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iedra Magazine continúa expandiéndose en busca de nuevos territorios, nuevas ideas y nuevas realidades. Para este nuevo número, Hiedra Magazine insta a sus lectores a emprender un viaje cuyo destino se encuentre más allá de las fronteras de lo común y que se extienda lentamente hacia el exilio voluntario del pensamiento convencional. Así como la hiedra crece pacíficamente trepando paredes, haciendo agujeros en cimientos, y mostrando poco respeto por fronteras artificiales, del mismo modo este número de Hiedra Magazine también busca redefinir ideas establecidas dentro de las temáticas que hemos elegido para esta edición: “fronteras y exilio”. Las políticas de inclusión y exclusión, la percepción del progreso y el estancamiento, las relaciones mediadas por trazos invisibles y paredes muy visibles: estas ideas conforman la portada creada por el artista de comics Matthew Laiosa, cuyo estilo en sí cruza las fronteras existentes entre la imagen visual y el texto literario. Un anticipo de Nocturne, la segunda parte de la trilogía The Walled City de Anne Opotowsky y Angie Hoffmeister, explora un caso histórico de exilio interno en China a través del formato de la novela gráfica. Dolores Dorantes y Rodrigo Flores Sánchez se exilian ex profeso dentro de sí mismos en su poesía de colaboración. Roberto González Echevarría ofrece su propia perspectiva como académico y crítico en una entrevista que aborda la política académica, el béisbol desde una arista transnacional, y las particularidades del exilio cubano. El relato de Carlos

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ontinually expanding outward in search of new territories, new ideas, and new realities Hiedra Magazine asks its readers in this new issue to venture beyond the borders of the ordinary, extending slowly toward voluntary exile from conventional thought. Just as naturally growing ivy peacefully climbs walls, pokes holes in structures, and shows little regard for manmade borders, so will this Hiedra redefine established ideas within our chosen themes for this issue: “borders and exile.” Politics of inclusion and exclusion, perceptions of progress and stagnation, relationships mediated by invisible lines and very visible walls: these ideas inform the cover art created by comic artist Matthew Laiosa, whose style itself crosses borders between visual image and literary text. A preview of Nocturne, the second installment in The Walled City Trilogy, by Anne Opotowsky and Angie Hoffmeister explores a historical case of internal exile in China through the graphic novel medium. Sean McHugh’s short story walks the uneasy border between reality and fiction, while Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez intentionally seek exile within themselves in their collaborative poetry. Roberto González Echevarría provides his personal perspective as a scholar and an expatriate from Cuba in an interview that touches on academic politics, transnational baseball, and a particular kind of exile. Carlos Villacorta’s work of fiction questions how the total loss of one’s home is and is not a permanent form of exile. Valeriya Fedonkina and Valentyna 1


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9 Š Anne Opotowsky and Angie Hoffmeister.


Hiedra magazine is sponsored by:

Earn a minor or a certificate in

LATIN AMERICAN and CARIBBEAN STUDIES at Indiana University

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Translated poetry

Dolores Dorantes Rodrigo Flores Sรกnchez Paula Abramo Laura Cesarco Eglin

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olores Dorantes’ most recent books include Querida fábrica (Práctica Mortal, CONACULTA, 2012) and Estilo (Mano Santa Editores, 2011). Her op-ed pieces, criticism and investigative texts have been published in numerous Mexican newspapers. Dorantes lived in Ciudad Juárez for 25 years, and currently lives in Los Angeles where she teaches workshops in autobiographical writing through Cielo Portátil and co-curates (with Jen Hofer) a Spanish-language section at The Last Bookstore, called La Última.

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odrigo Flores Sánchez is the author of the poetry volumes estimado cliente (Lapsus, 2005 and Bonobos/Setenta, 2007), baterías (Invisible, 2006), Zalagarda (Mano Santa, 2011), and Tianguis (Almadía, 2013), and co-author of a book of essays about Gerardo Deniz’s work, Deniz a mansalva (Tierra Adentro, 2008), and has translated texts by Wallace Stevens, Jack Spicer, Muriel Rukeyser, Gertrude Stein and Hannah Weiner. His texts have been translated into English, Portuguese, Catalán and Swedish. This selection comes from their forthcoming bilingual book Intervenir, published by Ugly Duckling Presse.

Translator / Traductora Jen Hofer

Dolores Dorantes & Rodrigo Flores Sánchez 12


Atravieso el vacío Atravieso el desierto TENGO QUE ARROJARME Esta patria inconclusa de ti

I walk across the void I walk across the desert

I HAVE TO CAST MYSELF OUT

This incomplete homeland you are

My back is turned I am hidden: come, so you won’t be destroyed

I HAVE TO FLING MY BACK TO THE STREET

Estoy de espaldas Estoy oculta: ven, para no destruirte

I am sown in this homeland

TENGO QUE ECHARME DE ESPALDAS A LA CALLE

estoy sembrada en esta patria

I HAVE TO OPEN MY MOUTH:

Pit Bedroom Land Freshness

TENGO QUE ABRIR LA BOCA:

Fosa Habitación Tierra Frescura

This homeland where you have not entered

HOMELAND

Esta patria donde tú no has entrado PATRIA

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¿Y tu persona? ¿Y la persona que escribe con el cuerpo? ÁBREME

La persona que escribe con el cuerpo me ha cerrado los ojos (¿En qué verdad piensas, amor?) ÁBREME EN TI

Hay un trozo de leña que vive concursando Hay un trozo de leña esperando un país ÁBREME EN TI EL DESIERTO

Dicen que esa verdad no es tuya “muestra un peldaño caliente”: ÁBREME LA PERSONA

La persona no llega: besa El cuerpo nunca escribe: toma El país está muerto: habla

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And your person? And the person who writes with their body? OPEN ME

The person who writes with their body has closed my eyes (Which truth are you thinking of, love?) OPEN ME IN YOU

There is a chunk of wood living from contest to contest There is a chunk of wood waiting for a country OPEN ME IN YOU THE DESERT

They say that this truth is not yours “exhibits a hot rung”: OPEN ME THE PERSON

The person does not arrive: The body never writes: The country is dead:

kiss speak

take

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A music of evil persons, a country with its back turned, OPEN ME

the pit CAST ME OUT

in this bedroom I’M COLD

You have not entered with my boots in the water, you have not swaddled my body with teeth, metal, damage INCOMPLETE

kiss the strap PLACE A THREAT ON ME

Una música de malas personas, un país vuelto de espaldas, ÁBREME

la fosa ARRÓJAME

en esta habitación TENGO FRÍO

No has entrado con mis botas en el agua, no has arropado mi cuerpo con dientes, metales, daños INCONCLUSA besa la correa PONME UNA AMENAZA 16


Paula Abramo

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ació en la Ciudad de México, 1980. Estudió letras clásicas en la UNAM, donde ha impartido clases de Literatura Brasileña. Es poeta y traductora del portugués. Entre sus traducciones destaca la novela El Ateneo, de Raul Pompeia (UNAM, 2012). Es becaria del programa Jóvenes Creadores del Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (FONCA) y autora del libro de poemas Fiat Lux (FETA, 2012), por el cual recibió el Premio de Poesía Joaquín Xirau Icaza.

Translator / Traductora Juana Adcock

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porque por el momento es obvio patente confirmado una certeza que una chispa la llamita real y evanescente de un cerillo no puedes ni eres digna de encenderla

no pero la nube mira qué gorda va la nube pasa pésala con tu mano y ya no pienses si adentro magnesio ardiente una esfera azul rompiendo despacito algo muy duro te recorre que estás toda de alambres en el centro toda de uñas minúsculas copiosa absurda mínima ridícula encogida y eres tan una migaja que la nube —mejor mira la nube y piensa en ella

Rudolf Josip Lauff, magiar, apresado en polonia por el ejército ruso y ganado al bolchevismo

about how for the time being it’s obvious patent confirmed for sure that a spark the real and evanescent little flame of a match cannot be lit by you, unworthy

but no the cloud look how fatly the cloud wafts by weigh it in your hand and don’t think about whether a blue sphere blistering magnesium within is cracking stone slowly through you—you’re at the core a sharp tangle of wire all in tiny nails abundant absurd minimal ridiculous shrunken and you’re such a crumb that the cloud —better to look at the cloud and think about it

Rudolf Josip Lauff, magyar, arrested in poland by the Russian army and won over by bolshevism


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Pero si todo a cero se redujera, si a cero el voltaje, si lo dicho por los cables a cero llegara, si nada llevaran los trenes, y a cero ascendieran los diarios, y a cero las cajas de fósforos y nada engendraran las costureras, si callara el acero de los engranes todos en un instante y no crecieran los muros ni los techos ni en humo en el buche de la industria de golpe, entonces, ya sin duda, entenderías. Eso te dijeron, Rudolf, o quizá no; hablaría el comisario del pueblo de la guerra o tampoco,

But if they steal everything cut down steal the voltage, steal what is said by cables, if nothing is carried in trains, and they steal the lines in newspapers, steal the matches in boxes and the seamstresses conceive nothing if the steel was silent in the cogwheels, all in one instant and walls and ceilings and smoke in the swig of the factories were truncated then, no doubt, you would understand. That’s what they told you, Rudolf, or maybe not; the People’s Commissar of War would speak or neither,


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Todo negro era el cuero, y los vagones tantos, y el peso tanto, y tantos los zapatos, y el diario hecho en la ruta. Cinco vueltas al mundo. Cinco vueltas y media, la distancia rodada entre la nieve, el lodo, las tormentas y todos, y tú, Rudolf, iban todos hechos ya uno, febriles de estampida ininterrupta, camaradas blindados, convirtiendo la lama y el pavor en himno y llama.

pero seguro que te contemplaste los puños florecidos de elocuentes sabañones y no sentiste hambre ese día, lleno ya de días siguientes, en que asumiste la guerra y el trayecto y te vestiste de cuero, todo negro. And the carriages were so many, and the weight so much, and so many the shoes, and the journal written en route. Five times around the world. Five times and a half, the distance rolled in snow, mud, storms and all of them, and you Rudolph, went now turned to one, febrile of uninterrupted stampede, armoured comrades, turning the slime and the dread into hymn and flame.

but it’s likely you stared at your fists flowering with eloquent chilblains and you felt no hunger that day, already brimming with future days, where you assumed the war and the path and, clad in leather, you were covered all in black.


