Se afișează postări din 2016

Chicano Manifesto or Chicano Rage

I bought Armando B. Rendón's Chicano Manifesto (1971) hoping to better understand why, when and how the Chicana liberation movement came to distance itself from the Chicano movement. The book genuinely failed to meet my expectations. What I discovered in fact, under some reviewer's promise of it being "the first book written by a Chicano to give vibrant expression to the spirit of a cultural revolution", was a book of hatred, propaganda and semi-misogyny.   Since I'm on the what almost seems impossible endeavour to write a thesis on Chicana literature, I am one of the fewest people I know who understands and empathizes with both the Chicana and Chicano struggle of being heard and respected; of being, full stop. Yet, my empathy stopped when I encountered Rendón's rage. I do understand the rage, but I truly think that it is not in the best interest of humanity to answer oppression with hatred, violence and propaganda.

This is what freedom is for

His tongue met her tongue. This is what tongues were for. His hands clenched her hair. This is what his hands were for. Her mouth opened wide to him. This is what mouths were for. Her hands reached under his shirt, his warmth, his firm, fleshly warmth. This is what her hands were for. He undid her blouse, found her niña breasts, her erect nipples, each one, in his warm, wet, sucking mouth. This is what breasts were for. She licked his dark, crescent moon nipples, his head thrown back, moaning. This is what dark, crescent moons were for. His fingers grazed her body like a blind man, finding the hot wetness of her orchid. This is what fingers were for. He entered her blindly, weeping with dumb joy, and they danced with creation, they danced. This is what creation was for. This dance. Nothing separated them. In this moment. Each moment. Was complete. They lacked nothing. In this naked vulnerability. They lacked. Nothing. In this. Moment. Naked. Vulnerable. This is. What freedom. Is for…

plain ol' l i f e

She has to remind herself why she loves him when she changes the baby's Pampers, or when she mops the bathroom floor, or tries to make the curtains for the doorways without doors, or whiten the linen. Or wonder a little when he kicks the refrigerator and says he hates this shitty house and is going out where he won't be bothered with the baby's howling and her suspicious questions, and her requests to fix this and this and this because if she had any brains in her head she'd realize he's been up before the rooster earning his living to pay for the food in her belly and the roof over her head and would have to wake up again early the next day so why can't you just leave me in peace, woman. Sandra Cisneros, "Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories"

vers 12, Angela de Hoyos

How to paint
         on this page
                  the enigma
that furrows
       your sensitive
               brown face
- a sadness,
         porque te llamas
            Juan  y no John
as the laws
         of assimilation

[...] I was too late
or perhaps I was born too soon;
It is not yet my time;
this is not yet my home.
I must wait for the conquering barbarian
to learn the Spanish word for love:

Arise, Chicano! 
In your migrant's world of hand-to-mouth days,
your children go smileless to a cold bed;
the bare walls rockaby the same wry song,
a ragged dirge, thin as the air...

I have seen you go down
under the shrewd heel of exploit -
your long suns of brutal sweat
with ignoble pittance crowned.

Trapped in the never-ending fields
where you stoop, dreaming of sweeter dawns,
while the mocking whip of slavehood
confiscates your moment of reverie.

Or beneath the stars - offende…

vers 11, Emil Brumaru

Apocrifă I 
Timpul ceasurile-şi plimbă Îmbrăcate în civil. Dintr-un câine curge-o limbă. Apoi trece-o săptămână. Cuiul intră în perete Şi găleata în fântână. Şi-n bucătăria pură Cănile se coc şi-aşteaptă Atârnând cu apa-n gură.


my world. my self.

pentru ca imi iubesc octombrie-ul....

intrarea soarelui in mercur retrograd

Și eu am citit Intrarea soarelui de Cecilia Stefanescu și nu mi-a plăcut defel. Punctul de plecare al cărții, suprapunerea planurilor temporale, e unul foarte bun, însă a fost dezvoltat cum nu se poate mai prost. Ideea ca Sal și Emi, protagoniștii-copii, să se întîlnească pe stradă cu Sal și Emi, protagoniștii-adulți, e una foarte bună, care cred că a fost irosită. Și e păcat. Tot încerc să îmi imaginez cum ar fi ieșit romanul dacă ar fi fost scris de un alt scriitor român contemporan. Poate de un Augustin Cupșa ori un altul. 
Totuși, în cele 360 de pagini am găsit două fragmente scrise bine, care mi-au plăcut:
Obrazul lui fusese de multe ori îngropat între sînii enormi ai prietenelor bunicii, care-l admirau și-l scuipau mereu de cîte trei ori, împotriva deochiului. "Ptiu, ptiu, ptiu, ce băiat frumos. Ia vino, să-l strîngă mama la piept." Iar el se lăsa în brațele lor, acceptîndu-le resemnat tandrețurile. Cu nasul adîncit între cei doi munți, era înconjurat din toate părțil…

