Magical Unrealism? Did Atlantis Exist?

Posted by: | February 10, 2009 | Comments Off on Magical Unrealism? Did Atlantis Exist?

cosmic race?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel like we’re reading some form of magical unrealism this week. I have a ton of problems with a lot of what he says, but I think we’re supposed to try and understand the idea of mestizaje he’s proposing. If that’s the case, I hope it isn’t the form that was adopted in his home country. Also, I wonder what Jon thinks about Vasconcelos’ saying, “the English had to be satisfied with what was left to them by a more capable people” (10). The entire piece is laced with abominable comments that made me say, “WHA???” out loud. Apparently the fact that Napoleon sold Louisiana to the Anglo-Saxon/English/Americans ended up being the reason they were able to also take California and Texas from Mexico. It sounds like he’s never ever heard of Manifest Destiny…I wonder if that ideology had any impact on the taking of Texas and California.
But the point of this piece is the mixture that he envisions, and his concept of races. He seemed to see the world as “a conflict of Latinism against Anglo-Saxonism; a conflict of institutions, aims and ideals” (10). The Latins suffere from caesarism, while the Anglo-Saxons tend to be lacking vigor. Despite claiming that mixing can strengthen the fifth civilization he envisions, he still places the “colors” in a hierarchy, and labels the whites and reds as civilizations, while he labels the yellows and blacks races. Inherent in much of his language is a hierarchy of power through color. I have so many issues with his work. I suppose it is reflective of the time he was writing. I’m not so sure though. I have problems with how he envisions this fifth race is going to come about. He believes a taste for beauty will encourage the development of a handsome race. He also comments, “America was not kept in reserve for five thousand years for such a petty goal”(18), referring to it being used by the Anglo-Saxons to replicate a Northern Europe. His belief in predestination is interesting as well. It’s also interesting to me how he personifies History. It’s as though History is itself a force with which to be reckoned, with the agency to organize and disorganize. This post is disjointed, but there are so many issues at stake in his piece here. Identity and self identification, belonging, racism, inherent superiority, the power of the environment/nature, esthetics, romantic notions of humanity, and an overall sense of the unrealistic.
Wade’s approach to mestizaje seems more realistic in that he acknowledges the dualities present within it, and is able to see them as part of the mixture as opposed to a problem. His approach to mestizaje as a lived or embodied experience makes it easier to understand in tangible ways. Using the examples of people and music are things more easily relatable. Anyone who has a history is able to think about identity and how it is negotiated. In this way, Wade makes headway. It seems realistic that within any form of mixture among people, there will be elements of inclusion and exclusion, as well as sameness and difference. Wade tells us that, “the concept of mestizo includes spaces of difference as a constitutive feature, while also providing a trope for living sameness through a sense of shared mixed-ness” (249). I identified with this idea of finding sameness in the difference or mixture itself. As an idealist I prefer ideas that can acknowledge difference, but accept them at the same time. Thats just how things can be. After reading Wade I questioned how much ideas of mixture actually inform people’s lived experience though. How much to they recognize what they are living as part of an ideology? Hmmm….? Anyway…this might be too much of a rant…See you in class.


Comments are closed.

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind

Spam prevention powered by Akismet