En memoria de Anna Stefania Lauff, fosforera

la palabra alegría no dice salto al centro del charco sol abierto no dice inmersión matutina en tu iris flores de jacaranda arriba y abajo no dice mira ahí está el mar no hunde los pies en la arena cada tanto no sabe al primer sorbo del café de cada día la palabra dolor tendría que prohibirse quien escribe dolor se obliga a aclarar dónde y cuándo y por qué y si irradia punza corta hiede o raspa por adentro o por afuera o ambas o si desemboca por ejemplo en unas ganas locas de romperse todo contra un muro o en discreta náusea o en el absoluto pasmo del reptil que siente al gato de lo contrario es caligráfico desagüe de la culpa fácil justificación del verso en cambio la palabra cerillo algo tiene de breve y fricativa dos o tres dedos que se unen la palabra fósforo algo dice de incendio pequeñito pero ninguna de las dos explica verbi gratia que: In principio creavit deus caelum et terram. Terra autem erat inanis. Dixitque deus: Produtos tradicionais da Companhia Fiat Lux de fósforos de segurança, há mais de vinte anos fabricando e distribuindo fósforos em todo o Brasil.

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Dixit quoque deus: Por la niña, la mitad: salario del menor, menor salario, y en una de esas, si persevera y paga un cursito de dos años se convierte en aprendiz de fosforera. No cualquiera. Dixit vero deus: Marca Olho, Pinheiro e Beija-flor. Refratários à humidade do nosso clima traiçoeiro. Tum ait:

Además no habla portugués, y el país del que viene quién sabe si existió alguna vez.

Dixit quoque: Confie na mais alta qualidade da indústria suíça. Atque dixit: ¿Fosfonecrosis? Tonterías. Antimonio, clorato de potasio y alotropías rubicundas del elemento más fundamental. Su hija sólo va a moler un poco de cristal.

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Ait etiam: Palitos de embaúba, vários portes. Caixinhas com belos desenhos colecionáveis. Dixit vero: De ocho a seis. que traiga su comida. o dinero. Dixitque deus: Fiat Lux pensando sempre nas nossas meigas e faceiras donas de casa brasileiras.

In memory of Anna Stefania Lauff, matchgirl the word joy does not say plunging to the centre of the puddle open sun does not say morning immersion in your iris flowers of jacaranda above and below does not say look there’s the sea does not sink its feet in the sand now and again does not taste of the first drop of coffee each day the word pain should be forbidden whoever writes pain is obliged to clarify where and when and why and whether it radiates shoots cuts stinks or scrapes within or outwith or both or whether it flows into for example some crazy desire to break the whole of oneself against a wall or a discreet nausea or the absolute awe of the reptile who senses the cat 23


otherwise it nothing but a calligraphic runoff of guilt facile justification for verse in turn the word match has something of brief and fricative of two or three fingers that come together the word match whispers tiny arson but neither explains verbi gratia that: In principio creavit deus caelum et terram. Terra autem erat inanis. Dixitque deus: Traditional products by Companhia Fiat Lux safety matches, over twenty years of experience producing and distributing matches throughout Brazil. Dixit quoque deus: For the girl, half: wage of the minor, minor wage, and by chance, if she perseveres and pays a two year course she becomes a matchgirl apprentice. Not your average. Dixit vero deus: Olho, Pinheiro and Beija-flor brands. Resistant to the humidity of our traiรงoeiro climate.

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Tum ait:

On top of these things she speaks no Portuguese, and the country she’s from does it even exist?

Dixit quoque: Trust in the finest Swiss industry quality. Atque dixit: Phossy jaw? Nonsense. Antimony, potassium chlorate and ruddy allotropies of the most fundamental element. Your daughter is just going to grind a little glass. Ait etiam: EmbaĂşba sticks, several models. Matchboxes with beautiful collectable designs. Dixit vero: From eight to six. Must bring her own lunch. or money. Dixitque deus: Fiat Lux putting our gentle and graceful Brazilian housewives first. 25


Laura Cesarco Eglin

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oet and translator from Uruguay. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Llamar al agua por su nombre (Mouthfeel Press, 2010) and Sastrería (Yaugurú, 2011), and a chapbook of poems, Tailor Shop: Threads (Finishing Line Press, 2013), co-translated into English by herself and Teresa Williams. Eglin’s poems are also featured in the Uruguayan women’s section of Palabras Errantes, Plusamérica. Her poetry and translations have been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize.

Translator / Traductor Scott Spanbauer

No se contiene en botella

Can’t be contained in a bottle

No estoy preparada para tragar el instante, ni siquiera entiendo en intuición al paladar degustando madera o frutas, ese proceso de restriego cuando se desarma la pulpa de la cáscara y la uva se reduce en tiempos y tramas encerrada en una etiqueta Malbec mientras trato de decidir a la altura de qué uva estoy me fermento descartando el instante por el vino

I’m not ready to swallow the moment, I don’t even understand by intuition the palate tasting wood or fruit, that process of rubbing when the pulp is pulled from the rind and the grape is reduced to tenses and plots locked into the label Malbec while I try to decide what level of grape I’m at I ferment discarding the moment for the wine

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De mechero a lumbre

El fuego se prende en la casa cuando los muebles quieren cambiar de color en un orden en particular. Primero arder, desaparecer en las llamas, ponerse detrás de esas cortinas prendidas y hacer lo que siempre quisieron hacer y el ser muebles nunca les permitió. La profundidad del rojo lo marcan sus sinónimos en vetas naranjas. Después pueden ser color negro ser el vacío—paso necesario para irse, contrastar con lo que se era. Esta vez no les sacuden el polvo; ellos han sacudido. Todavía no se sabe bien a quién ni en qué dirección. Del negro, si se tiene suerte, se pasa al gris. Un color que asume la fragmentación y el liviano despegar.

From Lighter to Fire

Fire starts in the house when the furniture wants to change color in a particular order. Burning first, disappearing in the flames, slipping behind those blazing curtains and doing what it always wanted to do and, being furniture, was never permitted. Synonyms for the depth of the red brand it with orange veins. Later it can be the color black be emptiness—a necessary step for leaving, to contrast with what it once was. This time it doesn’t get dusted; it has done the dusting. No one knows yet whom or in what direction. Black, with any luck, turns to gray. A color that assumes fragmentation and a light take off.

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Carlo Bugli

ISMA 3 28


Anatomical Table Two 29


Sergio Galarza Lima, Perú, 1976. Galarza has published five collections of short stories: Matacabros (1996), El infierno es un buen lugar (1997), Todas las mujeres son galgos (1999), La soledad de los aviones (2005) and Algunas formas de decir adiós (2014). He is also the author of two novels Paseador de perros (2008) which was awarded the Premio Nuevo Talento FNAC and JFK (2012), and the non-fiction chronicle coauthored with Cucho Peñaloza entitled Los Rolling Stones en el Perú (2004).

The Dog Walker Translated by Gabriel Saxton-Ruíz

I

work as a dog walker; I also take care of cats and clean the cage of a raccoon, that steel gray mammal with a black mask of fur like a panda bear. I’ve taken all kinds of jobs ever since beginning this pilgrimage on the uncertain route of desire, but I never imagined I’d be responsible for a raccoon. At first I thought that walking dogs would distance myself from people and their flaws. When I was a dishwasher, the owner used to rush me by yelling even though there weren’t many customers, and in addition, I had to chase away the rats of the Deep South so I could dump trash into a container emitting toxic fumes. When I cleaned a hotel pool, the guests always complained: they had found a hair or a leaf floating around them. And when I was a telemarketer, I had to endure the motivational speeches of a Colombian who wouldn’t stop asking me how I felt. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone interrupts me to ask how I feel. I’ve started to believe that the expression on my face makes me appear sullen. Does it look like I need help? Is that why friends of friends look at me strangely and speak to me with shyness, as if I had just been released from a drug rehab center or a mental institution? Sometimes I’m just not interested in talking at get-togethers. If I’m returning home from work, the only thing

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I need is rest in a perfectly made-up bed. The fact that a calamity gnaws at me on the inside is the least of my concerns. What will always matter is that the bed is well made and clean, like Odo the raccoon’s cage. I arrived in Madrid accompanied by Laura Song, my girlfriend. Madrid is like a maternity ward for travelers. This is where it all begins, and I was eager to erase Side A off a record without any hits. Side B is this, which starts out like everything else in Madrid. I convinced Laura Song that it wasn’t worthwhile to stay put in the same city, much less Lima. I told her she would always have her family as an affective road map which she could visit whenever, and she believed me. Walking dogs is a full-time job; one works every day, even on holidays. No vacation, no sick days. Dogs do not understand excuses, and their owners seldom do either. It is selfless labor. If the service demands it, you have to wake up at six in the morning, Monday through Friday. There was a client who wanted me to walk her dog at five-thirty in the morning. Jota convinced her that the earliest I could arrive would be seven. Jota is especially skillful in dealing with clients; his voice sounds stern yet friendly. When there’s a new client he almost always accompanies me to make the introductions, telling them that he picked me because I was the most experienced of the dog walkers. He succeeds in getting these strangers to immediately feel more at ease, and they share their hard-luck stories to explain why they are hiring our services. Then Jota consoles them and explains the details of the assistance we provide while I play with the pet. Soon enough, we go away in silence. The bitch (the female dog, that is) lived in Alcorcón, a town on the outskirts of Madrid transformed into a city. Going all the way there, trapped in the metro for an hour, depressed me. Streets with garbage strewn over the side of the containers, parks full of more cans and broken bottles than flowers, people dressed in clothes that look like donations from the Eastern European Red Cross, young people and their cars blasting electronic music, old folks vegetating on benches and corners like scarecrows, Romanian men and their scaly shoes, Romanian women with their costume jewelry, Latin Americans arguing over money from a telephone booth with someone on the other side of the Atlantic, apartment blocks with their white balconies 31


