APL; MSW is not working and I am forced to compose here

Raza y vanguardia: sobre el sujeto en César Vallejo

Las fisuras en el sujeto vallejiano, la fragmentación de su corpus poético, las bifurcaciones de su tradición manuscrita, y el enigma de su personalidad son temas entrelazados en muchos estudios. Estos temas son cargados, y no sólo a causa de la pugna de figuras como Georgette o Larrea por definir tanto al autor como el texto, ni por la esperanza de que las llaves de la personalidad del poeta abran paso a una lectura más íntima y certera de la obra. Si se ha querido saber quién era Vallejo o cuál su historia, no es por creer de manera ingenua que la obra refleje al autor y su época sino porque como bien dice Stephen Hart (1998), y el poeta y su obra son enigmáticos por estar impregnados de otredad. ¿De dónde viene esta voz, a la vez tan extranjera y tan de casa? ¿Qué tienen estos textos oblicuos, tan marcados por el desplazamiento, que nos llegan “directamente al corazón”? (Vallejo 1927)

La ambigüedad y el misterio, la insistencia en la raíz doble, el yo dividido, la sensación de ser otro, juntos con cierto indigenismo visible en Los heraldos negros y el creciente interés en la cultura autóctona de los años treinta, han motivado lecturas “mestizas” de Vallejo desde Mariátegui (1928) hasta Jorge Guzmán (1991). Estas lecturas no son una sola, pero al invocar lo mestizo, en primer lugar conectan la obra poética con proyectos de identidad y nación. Además, aunque motivadas por la sensación de otredad y extrañeza que dan los textos, varias de estas lecturas buscan fijar y contener el sujeto esquivo de la escritura y las posibilidades significativas de la poesía, gesto que no cabe facilmente ni con la estética vallejiana ni su temática.

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Ortega 14-20: says CV is trying to connect raza and palabra, in that section of HN. My question is how that works throughout his work, since he is doing this in a different way later on, when he and Larrea get into all those huacos I saw in Madrid.

Larrea–quien vio a Vallejo como “heroe y mártir indo-hispano” (1973) y suma expresión de “América” (1940, 1958, 1961, 1962)–es apenas el más extravagante de los que le ven una conciencia mestiza o genio andino (Hart 1998: 719-720). Desde 1928 había leído Mariátegui en Vallejo “la tristeza del indio” y por lo tanto, el vislumbre de una auténtica literatura nacional. Según [not really: Mazzotti points this out] Ortega (1971) los poemas indigenistas de Los heraldos negros emprenden este proyecto directamente: “y lábrase la raza en mi palabra” (Vallejo 1919). En 1939 señala Arguedas la escritura vallejiana como espacio de conflicto entre la experiencia histórica andina y el idioma del colonizador, y de la difícil conjugación de los mismos (Cortez 2008); para Guzmán la índole mestiza de estos textos está en el desdoblamiento de un yo poético que, como el sujeto en el Inca Garcilaso, es colonizador y colonizado a la vez.

All of these models are monumental in their way, mestizo. V., because of background, would be major example of America and that would be the meaning of his poetry. Vallejo, however, interested in the indigenous though he may have been, does not identify racially in a fixed way & doesn’t do essentialized identity. Mestizo is interesting because of doubleness to disturb unities, not create a super-unity.

 

These things having been said I want to consider subjectivity, vanguardia, and raza or the relationship of raza and palabra and I need a focus (not a thesis). We will consider some older work by Hart, Unruh, and newer by Hedrick, Clayton … and in relation to Hart, [and Cerna Bazan and Gonzalez Vigil’s rejection of this].

 

Vanguardia is when many of Vallejo’s contemporaries helped to consolidate the idea of the mestizo American and literature as a way to consolidate this and project to the future (Unruh). Vallejo unlike many others of his era did not look at …Despite andinismos, mention of Peru, etc., in poetry, Vallejo, unlike some of his contemporaries, did not present himself as embodiment as mestizo – much though has been made of his cholo condition and much as Larrea wanted him to be representative of “América.” He wanted to be Peruvian (from inside) [see Hedrick] and in fact looks a lot more like Borges (no hay tal yo de conjunto, and you can be very Argentine without mentioning the pampa). This presentation takes up again Ortega (teoria poetica de cv)´s discussion of raza y palabra, Mariátegui’s promotion of indianness, and Mazzotti’s critique of it in rev ib 1990 JA Mazzotti – ‎1990 … to ask again how he countenances incorporates rejects the project of mestizo race Latin American modernity. To do this will consider work of Hedrick and Clayton & recent Gonzalez Vigil who does not see V. as being in the kind of conflict Cerna-Bazán talks about … v. incorporates, more than theorizes, the mestizo modernity that is also cosmopolitan. HMMM I am starting to like this.