the way of the world

The men from the sea were too strong, their weapons lethal. They brought enormous dogs to chase and herd the people from their villages, and after a man in heavy robes spinkled the borinqueños with water and made perplexing gestures over them, they changed the borinqueño ancestral and clan names to their own language. They forced the women to cover their breasts, their bellies, the hallowed parts from which their children reached into the sun. They called themselves católicos; they called themselves españoles; their chiefs called themselves caciques, even though none were born in Borínquen from borinqueñas.  -  Esmeralda Santigao, Conquistadora

de ce-mi place Nora Iuga

De Nora Iuga am auzit cu multa vreme in urma. Acum citiva ani am si cumparat o carte de ea, pe care am pus-o in biblioteca, alaturi de celelalte carti pe care le cumpar si pe care le citesc cu muuuult timp dupa ce le cumpar. E ciudat cum intotdeauna citesc foarte greu sau foarte tirziu cartile pe care le cumpar. Nu stiu de ce, poate pentru ca le stiu la loc sigur. Imi place sa stiu ca ma pot baza pe ele cind le epuizez pe cele imprumutate. Apoi am citit-o pe Iuga acum citeva luni, insa indirect. Am prins o Herta Muller tradusa de ea si mi-a placut mai mult ca oricare alta Herta citita. Motiv pentru care mi-am ingaduit acum un moment de egoisim. Am lasat deoparte cartile pe care trebuie sa le citesc pentru examene si doctorat, si m-am apucat de Iuga. Si tare bine am facut! Am descoperit o Iuga tare tinara si jucausa, de la care am multe de invatat. Am mai gasit o scriitoare foarte buna si ii iubesc atit de abruptele schimbari de perspectiva narativa, precum si atit de Woolfianul flux …

"so the past is still present in the future"

31 years have passed since the publication of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale (1985) and we are still living in a pre-Gilead world. We know what follows, what awaits us; we know that we are on the verge of destruction. Yet, we go on with our petty lives, ignoring all the signs around us: when our professors laugh at us because we are feminists, the black eye of the woman sitting in front of us in the tram, our fathers' control over our mothers, and so on.       The Handmaid's Tale is a warning. One not only about the future, but, most importantly, about the past since we have created the book through our long history as oppressors. In an article for The Guardian (2012), Margaret Atwood confesses that she made a rule for herself  not [to] include anything that human beings had not already done in some other place or time, or for which the technology did not already exist. I did not wish to be accused of dark, twisted inventions, or of misrepre…

the (f)utility of life II

The following line comes as a continuation of the post on the (f)utility of life:
"You know, Rosa, I think we come here - to Earth, I mean - to see if we can love in spite of everything." (Alma Luz Villanueva, The Ultraviolet Sky)


I am the rain.
the cold autumn rain.
I am the cold.

Lecția de viață

"I'm twelve years old and I'm an invalid. The mailman brings two pension checks to our house - for me and my granddad. When the girls in my class found out that I had cancer of the blood, they were afraid to sit next to me. They didn't want to touch me.
The doctors said that I got sick because my father worked at Chernobyl. And after that I was born. I love my father."

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, Svetlana Alexievich

(scurt) vers 10, Excilia Saldaña

[...] In what place do I rise up or sink down with full lungs, with open bronchia, with the full freedom of being and not dying?  Not in this human body. [...]
Mother of future messiahs [...]
The oregano plant humbly perfumes the hand of the one who breaks it.  A child laughs and he hands me the leaf. And I smell it. And I give it for him to smell. And he laughs. I have a womb of birds because I've given myself to the world in the joy of the earth. Grow quickly, breast of my son; harden, hand of my son; get strong, back of my son; rise up at once, height of my son; my name awaits you. [...]

from My Name: A Family Anti-Elegy by Excilia Saldana (trans. by Flora Mandri and Rosamond Rosenmeir) 

vers 9, Geo Dumitrescu

Madrigal răsturnat

Ai să te faci urâtă, fată tristă, fată de piatră!...
Tot ce mi-ai dăruit sporeşte, urcă -
piere încet ce ţi-am dat, aşa cum seacă
bălţile neadânci uscate de vânt.
Mi-ai dat puţin - ţi-am luat tot,
ochii mei te păstrează întreagă
şi-n cana de lut a inimii mele
murmură sângele tău.