and metal guardrails, those outlying prisons which reminded me of Lima’s Cono Norte and its empire of gaudiness. Every time I visited Alcorcón, I felt deported from my downtown paradise and wondered what would amuse people living in a place like that. The service lasted two weeks while the owner who would open the door for me recovered from an illness I would learn about later. The first day, the mother of the owner accompanied me on the walk to indicate Nani’s preferred spots to urinate. I thought the lady would only join me that day, but she did it the next day and the next, and so on. The service of dog walker had turned into that of conversation partner; I had morphed into a mini-Jota. I don’t dislike talking. What annoyed me back then was the interruption of my solitude brought on by someone I hadn’t invited in. The walks helped to clear my head, deal with the cataclysm Laura Song and I were heading for now that we even clashed over music. Songs would open a chasm, moving us apart from each other. Nani’s grandmother repeated the same stories those mornings, but Laura Song’s birthday was fast approaching, and I lacked the strength to embrace her. My reflex actions came to be obligations, and my disobedience spread. I could no longer contain my rage, couldn’t understand all of this uncertainty, didn’t know what would become of us the day the money ran out. This put in doubt my ability to rid myself of the bitterness I felt for making the mistake of leaving Lima, where we protected ourselves from problems under the security blanket of being at home. I couldn’t understand how we had ended up at such a point. I couldn’t understand how it was possible for me to regret having left Lima. Jota summoned me one afternoon to give me more advertising flyers. I didn’t bother to tell him that I had only distributed a handful because I was embarrassed about doing it after scaring a lady. She was a heavyset woman who was walking a toy poodle, a miniature dog you can choke with two fingers. I don’t understand why the plump woman became frightened; I didn’t surprise her nor do I have a homicidal look. All I know is that she lifted the dog up in her arms when I was giving her a flyer and she walked off looking backwards out of the corner of her eye. Jota was convinced his business would flourish and that he would be the dog walking tycoon of Madrid. He began to talk about the benefits this type of 32


enterprise could yield. His mouth was like a calculator spitting out figures. Again he explained to me the services the company would soon provide besides walking dogs. He handed me several stacks of fliers and lamented not having thought of starting up this business sooner, saying it would have spared him many years of slavery. Laura Song always cursed her luck; she never felt at home in Madrid. She would throw herself on the bed and put on a record by Micah P. Hinson, Baxter Dury or anything by Sr. Chinarro. When she was hooked on a song she’d repeat it several times. It’s a habit she stole from me, although without taking it to the maniacal levels that I tend to reach. She was obsessed with Sr. Chinarro and had memorized some of their lyrics. (I am quite certain this is the first time someone has mentioned Micah P. Hinson and Baxter Dury in a story; I don’t think anyone has done this before because the majority of writers, those who should be walking dogs in order to experience life beyond the library, have atrocious taste in music.) I had also learned a few of the lyrics of Sr. Chinarro and would sing them to Odo. His owner, having acquired him through an unwelcome inheritance, is an elderly man who kills time shut up in his room reading the paper. The person who delivered Odo to the old man’s house was his son, a kid who lives in London. The elderly man, who could hardly see, chased him away with intransigence. He had wanted to turn over to his son the reins of the printing house that had allowed them to live in the peripheral kingdom of Madrid. The old man would repeat it at every family reunion or gathering among friends. That he would do it while his wife was still alive made sense; he was a man of means who considered himself a representative of good parents and enjoyed projecting that self-image. When she died, he began to bombard his son with incessant nagging about how he should succeed him in the printing house, even planning the steps to follow once he was established as a promising young man, a description that a father hopes to hear of his progeny. The son became fearful and flew off to where the sister of his deceased mother lived, leaving the caged raccoon behind. Beyond these broad strokes, this particular family story ends when the doors of the house are closed each day, and I arrive to clean the raccoon’s cage. Irene de Lima, a Brazilian who works as the old man’s home help 33


assistant, doesn’t care for the raccoon either. She won’t even dare pass in front of the cage. Irene de Lima also tries to avoid the old man and his complaints about the filth and disarray which, according to him, pervade the household. It’s quite obvious the man is unhinged. Besides the living room, kitchen and bathroom, the only room with any signs of life is hers. His son’s room remains closed and the rest of the quarters hold nothing more than absence. Any hints of the past like pictures or keepsakes are boxed up and occupy half of the garage, where a car resembling one of those time capsules which no longer appear in science fiction movies, oxidizes. Irene de Lima cleans the boxes every week while on the other side of the house, I speak warmly to Odo, sweep up his shit, and beg him to not bite me. In the mornings, the work was more relaxed compared to the suicide mission that was Odo. After Nani and his grandmother, I would pick up the two Labradors from La Moraleja and we’d walk to a fencedin park behind their house. I’d also sing them a few tunes by Sr. Chinarro, who could probably name their next album Music for Animals or Dog Walker. Plato and Socrates, the Labradors, didn’t pose any problems and when I didn’t feel like playing, they would spend their time tearing branches off trees. I took advantage of the time to read, listen to music or concentrate on the face of a girl who could transport me to a happy place. At times I would get distracted and observe the adolescent girls fleeing from school and wasting their time at the playground nearby, singing popular radio hits of the day and leafing through glossy magazines. The boys who came to meet up with them would chime in singing the same songs and smoking hash. What was this group of spray-tanned and varnished-in-gel teenagers rebelling against? Against the boredom propagated by their parents’ bank accounts? Against the speed of the motorcycles that whiz by the streets of their brick houses? Adolescence: a period of failures and small victories which one exaggerates to pad the walls of memory. My memories of those years are gigantographies of vague details.

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“Nunca he tenido crisis de identidad, como les pasa a otros inmigrantes”

Roberto

Obtuvo su Licenciatura en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida (1964), su Maestría en la Universidad de Indiana - Bloomington (1966), y su Maestría en Filosofía (1968) y Doctorado (1970) en Lenguas Románicas en la Universidad de Yale, donde actualmente ejerce como profesor Sterling de Literatura Hispana y Comparada. En 1999 fue electo a la American Academy of Arts and Sciences y en marzo del 2011 el presidente Barack Obama le otorgó la National Humanities Medal. Ha sido autor de varios libros en inglés y español. Su libro Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative (1990, 1998) recibió premios de la Modern Language Association of America y la Latin American Studies Association.

González

Echevarría

Entrevista Por Guillermo López

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¿Qué circunstancias hacen que Roberto González Echevarría emigre a los Estados Unidos y de qué modo abandona la isla de Cuba? Al principio fue, en efecto, una especie de emigración, que pensamos sería por unos años. Cuando Fidel Castro tomó el poder en 1959, las posibilidades de mi familia, mi padre era abogado, mi madre profesora de instituto de segunda enseñanza, disminuyeron o se cancelaron. Teníamos familia en Tampa, Florida, desde los años veinte o treinta. Mi tío abuelo Eduardo González se había graduado de Harvard en 1926, y poco después de MIT, mientras que su hermano Aurelio se había hecho médico en no sé qué universidad de Carolina del Norte o Sur. Aurelio fundó una clínica en Tampa, la Clínica González, se casó con una tampeña y allí tuvo familia. Mi tío Oscar, hermano mayor de mi papá, fue a Tampa a vivir con el Dr. González y terminó de gerente de la clínica cuando éste falleció. Así que a Tampa nos mudamos con intención de iniciar una nueva vida, y así fue, pero por mucho más tiempo del que anticipamos y desvinculados de Cuba, aunque al principio, años sesenta, yo iba mucho a Cuba para completar mis estudios de bachillerato y porque había dejado novia en La Habana. Usted ha dicho que se considera “cubano hasta la médula”. ¿Cuál es la relación que ha mantenido González Echevarría con la isla tanto en el plano intelectual como en el personal? Y, ¿en qué le ha beneficiado o perjudicado practicar su profesión fuera de Cuba? Nunca he tenido crisis de identidad, como les pasa a otros inmigrantes a los Estados Unidos; siempre he sabido que soy cubano, aunque soy también ciudadano norteamericano. En Tampa, de cierta manera, seguí viviendo en Cuba, porque en esa ciudad había existido una comunidad cubana desde el siglo XIX, y había muchos descendientes de españoles. Esto hizo suave la transición a este país. Además, me casé con cubana, Isabel, a cuya familia también me integré. Me siento cómodo y a gusto entre cubanos y hablando español con ellos. Claro, aprendí el inglés, que se ha convertido como en una segunda lengua, y muy pronto también francés e italiano. Pero me aferré a mi identidad lingüística cubana y pienso que en gran medida mi trabajo profesional ha sido una forma de conservarla. Cultivo la historia de la lengua española y la filología, por así decirlo, para preservar mi español llegando a conocerlo a fondo tanto en sus manifestaciones orales como escritas, sobre todo las literarias. Creo que eso es algo que 36


me ha beneficiado y que no me habría ocurrido de no haber salido de Cuba. Por supuesto, hacer mi carrera aquí me ha beneficiado muchísimo. Para empezar, he gozado de una libertad intelectual que no habría tenido en Cuba. Por mi temperamento, sé que no habría aguantado las arbitrarias restricciones de la vida intelectual y profesional cubana, ni el sometimiento a una ideología y a unas personas cuyo único mérito es la fidelidad (valga la palabra) política. He tenido la suerte de estudiar aquí en magníficas universidades, como la de South Florida, en Tampa, donde primero me formé, luego en Indiana, cuyo departamento de español pasaba por una época de esplendor, y luego Yale, donde ya llevo, como alumno y profesor toda una vida. He sido alumno y he estado rodeado de verdaderas luminarias como Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Harold Bloom, Jacques Guicharnaud, John Freccero, y en español Miguel Enguídanos, Willis Barnstone, Edward M. Wilson, Manuel Durán, José J. Arrom, Gustavo Correa, Emir Rodríguez Monegal y otros. También he tenido relación de amistad con escritores como Alejo Carpentier, Severo Sarduy, Juan Goytisolo, Ana María Matute, y muchos, muchos más. He podido pasar temporadas en España, Francia, Italia, Venezuela, Cuba, etc., etc., etc. No creo que en Cuba podría haber disfrutado de estas ventajas a no ser que me entregara al régimen, con un nivel de hipocresía variable según las circunstancias, que he observado entre mis amigos y conocidos residentes en la isla. Si se piensa en la posición que ocupa Cuba en el plano internacional, además del control que ejerce el Estado en prácticamente todas las esferas de la sociedad (la economía, la política, la cultura) sin contar el escaso acceso a tecnologías de información como el internet, ¿cómo ve la relación o el contacto que mantienen los migrantes cubanos con la isla? ¿Es el caso cubano en sí especial o se lo puede ver como cualquier otro país latinoamericano? ¿De qué modo lo percibe (el caso cubano en comparación al flujo migratorio de otras naciones latinoamericanas) a nivel personal y a un nivel académico, cómo lo conceptualizaría? Cuando los jugadores de béisbol dominicanos, venezolanos o mexicanos, terminan su temporada en las Ligas Mayores regresan a casa. Esto no les es posible a los cubanos, que a duras penas pueden comunicarse con sus familias en la isla. Son exilados, no inmigrantes. No se puede comparar la situación de los cubanos con la de otros inmigrantes hispanos en este país. Los cubanos vivimos sujetos a leyes migratorias restrictivas, opresivas, en Cuba, así como a limitaciones radicales en lo respectivo a 37


la comunicación, ya sea electrónica o telefónica. Aun así logramos enviar tanto dinero a nuestros familiares en Cuba (a mí no me quedan, pero algo le mando a amigos) que los fondos recibidos del exilio constituyen un tercio o más de la economía cubana. Es una tremenda ironía. ¡Con Venezuela mantenemos al régimen en el poder! Otra gran diferencia con otros hispanos en este país es que los cubanos vienen no sólo huyendo de la pobreza sino de la persecución política. Esto no se puede olvidar.

