigenous. Apparently dominant, racial theories sustained by scientific knowledge mixed with, (rather than cancel) previous faith based racial taxonomies. ‘Mestizo’ thus houses a conceptual hybridity – the mixture of two classificatory regimes – which reveals subordinate alternatives for mestizo subject positions, including forms of indigeneity.

Y sí, and that is what the talk the other day did not address, and it is key for my piece on Isaacs: there is racial and religious mestizaje that stand in for each other. THIS is a good insight, I do think. (About mestizaje itself, the other way in which the word or concept “means in two accents” is that it is deployed in both oppressive and utopian or liberating ways.)

And Isaacs is another 19th century person, working on the conversion of the Jews, and there is a connection here.

(I so must create a system in which to put all these thoughts together.)

Axé.

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Filed under Bibliography, Movement, Race book, Theories

Des joies du printemps.

A map shows each country’s current second language. Saudi Arabia’s is Tagalog.

That New Orleans-Havana connection.

*

Russia in 1921, as represented at a conference of London trade unionists, held in the Friars Hall, Blackfriars Road, London, held on May 7 of that year. Here, the report’s author visits Russia.

Volin’s anarchist analysis of the Revolution.

Red Army in Tblisi, 1921, and a parade on Red Square in 1917.

Butyrskaya, where four of my relatives were held in 1921. Aizenman was in a labor camp near Moscow. Later Voskresensky (one of the four mentioned above) was required to work in some type of prison, also near Moscow.

Famine was bad in that year and to me things in Russia look terrible before, during, and after the Revolution, as well as now. From Riga in 1921, Emma Goldman said her stay in Russia had convinced her that anarchism was the only sound system.

*

Seven new planets and a new star.

Axé.

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Filed under A.V. Bari, Race book

On language and race

La opción filológica de Henríquez Ureña se debía en parte a esta alternativa: mientras que los científicos se habían equivocado al argumentar a base de hechos empíricos, tales como la mezcla racial, los filólogos tenían una base empírica mucho más precisa en la lengua. La herencia del Imperio español en las Américas era haber dejado una lengua que unificaba a los grupos diversos que habían formado una gran comunidad gracias a ella.

“From that Ortiz article” said the label on the relevant scrap of paper, and now I must find “that Ortiz article.”

Axé.

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Cecilia Valdés — yes it is the patriarchy

Someone said,

If this question was asked in my class, I would ask them to think about how patriarchy creates mechanisms of punishment and reward in order to keep itself in power. Patriarchy believes it gets to have 24/7 access to the bodies of social subordinates – most often women – but also men who are in positions of subordination. Sexual power over others is one of the most important tools of patriarchy.”

Axé.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude and the Inevitability of Race

I will go here, but will have to come up with something on women characters not women writers, I fear. I might argue that certain incomprehensible or hard to interpret classics are crystal clear if you think in forbidden terms about gender and race.

Cien años de soledad becomes very clear, for instance, if you read it through a racial lens. Pettway is talking about the invisibility of race but I say that race, while invisible, is also inevitable since it is what unravels the maze of short circuits one finds in this and many other texts.

Axé.

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Segregated Miscegenation

I need this book and they have it at LSU.

Axé.

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