Poets in Spanish and Portuguese who read and wrote in English

Observe the English language connection: we tend to think of French as the language of reference for those writing in Portuguese and Spanish, but English is of very great importance to several. We must add to this list and get someone from Comparative Literature to write a dissertation.

Fernando PESSOA (Portugal)

Salomón DE LA SELVA (El Salvador)
Jorge Luis BORGES (Argentina)

José GARCIA VILLA (Philippines)
Nick JOAQUIN (Philippines)

About Pessoa, someone said this:

There is a cool documentary with this woman (she was in her late 90s when they filmed it) who was the second person in the world to write a dissertation on Pessoa, Cleonice Berardinelli. She reads many of his poems with Maria Bethânia. Here is something about it. There is a video at the end.  

Also, here is a video of her reciting Pessoa.

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Global Lite

Amardeep Singh has a response to that article in n+1 and so have several others.

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Etnomusicología, colonialismo, y culturas “menores” o identidad nacional

There is this book on Cuzco and one could talk about French Louisiana, the Faroes, Catalonia, and so many other places.

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Through others’ eyes

“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife- this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn’t bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face” (W. E. B. DuBois 2-3).

There is the question of seeing oneself through others’ eyes, which I have thought of for other contexts as well. There is also the question: is the mestizaje an attempt to make it possible to be, as it were, both a Negro and an American?

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Roy Andersson’s cinematic poetry and the spectre of César Vallejo

Here is a fascinating article which, in addition, cites me. In addition, its existence proves that yes, you can productively study Spanish and Danish together.

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I am taking over the colonial survey

What do you think of these readings? In addition we will read Sylvia Wynter on the 1492 event, and we will see the new film on Bolívar, but it is poorly reviewed. We could use How tasty was my Frenchman although I wanted to use that elsewhere. We could use excerpts from that ancient Vargas Llosa essay I just came upon, El nacimiento del Perú, because it says we should read colonial texts because they raise current problems (although one could read much else that says the same, of course).

SPAN 441

Author: Garganigo et al
Title: Huellas de las literaturas hispanoamericanas
Yr: 2001
Publisher: Prentice-Hall
ISBN: 9780130618573

Author: Carpentier, Alejo
Title: El arpa y la sombra
Yr: 1999
Publisher: Siglo XXI
ISBN: 978-9682303821

Author: Adorno, Rolena
Title: Colonial Latin American Literature. A very short introduction.
Yr.: 2011
Publisher: Oxford UP
ISBN: 978-0199755028

Author: Restall, Matthew
Title: Latin America in Colonial Times
Yr.: 2011
Publisher: Cambridge UP
ISBN: 978-052113260

Author: Leon-Portilla, Miguel
Title: Vision de los vencidos
Yr.: 2007
Publisher: UNAM
ISBN: 978-9703244690

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Material written around that Vallejo panel, but not used: organize this

I really must learn Scrivener or do something like that to better organize all these notes I make.

Language and joy – these two things are interrelated. Vallejo has pain as a key word but and writes about sadness but there is joy in what he is doing with language (and language appears to build the self, as in Heidegger, but that is a different question).

– The reputation of the poet, essayist, novelist and dramatist César Vallejo (Peru, 1892-Paris, 1938), who died with much of his major work still unpublished, has grown steadily in the Spanish speaking world from the 1950s forward. Vallejo became more prominent in English with publishing events such as Clayton Eshleman and José Rubia Barcia’s 1978 National Book Award for their translation of Vallejo’s Complete Posthumous Poetry (U of California P). In the present century, with new translations such as the Complete Poetry (Esleman, U of California P, 2006), studies such as Clayton’s (cite), Hart’s new biography (cite), as well as the discovery of new manuscripts (cite Fló, Smith-Soto, Echeverría, more), and translation projects underway (cite Mulligan, more), he is emerging as a world author.

-More ideas on world author concept: (use article in n+1): “In modernism, the universal and the obscure make familiar bedfellows. Who in the 20th century wrote poetry more deserving of being translated into all languages and sent on thumb-drives in spaceships to all galaxies — so that aliens may become acquainted with our better selves before deciding whether to enslave or befriend us — than the impoverished Peruvian Communist and [surrealist] César Vallejo did upon returning to his tiny rented apartment in Paris from a Republican Spain that was attempting to stave off fascism? Virtually no Parisians, Peruvians, Spanish speakers, or fellow Communists read Vallejo at the time; his posthumous Poemas Humanos (1939) intone distraught sermons to a nonexistent congregation on the lost cause of somebody else’s civil war. These poems continue to live, while the works of such contemporary world-spanning giants as Malraux and Gide slowly fade to oblivion.”

-Still more ideas on world author concept: Comparative Literature, in the older philological mode (which supposes you can know other cultures, and can suppose this because of its Eurocentrism), may be “dead,” but for international authors like Vallejo it is essential, from the methodological point of view of the need to follow the material networks of literary circulation (what he read, where he was read, what texts are available where, what translations exist); Vallejo at various points asserted himself as Peruvian but was never a cultural nationalist, and is “difficult” in large part because he draws on so many different cultural strands.

-Despite Vallejo’s stature and despite the existence of a fairly large and valuable critical corpus, scholarship on his complex work is nonetheless in its infancy. This is partly due to his early death and his troubled manuscript tradition. Texts are still being discovered and established; many were hard to get to see for a long time; he is best known as a poet, which means his considerable work in other genres has not received sufficient attention. Now that the personal struggles over ownership and interpretation of his work that followed his untimely death have died down and a certain amount of basic work has been done toward finding and establishing texts has been done, work is being begun in a new key. The 2014 congress Vallejo Siempre (Lima and Trujillo, Peru), for instance, brought together older and newer scholars for the purpose of stimulating renewed scholarly work on this author who has become monumental, and who is held close to the hearts of his readers, but who is far from having been fully read. In this panorama, furthermore, studying Vallejo from a comparatist / international viewpoint is important because, given the translations and the work on him in English, it is desirable that the critical tradition not bifurcate into an English and a Spanish one (for instance).

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