¿Qué diferencia ve entre la literatura y la producción cultural, en general, que se hace actualmente en la isla y las que se hacen fuera de ella por aquellos que han emigrado? Es muy difícil juzgar la producción cultural en Cuba porque todos los medios están copados por el régimen, así que sólo podemos leer a aquellos a los que por una razón u otra, casi siempre la misma ―política―, se les permite publicar. Esto lo digo aunque me acaban de publicar un libro en Santa Clara, y me le han dado el premio de la crítica. Algo insólito. Soy el primer exilado que recibe ese tipo de reconocimiento, y lo he recibido sin hacer concesiones. No he hecho, ni haría, declaraciones favorables al régimen y mis críticas se pueden leer en todos mis libros. Hay muchos otros cubanos fuera que merecen ser publicados en Cuba, de lo cual se beneficiaría el público lector cubano y la literatura cubana en general. Todos los escritores de valor formados después de 1959 se exilaron e hicieron su obra fuera ―Arenas, Cabrera Infante, Sarduy―, inclusive algunos que estuvieron muy vinculados al régimen, como Benítez Rojo y Moreno Fraginals. Se quedaron los sumisos y los mediocres que medraron gracias a su colaboracionismo. De los cubanos formados fuera no ha surgido, en mi opinión, ninguno de valor que merezca consideración, y de los actuales en la isla tampoco hay ninguno de verdadero nivel. Los de fuera están desparramados por el mundo, lo cual los distancia no sólo de Cuba sino a unos de otros, a pesar del internet, por lo cual carecen de un entorno coherente. Pero las grandes obras surgen no sabemos cómo, y como ya dije, puede que haya escritores muy prometedores en Cuba que no conocemos por la censura. No hay hoy, que yo sepa, ningún escritor cubano vivo, fuera o dentro de la isla, de la eminencia de un Carpentier o un Lezama Lima.

En su libro The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball, usted hace un repaso histórico sobre el desarrollo del béisbol en Cuba. ¿A qué se debe su afición a este deporte y por qué considera que es importante 38


escribir sobre él en el contexto cubano? Por otro lado, ¿qué implicaciones cree usted que ha tenido el béisbol (el campo del deporte en la isla) en el tema migratorio? Muchos peloteros cubanos de alto rendimiento han desertado y continúan haciéndolo con el objetivo de jugar en ligas profesionales (principalmente en los Estados Unidos). ¿Considera que se podría hablar de “exilio” en este caso? El béisbol, la pelota entre cubanos, fue un elemento importante en la consolidación de la identidad cultural y política cubana. Ése es el tema central de mi libro, que en español se llama La gloria de Cuba: historia del béisbol en la isla. Los cubanos independentistas veían la pelota como una actividad moderna, democrática como su país de origen, que oponían a la barbarie de las corridas de toros que reflejaban el retraso del régimen español que los oprimía. La pelota cobra arraigo en Cuba entre el final de la primera guerra de independencia, 1878, y el principio de la segunda, 1895. Se esparció por el país porque los centrales azucareros constituían poblaciones idóneas para su práctica y competencia entre sí. Claro, hay una gran ironía en que la pelota, deporte de origen norteamericano, haya seguido siendo el deporte nacional a pesar de más de cincuenta años de propaganda antiamericana. Pero es que el béisbol, como la música y la religión trascienden la política. La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, patrona de Cuba, es más antigua que el comunismo y, con San Lázaro, tiene raíces más hondas. A pesar de la edad bíblica del Comandante en Jefe, estas figuras imaginarias lo sobrepasan en todos sentidos. Y la rumba y la pelota son también más antiguas. La primera pelota llegó a Cuba en 1864. No me gusta decir que los peloteros “desertan” porque es aceptar que Cuba es un ejército. Los peloteros huyen de Cuba en busca no sólo de riquezas sino de libertad, inclusive, y esto es muy importante, la de poder medirse con los mejores del mundo. Todo deportista, todo escritor o artista, hasta nosotros los críticos, queremos saber nuestro lugar en un escalafón mundial, no solamente local. Esos jugadores, sin olvidar los que alcanzan un éxito fabuloso y ganan millones, son exilados por cuanto no pueden regresar a su país de origen ni compartir su riqueza con sus allegados. En su ensayo Oye mi son: el canon cubano, usted menciona que son los “juicios de valor”, que no son más que los que conforman “nuestras preferencias y gustos”, los que al fin y al cabo rigen el proceso de canonización de una obra determinada. Teniendo en cuenta que los que lideran dichos procesos ocupan no sólo puestos académicos (como usted mismo arguye) sino también responsabilidades en casas editoriales y revistas literarias, ¿hasta qué punto puede ser éste “juicio de valor” un arma de doble filo (si es que en algún momento puede 39


llegar a serlo) en la conformación de un canon literario? ¿Cómo puede alcanzar el crítico literario un balance entre método y gusto personal? Usted dice que en Cuba, por ejemplo, la renuncia a la opinión personal (juicios de valor) en la crítica literaria responde a motivos políticos que a su vez han dado paso a una excesiva mediocridad. Con este ejemplo en mente, ¿considera que el exceso de juicios de valor provocarían quizás las mismas insuficiencias que la falta de ellos estimulan a la hora de establecer un canon o ejercer la crítica literaria? Soy optimista y pienso que a la larga el veredicto del tiempo es implacable. Hubo un intelectual cubano sometido que se pasaba la vida criticando a Borges por las consabidas razones políticas, y luego terminó editando una antología de la obra de Borges en Cuba misma. Ningún anticomunista ha logrado desplazar a Neruda del lugar de honor que le corresponde en la historia de la poesía latinoamericana y universal. Todos esos juicios críticos, inclusive los errados, llegan a conformar un “canon.” Creo que hay como una razón colectiva, no quiero dármelas de neokantiano, que se impone, y que la fomenta, a corto plazo la libre discusión. A largo plazo llega a imponerse de todos modos.

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Cover artist

Borders and exile by Matt Laiosa 41


T

he reason I love the comic book medium is because it’s human instinct to tell stories in pictures. Pictures have been around longer than the written word, and some of the earliest written languages were carved in imagery instead of sound or text. I also like comics because there is actually more to read in a comic than a book. In a comic you obviously read the words, but you read the words in relationship to an image. You then have to read the visual relationship between panels. Because the words and images are separate in a comic an artist has a lot more freedom to experiment with storytelling since the words can say something that the image can’t and vice versa.

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Most of the stories that I’m currently developing are shorter since I am working on my visual consistency in preparation for a larger work. My current mini-comic is a science fiction story called The Nu-U about a future where your physical appearance is entirely customizable. A woman named Vega uses the technology to transform herself into different men in order to get the attention of another woman she is attracted to at the bar. Vega repeats the process again and again like a game of genetic roulette hoping to discover the woman’s ideal man. She eventually discovers that the woman is not all what she appears to be either. 43


I have always been interested in science fiction because based off of our current technology boom I imagine a (distant) future where science will eventually be indistinguishable from magic. I also like sci-fi’s ability to comment on society in an entertaining package. I hope that by disguising a story about gender in a farcical science fiction setting it says more about our current technological setting with services like Second Life available where identity and gender are fluid and precarious.

―­Matt Laiosa

www.neonmemory.com

© Matt Laiosa

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Cinco poemas de Gustavo Pérez Firmat Algo que objetar “El cuerpo, que es de tierra, clama por su tierra.” -Luis Cernuda

De lo cual se deduce: El cuerpo, que es de agua, clama por su agua. El cuerpo, que es de aire, clama por su aire. El cuerpo, que es de fuego, clama por su fuego. Pero: Ni tierra, ni agua, ni aire, ni fuego, mi cuerpo, que es de cuerpo, sólo clama por ti.

Gustavo Pérez Firmat es profesor, escritor y crítico literario. Obtuvo su doctorado en la Universidad de Michigan. Como poeta y narrador ha publicado Carolina Cuban (1987), Equivocaciones (1989), Bilingual Blues (1995), Next Year in Cuba: A Cubano’s Coming-of-Age in America (1995), Anything but Love (2000), entre otras obras. Como académico es una de las voces latinas más prolíficas en los Estados Unidos. Su libro Life on the Hyphen (1994) sobre cultura cubana en los Estados Unidos obtuvo el premio Eugene M. Kayden University Press National Book Award. Acaba de publicar el libro A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America’s Hometown (2014). Pérez Firmat también ha sido incluido en diferentes documentales como CubaAmerican y Latino Americans. Es profesor David Feinson de humanidades en Columbia University en la ciudad de Nueva York.

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Bolero de hoy por la tarde Para recordarte y olvidarme te escribo hoy, una tarde cualquiera de este agosto único, demasiado cerca ya de un septiembre seguramente atroz. Ni me recuerdas ni te olvido, ya lo sé, como también sé que no hay modo de decirte, recuérdame, que no te olvido, recuérdame, que soy yo y casi es septiembre. Sí, aquel y el mismo de siempre (casi dije, septiembre) que sigue mirándote por la ventana, aquella y la misma, y no sabe por qué también siguen allí los mismos árboles, cansados de verde, cansados de verme mirándote sin fijarme en ellos ni en nadie menos que en ti, que no te acuerdas de nada.

Decálogo del caimán

1. El caimán tiene corazón y no siente, muerde y no hace daño, ama sin querer. 2. El caimán come gente pero se deja devorar por los delfines. 3. El caimán nunca duerme solo. 4. En el país de los cocodrilos, el caimán es rey. En el país de los delfines, el caimán es delfín. 5. El caimán confunde las cicatrices con las flores. 6. El caimán no llora lágrimas de cocodrilo. 7. El agua de caimanes es dulce como el azúcar y oscura como el café. 8. Lagarto / letargo: el caimán reposa. 9. El cocodrilo trama. El delfín sueña. El caimán cavila. 10. No hay caimán que por bien no venga.

