Eric Hobsbawm, 1917-2012

“Nations without a past are contradictions in terms. What makes a nation is the past, what justifies one nation against others is the past, and historians are the people who produce it.”

I was so excited to be thinking about the state that I got bored with the nation, but for the present manuscript one has to think about both. Eric Hobsbawm’s death reminded me of this, so as you can see he is already working with us from the other world.

I am interested in these vestiges of pasts, the past one wishes to bury, return of the repressed I suppose one could say loosely but there is more to it: that evoke and elide strategy I keep talking about, the way the originary violence keeps having to be hinted at, reenacted in some muted way, this is my impression, intuition, slightly more than intuition. The racial past, the states of ruin, violence and identity, and those mestizaje narratives are not conciliatory, and there is this strange double vision and I almost said schizophrenia, and everyone is being trained to see like a state but there is the outside.

All of these things have been said before but I believe I am going to come up with a better combination, and in an earlier version of this project design we also talked about language, the language, and I will find the text I wrote.

And this is free writing, I think it is the kind of writing people mean when they say to produce a lot of random words and then cull from them, I used to call that making notes.

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