F.’s piece in Geomodernisms implies, if I understand it correctly, that Brazilian modernismo does not actually monumentalize the modern or eat the other, but makes visible what other representational regimes had obscured. The piece starts out by suggesting that literature and the letter may not be uniformly oppressive (which is the implicit or explicit assumption of Rama and many others).
From Rama to the subaltern studies group, everyone wants to vilify literature. But there is more in literature than the preservation of its own institutionalized value, and letrados are more than mandarins.
Brazilian modernismo actively questions its own role in the nation’s makeup and points to (the specificity and contructedness of) the geopolitical articulation of the nation in capitalist modernity. Rosenberg here will use the category of the sublime to look at the modern subject of nationhood from outside its claims of universality — a theoretical position also articulated in M. de Andrade’s poem to the rubber tapper. Andrade appears to rest comfortably on the tradition of the national intellectual, but his position turns out to be spectral.
*See p. 85 on David Lloyd on race. Evidently he says the universal subject of aesthetic judgment is the precondition for the construction of racial discourse, because the neutrality of this subject creates (through contrast) regional cultures, heterogeneity, different degrees of subalternity, and so on. This is not very different from Denise da Silva’s idea and I must investigate.
Key in the Andrade poem is that neither the speaker nor the rubber tapper are part of the Brazilian harmonious whole, neither particular stands for a universal, and both point to the outside that is international economic exploitation, over which Brazil lacks control.
Outside the nation and representation are sublime deadly excess and these are what M. and C. enable us to reconnect with.
THIS IS IN VALLEJO TOO and again I want to reread this piece as there is much in it that is suggestive.