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ias Histor

or

de am

r feliz e amo d a i r Histo u. Yay! Yo. Yo argo or am m a e ia d Histor u. Yuk! Yo. Yo te pacien m i r o m ia de a Histor u. Ya? Yo. Yo fante r triun o m a ia de Histor ou. Ya! Yo. Y ísta or ego m a e ia d Histor ou. Yo! . Yo Y pio or pro m a e ia d Histor o. Yo! Yo. Y

Diver (D tido no miento ivertime nto) Marome ro más o m , e n tu talent os, o es titube ar. Marome ro, más con m nunca sa enos, bes dónde es ta Marome r. r o cuando m , e sal p’alan nos te, echa a an d Marome ar. ro, cuando m á te nos ag s itas, menos d as Marome . r o pordiose , r o siempre , en mero nunca en más. Idioma, m aroma: redoma encantad a. Lengua, mengua: ambigua trastada.

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Quiebrapatas - Gilberto Bustos Avendaño Óleo sobre mdf 1,70 cm x 80 cm


Carlos Villacorta Gonzáles (Lima, 1976) is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at University of Maine. He is co-editor of Antología Binacional de Cuento / Poesía Perú-Ecuador 1998-2008 (Perú, 2009) and Los relojes se han roto: Antología de poesía peruana de los noventa (México, 2005). He also has published the poetry books el grito (2001), Tríptico (2003) y Ciudad Satélite (2007). His work on poetry has appeared in Korean Journal of Hispanic Studies, Inti: Revista de Literatura Hispánica, among other journals. In 2014, he published his first novel Alicia, esto es el capitalismo. Translator / Traductora Eleanor Heindrich

What the Fire Said

CHORUS: Did you perhaps transgress even somewhat beyond this offence? PROMETHEUS: Yes, I caused mortals to cease foreseeing their doom. ―Prometheus Bound

1

G

lancing around, Aliaksei Paulikovich searched for the statue in the center of the city. He couldn’t find it, because the soldiers had removed it from its place and brought it to the ground. When he tilted his head back, all he could see was the top of the building where his daughter and the other children had been the night before, watching the lights in the distance. They looked like the fireworks in advance of the celebrations of the first of May, but with a different radiance. In the central plaza, thousands of soldiers had milled about, heaping people together. “Do not take anything. Just get into your vehicles. Do not touch anything, do not eat anything, do not drink anything.” With Anya and Natashenka and the entire Filatova family, the elderly Aliaksei had climbed into the truck. 49


“Grandpa, I don’t like milk. Why do they give us so much?”

“Milk will give you strong bones, my girl.”

She smiled, but when she returned her gaze to the cup, the milk seemed no less disagreeable; mainly because it had formed a thick film of scum that made her nauseous to look at. The night before, the darkness too had given way to such a thick film, but of light, which at its edges was discolored into many tones.

“And that?”

“That? That is a very fiery red, just like Papa’s uniform.”

“What about that?”

“That, my girl, is the same blue that Natashenka wears when she goes to work.”

“That one?”

She pointed to the green, which glowed and spread until finally fusing itself with magenta, and cerulean: a color that he’d seen before only on the coasts of the Mediterranean as a boy. The houses, whitewashed by the light, suddenly seemed very old. When no one was watching, Anya turned around and emptied her cup out onto the street. That night, as the truck made its way down the roads of Kiev, she drew to the window to watch the lights above. They had been glowing all day, and now began to fade until the darkness prevailed once again. She felt drops falling from her wide eyes. The rain had begun. 2 Natashenka almost never ate lunch or dinner at home. Her husband’s whereabouts had become a state secret, and although she had toured about the various hospitals of Kiev where those injured in the fire had been placed, Varenska had never appeared. Aliaksei couldn’t help her, because he was too busy taking Anya to the hospital playground every day after class. “Higher, Grandpa,” she would say, smiling. The old man moved closer and smoothly pushed, hoping that the swing would go just a 50


little higher. He had missed the way his granddaughter’s hair flew behind her through the air. 3 That autumn afternoon, he set out on the return journey. From her place in bed, Natashenka could only reach up to hug him. “Take this, please.” Aliaksei briefly glanced at the old photo she had given him, and then tucked it away in his bag. That day, Aliaksei Paulovich took the bus that was closest to the checkpoint 85 kilometers from Pripyat. “Where you going, old man?” Aliaksei looked toward the guards, but did not respond. “Where you going, old man? Don’t you know this zone is contaminated? This way’s forbidden.” Expressionless, Aliaksei continued on.

“Fine. You want to die, that’s your problem.”

“Poor old man.”

“Watch out for the monsters.”

Listening to their laughter as he moved away from the lookout point, Aliaksei made his way around obstacles in the path until he found himself at a statue: the white egg that stood at the beginning of the roadway running through the zone. Aliaksei looked at it for a moment; it was like a headstone with no name. He took the map out of his pocket. The distance stretching in front of him was remarkable, and he wasn’t sure he would be able to make it to the city at all. He had enough food and water with him for three days, maybe four; at which point he would have to find other sustenance. “Doesn’t matter at 70,” he told himself. “There’s always a town close enough.” Aliaksei gazed out over the zone’s unruly overgrowth, totally deserted of the faces of men.

The further I walk, the shorter the way, he thought. 51


When he collected some wood for a fire, it had no hint of the usual damp scent of a tree. He put it in his bag anyway, and kept walking. 4 At twilight, Natashenka arrived at the new house the government had arranged for her. She was more quiet than usual. Earlier that day on television, Gorbachev had said: “Good afternoon, comrades. As you all know, there has been an unfortunate event…the accident at the nuclear plant at Chernobyl.” Natashenka joined Aliaksei, sitting at the table. “This event has gravely affected the Soviet population, and scandalized the international community.” “Papa, a soldier told me that the people who died in the explosion are buried in the city cemetery.” “For the first time, we are face-to-face with the power of uncontrolled nuclear energy.” “They weren’t taken to any of the hospitals for safety reasons.” The old man looked at her, but couldn’t hear her words. Mixed up with the sounds of the television, they were only noise, an unintelligible murmur: dull, hollow, and indecipherable. 5 The military truck dropped them off in Kiev. Throughout the whole trip, Anya couldn’t stop crying. She could feel a tingling throughout her whole body, especially in her face. Natashenka felt it too. However, she thought it better to keep quiet, so as to not call her daughter’s attention to it further. “Where do you think Varenska is?” Aliaksei searched for his handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his brow.

“I don’t know, my girl.”

“Do you think the Filatovas know something?” whispered Natashenka. 52


“I doubt it.”

Zhulka Filatova, huddled in the corner of the truck, hadn’t said a word since climbing inside with her three sons that Monday. Her husband, one of the firefighters at the Central Station, had gone to put out the fire that had started around eleven the night before, at the plant. Although he hadn’t been on duty, a phone call nevertheless had roused her from bed. Zhulka woke him to answer it, and that had been the last thing she was able to say to him before he walked out the door. What had followed was anguish. Eyes always tired, elbows on the table waiting for a knock at the door, the ringing of the telephone. Everything had become silent. As the night advanced, the lights in the sky faded away. The next day, dawn arrived late. In the distance, a dark cloud hung over the plant. All Monday, not a single radio worked. Zhulka hadn’t wanted to send her children to school that morning. Until Zoya returned, she couldn’t leave them alone, not for an instant. But when the military arrived in Pripyat Tuesday morning, Zhulka’s fears were confirmed. This fire was not like other fires. It would be only a matter of time before they would send out the order to evacuate the city, and to leave everything behind. But how could they leave everything behind if it was all that they had? And where would they go? What about Zoya? No one had an answer as to her husband’s whereabouts. A soldier told her that many of the firefighters had suffered burns, and had been transferred to a hospital outside of the city. But since the city was in chaos, that was all she had been able to find out. Everyone was being thrown out of their houses, the buildings, the shops, the offices. A huge crowd gathered in the plaza. “Get the children out of the amusement park,” yelled a Party official. Helicopters and trucks began to bear down on Pripyat. No one could carry any belongings; the soldiers wouldn’t have allowed it. At most, people had taken things like photos, combs, letters; anything small, really. That day, on the road to Kiev, all that anyone could think of was what they had left behind: clothes, photos, toys, animals, food, friends. With nothing but what they had managed to bring along, they had left for another city, with no idea why. Natashenka fixed 53


her gaze on Zhulka, but no one said anything. In the darkness, the rain was the only sound. 6 He’d heard a lot about the dead zone. The horrible stories of mutation, the effects of the rays on the zone’s wildlife, the number of bodies that had been taken from the explosion that night, and the similar fate of the countless people who went near the plant. As he continued deeper and deeper into the zone, Ivan’s voice returned to his thoughts. “You know what they did to my son? Every fifteen days, they made him climb to the top of the plant to replace the old Party flag with a new one, because the radiation destroyed them so quickly,” his friend had whispered serenely. “Who knows where he is now.” Ivan had left Igovka upon receiving word of the explosion. He too had gone to Kiev, since it was there that the majority of the injured were being kept. But like so many others, he had been unable to find his son. He had heard that another kid named Yuri, the Legasovs’ boy, had been prosecuted and given a twenty-year sentence. However, Yuri had never been freed. He died two weeks later in Moscow. 7 Upon arriving at the hospital in Kiev, Anya, Natashenka and Aliaksei were given another bath. Then they were commanded to shave all the hair from their bodies: from their heads, their arms, their legs, their genitals, and were finally given new clothes. Aliaksei struggled to squeeze himself into pants that were a couple sizes too small, all the while knowing it was futile. Anya continued to whine about the tingle and about the new red spots that had appeared on her face. Although the doctors had said that they’d go away on their own, that never happened. Days later when they finally left the hospital, the first thing Aliaksei did was buy a newspaper, in search of any information. Somewhere, there must have been some sort of lead as to where his son could be. The day after they arrived in Pripyat, Aliaksei scanned the news 54


section once again. There wasn’t a single hint of information to be found. In the library, all the books about nuclear energy and radiation had been removed, and what looked like fistfuls of pages had been ripped out of others. Only silent, hollow shelves were left in their place. 8 Pripyat wasn’t like other cities near Moscow, especially not Kiev. Life was less erratic there. Years ago, the city had been a peaceful place to live. The regime had modeled it according to the slogans of the revolution. All of the houses were to be constructed the same way: the same amount of space, the same number of rooms, the same height. There was also a school within walking distance for the children of the workers, and a shopping center that would be equidistant to all homes and apartment buildings. Over the years, the regime had been able to integrate the countryside into the city as well. Instead of leading entirely separate lives from the city folk, the farmers now supplied them with food. Although he had always distrusted the regime, Aliaksei couldn’t deny that things had improved overall since they had opened the plant in ’78. They had called upon many young people to participate in running the plant, but he hadn’t been one of them. He had a son and daughter to take care of, who had also given him a granddaughter with those great big eyes. But to Varenska, working in the new plant had seemed like a grand opportunity. From then on, Aliaksei felt that his family would never be the same. At that time, people knew either very little or nothing at all about what had happened at Hiroshima. Aliaksei remembered that the soldiers had been wearing masks on the day of the evacuation. But radiation? What was that? Where was it? Since the plant’s opening, the city’s cattle and farming industries had seen significant growth. Business relations had also been cemented with other cities like Kiev, 130 kilometers away. Anya was just happy because the apple tree in their yard had grown tall enough for her to climb. Perhaps these were the good things that came with the plant. Perhaps. 55


9 The night crept up on him just as he arrived at a place with no name, where he found a little house that rose up only a few meters high off the ground. He went inside to escape the cold for the night. The next morning at first light, he took a tour around the house. Some plates, serving dishes, and corroded, dust-filled teacups formed a centerpiece on the wooden table. In the bedroom he found an old dress; once red, it had been irreparably discolored by sunlight until it was the same shade as the dirt that permeated the rest of the space. The old man peered through the window out into the abandoned garden, which was beginning to merge with the forest beyond.