Ai să te faci urâtă, fată tristă, fată de fum!...
Tot ce era frumos, tot ce era de preţ
pe piept am, luat, pe frunte, comori uriaşe -
ce-a mai rămas e aproape nimic
şi mai puţin încă, ce-a mai rămas,
încet, încet, tot mie-mi rămâne,
căci strâng după tine harnic, avar, bob cu bob,
ca vrabia în urma sacului rupt.

Ai rămas puţină, fată tristă, creangă desfrunzită!...
Ca un tâlhar sălbatic te-am prădat:
te-am jefuit de taine, de idoli,
de flori şi de lacrimi,
iar fluturele tău viu, luminos şi năstruşnic,
ţi l-am furat, dezgropându-l din inima ta
şi lăsându-te stinsă, deşartă,
ca o veştedă crisalidă pustie.

Ai să te faci urâtă, fată tristă, fată amară,
ca o grădină bătută de grindină!...
Lacom, …

the (f)utility of life sau existentialism in stare precara

I've accidentally come across these few lines from Insurrection: Holding History, a play by Robert O'Hara, and they so beautifully answer a lingering question of mine that I cannot help writing them here (this also comes as a great answer for the discussion I had yesterday on this very subject with two of my friends, sic!). These lines, quoted in Moraga's Love in the War Years, are from a dialogue between a graduate student and his 189-year-old ex-slave great-great grandfather:
RON: I just gotta finish my thesis. MUTHA WIT: What's a thesis? RON: It's a long paper I gotta write. MUTHA WIT: Then what you do after you don write it? RON: Then I gotta show it to a bunch of white folks. MUTHA WIT: Then what? RON: Hopefully I can get paid like one of them white folks. MUTHA WIT: Then what? RON: Then nutin. What you mean then what? Then I'm done. I git a job. I live, become fabulously rich and mildly famous. MUTHA WIT: Then what? RON: Then I drop dead I guess I don…


Ionuț, au trecut deja șase ani. Parcă nici nu-ți vine să crezi, așa-i? Și asta pentru că au fost atît de frumoși. Îți mulțumesc!

Herta Muller, love at fourth sight

Cu Herta Müller am pățit-o din nou. Am pățit ceva ce rar mi-a fost dat; ceva ce simți doar c-o carte foarte bună: îmi era un dor cumplit de ea fără să-mi fi dat seama. Ca și cu Cărtărescu. Și-am mai pățit o chestie. O iubesc pe Nora Juga, deși încă n-am citit-o. O iubesc pentru traducere:   Pe o fereastră de bucătărie zboară fumul în stradă, miroase a ceapă prăjită. Deasupra aragazului atîrnă un covor de perete, un luminiș de pădure cu cerb. Cerbul este la fel de brun ca și strecurătoarea cu tăiței de pe masă. O femeie linge o lingură de lemn, un copil stă pe un scaun și plînge. În jurul gîtului îi atîrnă o bavețică. Femeia îi șterge copilului lacrimile de pe obraz cu bavețica. Copilul e prea mare să mai stea în picioare pe scaun, prea mare să mai poarte bavețică. Pe cotul femeii stă lipită o pată albastră. O voce de bărbat strigă, ceapa pute, stai lîngă oală ca o vacă, îmi iau lumea în cap, mă duc unde-oi vedea cu ochii. Femeia se uită în oală, suflă în fum. Spune cu glas scăzut și…

2015 in books

A mai trecut un an si a si-nceput altul, cu cine stie ce surprize si nenorociri... Lecturile mele pe 2015 au insemnat:

1. Boris Pasternak, Doctor Jivago
2. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
3. Giannina Braschi, Empire of Dreams
4. Helene Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa"
5. bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center
6. Mary Kassian, The Feminist Mistake
7. Eugen Lovinescu, Bizu
8. Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua (eds), This Bridge Called My Back
9. Vasile Voiculescu, Zahei Orbul
10. Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican
11. Tolstoi, Sonata Kreutzer
12. Esmeralda Santiago, Almost a Woman
13. Esmeralda Santiago, The Turkish Lover
14. Alma Luz Villanueva, Weeping Woman. La Llorona and Other Stories
15. Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha. O poema indiana
16. Giannina Braschi, Yo-Yo Boing!
17. Dino Buzzati, The Tartar Steppe
18. Mary Rowlandson, "Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson"
19. Florin Irimia, O fereastra intunecata
20. Car…