RE: Butterflies and life

From: David Preiss (davidpreiss@puc.cl)
Date: Mon Apr 04 2005 - 14:48:58 PDT


Thanks Dorie, for the info. As relates to the issue of loss between
hispanics, I must say that it always impressed me, as a Chilean, the way
hispanic identity was framed in the USA. Indeed, I think that the
metaphor of breaking away works nicely there. Octavio Paz, the Mexican
Nobel Prize, makes an interesting description of the identity of the
hispanics in his "Laberinto de la Soledad". More or less, he says that
what strikes him of mexican immigrants in the US is the fact that they
radicalize their identity through different symbols such as their
clothing to a point where its reference either to mexican or north
american identity becomes diffuse, to stay in some sort of nowhere
place, that is, it breaks away with both the mexican roots and the north
american context. I was not an immigran myself, but I found that Paz's
interpretation still holds, from my very na´ve perspective as a
transitory and perplexed student. Spanglish can be seen in the same way.
It is not Spanish at all, but it is not English either. Interestingly,
one of the moves of the spanglish is to use English words employing the
grammar of Spanish such as in vacunar la carpeta, where vacuum is
actualized as a verb and carpet is treated as a substantive, but very
far away from the "right" translation, "aspirar la alfombra". When you
use a language grammar to perform the other, which language is the one
that wins? More generally, when you break away and put the rules of your
cultural subjectivity to treat with the content of a strange one, what
kind of complex cognitive act do you perform? Would be your cultural
life as brief as the one of the butterflies?

David Preiss
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile: www.puc.cl
PACE Center at Yale University: www.yale.edu/pace
Homepage: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
Phone: 56-2-3544605
Fax: 56-2-354-4844
E-mail: david.preiss@yale.edu, davidpreiss@puc.cl

-----Original Message-----
From: Dorie Evensen [mailto:dhd2@psu.edu]
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 5:20 PM
To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
Subject: RE: Butterflies and life

David - The book is about the author's experience as a child of Mexican
immigrants educated in quite traditional Catholic schools in California
(1960s). It's the story of his "losing" his family and ethnicity as he
came to embrace the discourse of traditional (and mostly classic)
education. The book has undergone criticisms because of Rodriguez'
position against affirmative action - he was admitted to (now here is
where
my memory fades), I think, Yale (I also think it was a graduate program)

under affirmative action protocols - his argument is that af. ac. should

not be for people like him. He winds up refusing the position.
Rodriguez
works now for the Pacific News Service and does occasional essays on the

The News Hours (PBS). What remains with me about the book is his vivid
sense of loss coupled with a strong desire for the new development he is
so
aware of having experienced.
Dorie

At 05:02 PM 4/4/2005, you wrote:

>Dorie,
>Sorry for not knowing the person, but could you please say more about
>this book? David
>
>David Preiss
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
>-
>-
>Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile: www.puc.cl
>PACE Center at Yale University: www.yale.edu/pace
>Homepage: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
>Phone: 56-2-3544605
>Fax: 56-2-354-4844
>E-mail: david.preiss@yale.edu, davidpreiss@puc.cl
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Dorie Evensen [mailto:dhd2@psu.edu]
>Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 1:38 PM
>To: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>Subject: Re: Butterflies and life
>
>
>
>I wonder if people think that Richard Rodriguez' autobiography, Hunger
>of Memory, provides some insights into losses associated with
>development? Dorie
>
>
>
>At 01:28 PM 4/4/2005, you wrote:
> >Well, those butterflies and some notion of an elsewhere or other that

> >is unfettered... Would that it were so. I am especially fond of the
> >Monarchs -- an endangered species precisely as they travel across
> >space. Actually, the butterflies - we could think of them as actants
> >in
>
> >some species of ANT - part of the system and with no autonomous
> >agency
> >-- feed along the way on milkweed, treated with pesticides as a
> >"noxious weed", as well as genetically-modified corn that produces a
> >protein toxic to the larvae of monarchs, and their habitat in their
> >wintering grounds in Mexico is being lost to devastating logging,
> >resulting in a huge drop in the population of Monarchs.
> >
> >And so here we have a kind of cautionary tale about the impacts of
> >"development" <science, construction, the economy> on forms of life
> >and
>
> >living. The kinds of loss produced by "development" produces an
> >interesting line of inquiry.
> >
> >Mary
> >
> >On 4/3/05 7:48 PM, "Marie Judson" <mjudson@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > It does relate to the topic, Kris, in the sense that
> > > the butterflies come across the border freely, unlike
> > > the humans.
> > >
> > > Marie
> > >
> > > --- Kris Gutierrez <gutierrez@gseis.ucla.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > >> THIS IS OFF TOPIC BUT IT CAN'T GO
> > >> UNNOTICED--SOMETHING CLOSE TO HOME
> > >> FOR THOSE OF US IN THE SOUTHWEST and hopefully
> > >> something else to
> > >> ponder: KRIS
> > >>
> > >> Soldados Mexicanos Muertos en Irak" (Xenophobes of
> > >> the Minutemen
> > >> Project want to play soldiers on the
> > >> Arizona-Mexico border, hunting
> > >> down "illegal aliens." Meanwhile, Mexicans are
> > >> dying in Iraq for the
> > >> US government) -- FULL TEXT:
> > >>
> > >
> <http://montages.blogspot.com/2005/04/soldados-mexicanos-muertos-en->
> > >>
> > >> irak.html>
> > >> --
> > >>
> > >> Kris D. Gutierrez
> > >> Professor
> > >> GSE&IS
> > >> Moore Hall 1026
> > >> UCLA
> > >> Los Angeles, CA 9009501521
> > >> 310-825-7467
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > > Marie Judson
> > > Ph.D. Candidate
> > > Department of Communication
> > > UCSD, Mailcode 0503
> > > 858.643.9090
> > > mjudson@ucsd.edu
> > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > >



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