Aliaksei left the house and resumed his journey.

“This once was a beautiful place,” he thought silently. “Nadezhda used to live here before.

But Nadezhda must no longer live here.” 10

A gentle breeze convinced him to take a rest that afternoon. As he continued further into the zone, the silence that hung over it grew more pervasive. Only the sound of a bird crashing into a nearby tree interrupted the muteness of the woods. Aliaksei approached the wounded animal and gently picked it up. It trembled in his hands, its neck broken. Suddenly, the old man dropped the bird, an expression of terror flashing in his eyes.

It was blind. 11

“Grandpa, tell me – did the fire get Papa?” 12

56

Natashenka took him by the hand.


“Please.”

But Aliaksei was tired. It had been three years since the explosion and Varenska still hadn’t been found. “The guards won’t let you through. It’s a dead zone. You can’t go, Papa.” The old man glanced over at the headline on the newspaper that lay at the bedside. The Soviet government had stopped construction of the plant’s fourth and fifth units. “Do you know what it would mean if we were to return?” Even now there were remnants of red spots left on his wrinkled forehead: the same spots that had never disappeared on Anya.

“Do you know what that would mean?” she murmured.

Natashenka burst into tears. 13

“In this tree, the Nazis hung members of the Party. Later, we hung the Nazis. Do you know how much that costs, to hang a man in a tree and leave him there as an example for more than a week? Now, this tree is dead. But if it could talk, what stories it could tell.” Alexander Kravtsov settled into his thoughts as he crossed his arms. If he really tried, he could remember Aliaksei this way: an old man whose smile was still big enough to show the entirety of his dentures; an old man who, for all that he knew, hadn’t left Kiev, even when the Germans arrived and surrounded the city, killing more than half a million Russian soldiers. He had only moved to Pripyat when they had built the plant, and had christened it Lenin’s Central Nuclear Electricity. He’d never left Pripyat, not even when they evacuated the zone. Hanging over his ruined house, the trees of Chernobyl had grown and laid waste to everything. Branches like hands had split and extended from the reddish forest, striking at walls and windows. As he circled the house, he found the well that they had built together more than twenty years ago. It was here that 57


Aliaksei had crouched down and drank the little water he could cup in his hands. Alexander remembered how he had filled his canteen, and turned to gaze upon the forest of Chernobyl, that army of trees that surrounded everything in sight. Its green color had disappeared, and was now replaced by an unrecognizable shade in every direction. “Wormwood in all of our houses,” he reminded himself. “That’s how the world will end.” 14

“What do you want?” asked the old woman.

“To find my son. And who are you?”

Cold, the old woman tugged at the piece of fabric slung across her body, which looked like it had perhaps once been a blouse. “I used to live in one of these cabins with my two sisters. But that’s not the question you asked me, is it?” Aliaksei looked at her, confused. He’d spent many hours walking and didn’t have much food left. The city couldn’t be too much further, but in the maze of vegetation surrounding him, he couldn’t be sure.

“Are we far from Pripyat?”

“No. Just a few hours that way.” The old woman leaned into her wooden cane and continued: “You know there’s no one in the city, right? The handful of people that lived there left for the other side of the river, far from the city and the plant. They don’t want to see anyone, and they don’t want to be seen either.” She scratched at the sores on her arms and smoothed out the few hairs left on her head. “Your boy died in the fire, you know. Returned to nature. It’s the destiny of all men.”

“You knew my son?”

“No, but I know those who seek. Let me tell you, old man: here, you’re only going to find fire. Not even a shadow of your son.” 58

Aliaksei stepped back and began to quickly move away


from the old woman. “There’s no one here, old man. There’s no way for you to save your son. But I’ll stay here and wait for you, just in case.” Aliaksei turned and ran as fast as he could until the old lady was far behind him. Although obscured by branches, he could make out a shadowy building in the distance as the daylight began to fade. 15 LENIN’S PARTY WILL GUIDE US TO THE TRIUMPH OF COMMUNISM the Pripyat welcome sign told him. He continued down the main avenue until he arrived at his daughter’s and granddaughter’s old school. Its open doors received him silently. He went in carefully, as the vegetation had begun to grow around the windows and ceiling. It had broken the floor as well, and climbed up the walls. In desperation the forest was dragging itself out of its emptiness and into the school. The smudged blackboard left only a hint of a word that someone had once written on it. Aliaksei was afraid. Here it was impossible to even listen to one’s own thoughts. The silence was entrenched around the city, and yet left not a trace. It hurled itself into the window like a blind animal, crashing into everything in its path: the furniture, the walls, the chairs, the map; until it finally reached Aliaksei’s own body. It crept into his skin and resounded in his heart. In this room, it was the only thing to be heard. He held his breath for a moment when he heard a noise from out in the avenue, exhaling only when it was gone. He moved on, continuing to pass through the abandoned streets, the deserted commercial center. None of the streets had names: the radiation had burned them away. The silence became more profound as Aliaksei approached the amusement park. Here too, the undergrowth had grown hastily until it became intertwined with the structures of twisted metal. A few meters away was the Ferris wheel, now cumbersome and paused in time. It rose up above him with no explanation to give. If he peered closely enough, he could still make out the faint yellow color of its passenger cars. It reminded him of Anya, and 59


the countless times they had ridden the wheel together. Although looking down from above always triggered Aliaksei’s vertigo, his granddaughter would always shriek and laugh each time the car moved into the next highest spot. From the top, it would be possible to look over the entire city; even as far as the plant. He approached the control panel in the hopes of making the wheel turn again, but it was useless. Aliaksei returned to his position, silently watching, hoping that a gust of wind might pull it out of its oblivion. It was then that he felt the first flakes of winter falling onto his head. 16 With it, the snowfall brought a chill. But Aliaksei hadn’t expected winter to arrive so early. From his seat in the amusement park, he watched the snow take hold of the city, passing through holes in roofs and windows and depositing slowly across the wilderness. In the distance, the old construction site of brick and cement: the nuclear plant. Hermetic and eternal, it towered over the city. Only the falling snow could continue to go near it without permission. Then, a little ways away, Aliaksei believed he could see the silhouette of a man, carrying something in his hands. The old man began to call out to him, and walk toward him. The man in silhouette ignored him. Aliaksei began to run faster, but then he realized that the man wasn’t moving. When Aliaksei arrived to face the man, he paused. He couldn’t hear his own heartbeat anymore; only the snow falling perpetually over the zone. In front of the plant, the statue stood absorbed, watching the fire in his hands that had been permanently put out. Motionless, Aliaksei recognized him as the figure of Prometheus. He was finally home.

60


Sean McHugh

Passing Ships

I

t must be her.

It could be no one else. No other girl came close; none that fit this description; none with such a similar name; none close enough to him to star in this story. As for the author―

It must be him.

It could be no one else. No other boy came close; none who wrote like this; none who drowned the paper with his blood, blue handwritten veins bulging out on the other side. Yes.

It must be him.

But she didn’t know what to do with this paper. She could’ve given it to the teacher. She could’ve given it to his friend. She could’ve even chased after him, swimming against a stream of students, and said something like “Hey! You forgot this!” She could’ve left it here. Or, she could’ve just thrown it away. All things were possible.

But, she wanted to read it.

Every word, every cross-out, from the first letter to the last period. Maybe it was wrong, though. It wasn’t hers; it was his. And he lost it. He didn’t even know he lost it, and she was sure he’d notice soon enough, like a father finding he left his child behind.

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Maybe she should give it back. She needed to—

―Beth!

Beth’s head jumped up toward the voice, her eyes having idly darted about the paper while she thought. A girl, wearing some gleeful glare.

―Aren’t you coming to lunch?

She said nothing. She didn’t know how to answer. After taking impulsive peeps into this lost world, the world around her seemed a stranger.

―Well?

―Uh, ―she glanced at the world within her hands, folded it, and stuffed it into the cramped black hole of her purs―. Yeah ―she walked away, out into the blood flow, ears flooded with that droning medley of countless voices, dodging. Her friend ran up to her side and walked with her, eyes locked on her purse with furrowed brows. ―What was that?―

She didn’t look at her. ―What?―

―That paper.

―Oh ―she shrugged. ―It’s nothing.

Her friend’s frown persisted but she said nothing. She shrugged it off in her mind, too, and looked forward as they both walked off to lunch.

He didn’t know.

For now, at least, he didn’t. Beth could tell as she secretly watched Don from her library table, in her eighth period free later that day ―alone and distant, somewhere in his mind; the usual. ―You’re quiet, today ―said the girl she was sitting with, her head hopping back and forth between a Math textbook and her notebook. Beth’s frown grew but she stared at problem number thirteen to keep from looking up at her. To make herself look busy. 62


Contemplative. Lost in the infinity of mathematics. Anything to avoid answering.

―Something wrong? ―her friend asked

―No ―she started copying the problem in her own notebook. ―I was just thinking about this problem.

―Oh.