 

Es tentador, educados en una tradición que considera la literatura como expresión de una cultura y leyendo a un autor que obviamente conoce los debates de su época sobre cultura nacional, to look to see how Vallejo positions himself in relation to these things; there is Hart who says he looks at indigenous from outside when in Peru, Eurocentrically and changes when he gets to Europe, identifying much more deeply with Amerindian cultural legacy and connecting that to a transnational humanity; at another level, what about the Borges position of double awareness? Still – and here I continue to follow Hart – the reading of mestizo is doubleness, ambiguity, fragmentation, exploding of unity/purity, is the one that leads most clearly to understanding the poetry and the person.

That is, we can agree with Hart about the political shift but at the same time Vallejo’s own Cubist solution, the unfinishedness,

I want a ["Cubist"] solution, for the life and the poetry and also for the manuscript/edition issues. Borges nadería and double awareness.

 

estos textos (y la literatura latinoamericana en general) está en el desdoblamiento de un yo poético de doble origen. El ejemplo paradigmático es el sujeto en el Inca Garcilaso, colonizador y colonizado a la vez.

 

 

ejemplar de la difícil conjugación de la experiencia histórica andina y el idioma del colonizador

 

Todavía en 1971 (1986), un crítico tan perspicaz como Julio Ortega encuentra en la obra poética de Vallejo un “genio de la raza”, una especie de Volksgeist (Mazzotti 1990).

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Vallejo’s “Other”: Versions of Otherness in the Work of César Vallejo

The Modern Language Review

Vol. 93, No. 3 (Jul., 1998), pp. 710-723

 

César Vallejo (1892-1938) is, without doubt, one of the most enigmatic figures of Contemporary Spanish-American literature; there are a number of unsolved mysteries with regard to his work and life that this essay sets out to review. Several themes have been proposed as central to Vallejo’s work (“pain,” “religiosity,” “the absurd,” and “politics”), but I suggest that these be seen as subplots in the narrative of a life and work shot through with “Otherness.” Some previous studies have touched on the issue of the double, but to date there has been no substantive treatment of this issue as a methodological tool to assess Vallejo’s work. The essay focuses in particular on four aspects of this Otherness: the Otherness of Vallejo the man, Vallejo as the critic’s Other, the Self as Other in his poetry, and Vallejo as cultural Other.

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Saúl Sosnowski

Here is one of his books that I missed in the 1990s, on vanguardias and the critical tradition, and that I would like to look at.

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Memorias del subdesarrollo

It is available in English. This is useful to know.

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Required reading

I have to buy the new Vallejo books now, there is no real choice.

I also clearly need Karem Roitman’s Race, Ethnicity and Power in Ecuador:

“How do today’s Latin American elites understand and relate to ideas of power, race, ethnicity, and mestizaje? And what impact does that understanding have on the dynamics of socioeconomic development in ethnically mixed societies? Focusing on the case of Ecuador – a country struggling to recast its mestizo identity in the aftermath of dramatic indigenous uprisings – Karem Roitman reveals how the urban upper classes represent their ethnicity in ways that both hide discriminatory practices and impede social and economic mobility for the ‘other’. This book also reveals how Ecuador’s urban upper classes represent their mestizo identity in ways that both hide discriminatory practices and impede social and economic mobility for the ‘other’.”

There was an introduction to theory, resembling perhaps the Lois Tyson book I am using now for undergraduates, in English but for Hispanic literatures, in the 1970s.

Finally, there are many interesting books now from Rowman and Littlefield and I should perhaps consider some of their presses for mine. One that does not make a new argument, but surely contains good information new to me, is Patricia Swier’s Hybrid Nations, on bigendered subjects.

She covers Martí, Doña Bárbara, and El Señor Presidente — the nineteenth century and the nation-building period, she says.

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Indigeneity in the Mexican Cultural Imagination

Here is a nice book to read. It fits my research project, and could even be used as a course textbook.

Since the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1917, the state has engaged in vigorous campaign to forge a unified national identity. Within the context of this effort, Indians are at once both denigratedand romanticized. Often marginalized, they are nonetheless subjects of constant national interest. Contradictory policies highlighting segregation, assimilation, modernization, and cultural preservation have alternately included and excluded Mexico’s indigenous population from the state’s self-conscious efforts to shape its identity. Yet, until now, no single book has combined the various elements of this process to provide a comprehensive look at the Indian in Mexico’s cultural imagination. Indigeneity in the Mexican Cultural Imagination offers a much-needed examination of this fickle relationship as it is seen through literature, ethnography, film and art.

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Books from OUP

There is Brian Attebery, Stories about Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth. It could be interesting for some classes.

There is the Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative.

Then there is American Blood. I need this book. If Doris Sommer plagiarized Nancy Armstrong, I must plagiarize Holly Jackson.

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And I must reread Cornejo (and friends)

Here is an interesting piece on Cornejo on indigenismo and I should consider it.

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