Beth sighed with relief at her successful dodge and decided to get back to work. She needed to get something done. She couldn’t think on this all day. Then again, the day was almost over and she needed to decide soon. Every time she felt close to resolving her real problem, however, with the piece of paper she had found, her friend distracted her yet again with her own problems: stupid homework problems, such as why asymptotes approach zero, but the two never, ever meet; how fossils of yesterday’s life forms deep beneath the earth become today’s energy; how and why waveform functions collapse in physics. Eventually, her friend left her inside of her own labyrinth of deliberation, juggling numbers and morals. Was it good that Don didn’t know? Only if she was planning on reading it and giving it back under the guise of an oblivious, friendly find. But, it wasn’t hers. She hadn’t been asked to read it, nor had she any permission. She wondered if she even cared about that, though. Her curiosity and her conscious clashed, and their stalemate paralyzed her. In the midst of her paralysis, the bell blared like a buzzer and the simple, quiet world around her broke into anarchy, beginning the great race to return home.

And she watched the lone stallion take off.

He stood and walked away toward the door, dismissed to a dismal day which would carry him to wherever his days usually did. And here she was: sitting, watching, sweating, thinking things so fast she didn’t think she thought at all, gripping her pen and gritting her teeth.

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―Hey! ―Beth’s friend said.

Beth looked at her friend’s seat, but, in the hubbub of the bell, she had moved, so she looked up and saw her, wearing the fretful, downward glower of a mother. ―What were you looking at? She looked back at the door but he had vanished, too, having departed into the depths of yet another hallway rush, so she looked back at her: ―Nothing. The girl kept her face for a few seconds before snorting. ― You’re gonna tell me later what’s up ―she started walking away, still facing her―. I gotta go to practice. When she left, Beth stared at her purse, seemingly holding Schrödinger’s cat itself ―a bag with a portal to another world. She groaned, glanced out the window into the sunny, spring day, glanced to door, buried her mind in math again, and made a mental note to keep her cell phone off for the rest of the day. Ron sat in the library during his free eighth period, heart pounding, palms sweating. It was happening. There she was: Bethany, walking in the library. He could see her: hair flailing beautifully behind her like a cape in the breeze, those long, nylon legs flowing in front of each other, floating towards a table far from him. Usually, they would only pass each other by in the hallways, two asymptotes coming ever close but never touching ―until today. She was about to sit, he saw. And he wanted to sit with her. He almost couldn’t believe he’d even dared to imagine that but, once he did, the thought possessed him to move. This would only take a minute or two in the span of the period and in their lives. Yes.

Do it.

That jolt of encouragement ejected him from his seat, and, as he sat up, she sat down. He walked, one step after another, until he nearly bumped into the table because his eyes had been so immovably fixed on her. She looked up at him and she said “Hey”. Her soft voice nearly blew him away in a hurricane of emotion.

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―Ron?

―Uh ―he began. ―c-can I talk to you about something?

I WILL NEVER FINISH THIS STORY was scratched onto the remaining space of paper of Don’s story, scarring the paper like you scar a tree with a knife. The sentence stabbed at and popped the bubble that this world had carried Beth away in, as if God had said SCREW YOU to the world on the final day of creation, pissing in the world’s water, turning all the earth’s soil into fecal matter, and altogether leaving the world incomplete. Beth looked up from the incomplete world in her hands, feeling the mundane sensations of the mortal world once more: the beat of her heart, the sweat on her skin, the weight of gravity suppressing her.

*

*

*

She thought about the both of them the next day: what she meant to him and how she felt; how she wasn’t even supposed to have ever read this piece of paper. Nobody was. He had intended to lock this away inside of himself forever, a fossil buried in his heart, far beyond all excavation. And yet, he still didn’t know. She saw Don sitting peacefully, drifting away in his own thoughts in Math, still oblivious to the loss of his infant story. Nonetheless, she tried to focus on the school day. She failed, however: her struggle between attention and reflection made her sway in a pendulum of pensiveness, from which either she or someone else always eventually pulled her out of. Overall, she was silent for most of the day. Not even the badgering of her friend could rescue her this time. Now, only a whole day later, she once again sat in the library, in her free eighth period. And she once again saw him come in and sit at his table. And, as she had yesterday, she could only stare at him again, infinitely more indecisive, still clueless as to what to do. After awhile, she accepted the inevitable.

She had to return it.

She stood up as he sat down and she willed herself to walk without thinking until she nearly bumped into his table. He lifted 65


his blank face, as readable as a billboard.

―Hey ―she said.

―Hi ―Don said, glancing at her eyes and looking away.

―Uh ―she said ―can I... talk to you about something?

His eyes had been looking downward at his binder but they flew upward in a frown, groping in the darkness of her pupils, excavating for something he hadn’t even known he had lost until this very moment. When he found it, his eyes nearly bulged from their sockets, and everything went black. He got the last words out a little before the bell sounded, a buzzer terminating the eternity of this story, ending the boring math lesson about asymptotes. Soon after the last word left his hand, however, he felt silly for writing such a stupid story about this girl named Beth finding a story from a boy named Don, about herself as Bethany and himself as Ron. This can’t be.

It won’t be.

These were no longer the last words. So when the bell blared, breaking the simple, quiet world around him into anarchy, he scratched onto the remaining space of paper:

―I WILL NEVER FINISH THIS STORY.

He stood up, collected his crap, crumpled up his story, threw it in the garbage, and walked into the hallway.

66


Entrevista: Entre Borders, El caribe y la literatura Carlos Roberto G贸mez Beras

67


C

arlos Roberto Gómez Beras (República Dominicana, 1959) reside en Puerto Rico desde su niñez. Su poesía ha sido traducida a varias lenguas y ha sido reconocida con el Premio Nacional de Poesía del Pen Club de Puerto Rico. Algunas de sus publicaciones son Viaje a la noche (1989), La paloma de la plusvalía y otros poemas para empedernidos (1996) y Aún (2007). Trabaja como docente universitario y es director de la Editorial Isla Negra de Puerto Rico. En esta entrevista, nos habla desde un café en Puerto Rico sobre el Caribe, el mercado editorial en la isla y la generación de poetas a la que pertenece.

Entrevista por Hannah Agauas ¿Cómo se estableció tu familia en Puerto Rico y cuál es tu relación ahora con la República Dominicana? Mi madre era abogada pero ejerció muy poco. Se casó con mi padre que era un diplomático guatemalteco. Luego de unos meses de relación, ellos se separaron y mi padre regresó a Guatemala. Pasando muchas vicisitudes, pero ella recibe una beca de la OEA para venir a Puerto Rico y estudiar una maestría en sociología, y esa beca le pagaba todos los estudios. Ella acepta la beca, me deja a mí con mi abuela y viene a Puerto Rico a estudiar. Y cuando viene se divorcia de mi padre porque, como un año después de llegar, ella conoce a quien va a ser mi padre de crianza, un dominicano que vivía en Puerto Rico. Y ellos empiezan una familia acá y me traen a Puerto Rico a los cinco años. Y llego acá muy joven sin conocer nunca a mi padre de sangre, así que toda mi vida he vivido en Puerto Rico. Ahora, la identidad es muy difícil. Cuando me crie en Puerto Rico, tuve una crianza un poco atípica de los inmigrantes que salen y no regresan a su país. Porque yo regresaba todos los años a la República Dominicana a casa de mis abuelos durante los veranos. Y esos dos meses de verano que pasé en casa de mis abuelos hicieron que no olvidara nunca mi lado dominicano. Así que yo me fui criando en un ambiente doble –lo dominicano allá y lo puertorriqueño acá. Lo que pasa es que es un ambiente un poco contradictorio porque aquí mis amigos me llaman dominicano y allá mis primos me llamaban boricua. Así que yo no sabía si yo era puertorriqueño 68


o dominicano y fui creando esa ambigüedad durante toda mi vida que me causaba ciertas interrogantes. Cuando empecé a estudiar literatura en la universidad, a través de los profesores descubrí un elemento adicional que yo tenía que fue entender la dimensión de lo caribeño. Y la escritora Ana Lydia Vega, que fue mi maestra de francés, fue la primera que me dijo: Yo te aconsejo que explores esta otra dimensión que no es ser dominicano, ni ser puertorriqueño, sino ser caribeño. Así que yo empecé a explorar lo caribeño y me di cuenta que sí, que eso era un espacio donde me sentía mucho más cómodo.

¿Cómo dirías que funcionan las fronteras dentro del Caribe? Es muy interesante porque en el Caribe hay unas fronteras físicas, sobre todo en el Caribe hispano. Hay tres grandes islas, pero estas islas están totalmente comunicadas, siempre han estado comunicadas desde el tiempo de los indios hasta el tiempo de ahora. Y claro, lo que pasa es que esta comunicación se ha ido cortando por cuestiones políticas. Pero, por ejemplo, para dar una idea, yo tengo un primo en España, y este primo un día me pidió que investigara si era cierto que nosotros de mi lado dominicano veníamos de los italianos. ¿Y cómo? Porque el abuelo de mi abuela había venido desde Puerto Rico, había viajado, y había venido, a su vez, desde Italia, había llegado a Guayama, que es en el sur, de donde es Palés Matos. Y allí uno de sus hijos había viajado a la Republica Dominicana porque en Puerto Rico no había nada que comer y los puertorriqueños salían a la Republica Dominicana. Es así que ahí nació mi abuela, nieta de un puertorriqueño. Así que cuando yo vine a Puerto Rico, yo no vine a Puerto Rico, yo regresé a Puerto Rico. Y me di cuenta de que el Caribe es un Mare Nostrum, y por eso es que “Isla Negra” es un proyecto totalmente caribeño. Yo siempre he insistido en conectar a las islas. Lo que pasa es que ahora mismo hay un montón de situaciones políticas y económicas. Puerto Rico siendo un territorio norteamericano, pues, no está abierto al Caribe porque tú para llegar acá tienes que tener visa. Pero, por otro lado, nosotros podemos ir a la Republica Dominicana, pero no podemos ir a Cuba. Los cubanos pueden ir a la República Dominicana pero no pueden venir acá. Entonces, sí, hay fronteras pero son fronteras muy invisibles, y visibles por otro lado. Son visibles en cuanto a la posibilidad de llegar de una isla u otra en términos políticos, pero culturalmente hablando, hay mucho diálogo entre las Antillas, en su manera de pensar, en su manera de ver el mundo, en su manera también de concebir la literatura. Por ejemplo, hay grandes escritores, y son de madre puertorriqueña y padre cubano que son dominicanos. O como Pedro Mirtro, que es el 69


caso. Así que, hay mucho diálogo entre las islas. Por eso la Feria del Libro de la Republica Dominicana es tan importante porque es un punto de encuentro para los cubanos, para los puertorriqueños, para las otras islas que se encuentran allí.

¿Qué dirías en cuanto al intercambio de lenguajes, y el rol de español aquí vs. inglés? Cuando yo he viajado sobre todo por Latinoamérica y Europa, se han sorprendido cuando digo que en Puerto Rico la mayoría de la gente lo que habla es el inglés. La gente habla inglés, pero prefiere hablar español. Y el español se habla en Puerto Rico, no solamente es un método de expresión, sino para muchos es un método de expresar la identidad, y para otros es una manera de representar la resistencia a la asimilación. Así que el español en Puerto Rico tiene muchos valores. Especialmente como un método de comunicación y una representación de la identidad, y es una representación de la lucha de años por no asimilarse a la cultura norteamericana, pero como nada está escrito sobre piedra, hay también un fenómeno interesante que es que ahora mismo hay más puertorriqueños fuera de Puerto Rico que en Puerto Rico. Entonces, puertorriqueños que están, por ejemplo, en Estados Unidos (no todos)... Hay una cantidad de ellos que son hijos de los que migraron. O nietos. No hablan español, nunca han venido a Puerto Rico. Sin embargo, se sienten puertorriqueños. Entonces, ¿cómo abordas el tema? ¿Cómo tú dices que no son puertorriqueños gente que aún sin hablar español y sin haber venido a Puerto Rico se sienten puertorriqueños? ¿Cuál era la representación de Puerto Rico que ellos tienen en sus mentes y en su alma? Es interesante porque muchos de ellos sienten que los puertorriqueños de la isla, los rechazan. En unos casos porque no hablan español, y en otros casos, los puertorriqueños de acá sienten que ellos no tienen derecho a cuestionarse lo que es la isla si no viven en la isla.

¿Hay puertorriqueños de la isla que escogen escribir en inglés? Muy pocos, pero muy pocos. Yo diría, yo no conozco ninguno de la isla que haya decidido escribir en inglés y que se ha convertido en un escritor publicado y reconocido, y premiado. Yo no conozco, pero puede ser que sí.

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¿Puedes hablarnos un poco sobre el mercado editorial en Puerto Rico? En Puerto Rico, es el momento en la actualidad que más ofrecimiento de editoriales hay, donde más editoriales tiene el escritor para tocar puertas. Editoriales del gobierno, las comerciales o las alternativas. Y hablo tomando conciencia que en este momento ―a mitad de 2014― la editorial de la Universidad en Puerto Rico está en crisis. Esto tiene que ver con que no ha sido redefinida y no se le ha dado los instrumentos ni los recursos para levantarse. Pero hay otras editoriales que están haciendo la labor. Las editoriales independientes o alternativas son las que llevan el pulso de la literatura, son las que publican más escritores jóvenes y las que están publicando un poco más las tendencias actuales de la literatura puertorriqueña. Isla Negra es la más antigua de ésas, se fundó en 1992. Pero, además de las editoriales, el mercado también incluye librerías. También es un momento en que se están abriendo nuevas librerías. Puerto Rico ha recibido un golpe muy duro dos o tres años atrás cuando cerró Borders –esta librería era como el pulmón del mundo de libros porque todo el mundo iba a Borders. Ciento por ciento de las presentaciones en el año, todo el mundo presentaba su libro en Borders. Esta librería tenía tres sucursales y cuando cerró hubo gente que lo vio como un apocalipsis para el libro. Y en términos empresariales el golpe fue muy duro porque Borders, cuando cerró, cerró por quiebra. Y la quiebra hizo que muchos distribuidores de libros cerraran. Pero ante la presencia de Borders, habían cerrado muchas pequeñas librerías. Entonces cuando cerró Borders, casi no había librerías, porque Borders se habían encargado de cerrarlas. Así que paradójicamente el cierre de Borders, aunque fue un golpe empresarial para el mundo del libro, fue bueno porque dejó el espacio libre para que muchas librerías nuevas salieran. Salieron dos librerías más, como Beta Books. Así que tenemos librerías, tenemos editores, tenemos muchos escritores y pseudoescritores ―o sea, hay gente que pretende ser escritor―, pero hay mucho interés en escribir y en publicar en Puerto Rico. En este momento yo veo que la parte de la empresa editorial en Puerto Rico más débil en el mundo de los libros son los suplementos literarios o los espacios para reseñar libros. En papel, casi no hay. Solamente hay uno y pertenece al Nuevo Día, y sale una vez a la semana y son dos páginas, nada más.

¿Y dirías que esto es comparable a lo que está pasando en las otras islas? Bueno, cada una es completamente distinta, no hay forma de compararlas. 71


Por ejemplo, el proceso editorial cubano es único en Latinoamérica, tal vez, porque el gobierno, que es desde el inicio de la revolución hasta ahora, se ha volcado totalmente sobre la literatura y hay una cantidad enorme de editoriales, de certámenes literarios, talleres y revistas en Cuba. Todos los buenos escritores cubanos publican de una forma u otra. Tal vez no en las principales pero siempre hay vías de publicación. Y en la República Dominicana tienen un elemento que nosotros no tenemos acá que es una gran feria de libro. Aquí llegamos a tener una feria de libro pero ha recibido diferentes embates de gente que la auspicia, que la critica. Y además tenemos una especie de feria alternativa que la hace Mayra Santos: el Festival de la Palabra. Pero no se compara porque la feria de libro dominicana, por ejemplo, es completamente auspiciada por el gobierno y es el elemento cultural más importante del país. De todos los eventos culturales del país, donde el gobierno pone más dinero es la feria de libro. Entonces todo gira alrededor de esto. Y eso ha traído una efervescencia enorme allá, en términos de las publicaciones y de los escritores. Allá se publica una cantidad enorme de libros.

Eres considerado un poeta de la generación de los ochenta, y has mencionado que esta generación ha empezado a alejarse de los temas políticos… No es que se han alejado en el sentido de que no escriben, de que la política no está allí. Porque es imposible no ser político en una colonia. Lo que pasa es que ya para el ochenta la identidad de puertorriqueños ya no era ese problema igual que lo fue en el setenta y el sesenta, o antes. Así que los escritores del ochenta empiezan a hacerse otras preguntas también con igual insistencia. Es una literatura más lúdica, una literatura con más claros deseos de intertextualidad, y una literatura que empieza a ser un poco más urbana, empieza mirar un poco más a la ciudad. No totalmente pero empieza a mirarla un poco más. Y también en los ochenta empieza el fenómeno de la publicación tardía. Una gran cantidad de los poetas del ochenta publicaron muy tarde. No empiezan a publicar inmediatamente. Por eso los escritores de los sesenta y setenta se preguntaban muchas veces: “¿dónde están los que nos van a seguir? No los vemos”. Y se pensaba que había un vacío. Estaban allí, lo que pasa es que estaban escribiendo pero no publicaban.

¿Cuál es el estado de la poesía hoy día en la isla? ¿Quién lee poesía en Puerto Rico? 72


Bueno, las editoriales más jóvenes alternativas producen una cantidad inmensa de poesía. Es un mito que la poesía no se vende. Tal vez esto pueda ser cierto porque obviamente venimos de una sociedad de consumo, burguesa, donde lo que se privilegia son los géneros burgueses: la novela y el cuento, pero sobre todo la novela. Así que mucha gente se ha convertido en lectores de novela, pero hay que ver qué tipo de novela, ¿verdad? Pero la poesía en Puerto Rico está muy, muy viva. Motivada, pues, por muchas cosas. Primero, hay una larga tradición de excelentes poetas. La poesía puertorriqueña es extraordinaria, hay una tradición. Hay poetas que sirven de faro a poetas más jóvenes. También, existen otros eventos que han ayudado a eso. La aparición de editoriales alternativas que están apostando por la poesía porque las editoriales comerciales no publican poesía y las alternativas sí. También existen unos eventos como el Festival Internacional de Poesía de Guajana, que es extraordinario. Desde el 2009, es un festival de carácter latinoamericano, sale de lo latinoamericano pero es internacional. Y ha sido muy exitoso, sobre todo en cuanto a la divulgación de las poesías. A sacarlas de los círculos literarios, de la universidad y llevarlas al pueblo, a la escuela y a los centros comerciales. También hay unos certámenes de poesía en Puerto Rico importantes, auspiciados por el gobierno en diferentes etapas y son certámenes donde el premio es igual para los ganadores de novela como para los ganadores de la poesía. Esto es importante. Y el mismo Festival de la Palabra. Mayra Santos, comenzó siendo poeta. Yo creo que ella nunca se olvidará de esto. Así que, yo creo que la poesía está muy, muy viva, se lee mucha poesía en Puerto Rico. Lo que pasa es que tú no necesariamente la ves asignada en los cursos de la misma forma que se asignan la novela y el cuento. Existe esta idea entre muchos de los maestros que yo creo no es la más correcta, de no acercarse a la poesía como un libro sino como un poema. Entonces dicen: “Ah, vamos a leer este poema de estos autores, pero no vamos a leer un libro de un poeta”. Porque también existen mitos en términos a cómo un profesor digiere la poesía para sus estudiantes, y hay profesores que le tienen miedo a una pregunta. Pero no es que le tengan miedo a la pregunta, sino a no tener una respuesta. ¿Qué quiere decir este poema? O, ¿qué quiso decir el autor acá? Hay profesores que se niegan a decir, “no sé”. Y entonces no trabajan un texto completo, trabajan un poema que lo pueden manejar mejor que un texto completo.

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Exile and Border Identity: Linguistic Evidence from leísmo Use in Works of Cecilia G. de Guilarte Valeriya Fedonkina and Valentyna Filimonova

Introduction In view of the growing importance of interdisciplinary research in modernday arts and sciences, this work brings together the fields of Hispanic literature and linguistics in an attempt to explore the increasingly relevant issue of border identity. This paper presents a linguistic study of a set of literary works by a Spanish exile author, Cecilia G. de Guilarte (19151989). It contributes methodologically and theoretically to the existing literary scholarship on exile and border narrative on the one hand and to the study of syntactic variation and language contact on the other. The works of Spanish Republican exiles such as those of Guilarte have only recently begun to gain attention in literary criticism1 and have not been studied by linguists.2 Yet, as this article attempts to show, these works present a fertile ground for research in both fields. Exile is a social event that places individuals in situations of language and dialect contact, which is one of the most powerful causes of both language change and identity shift.3 Scholars have observed an inherent interrelation between linguistic production and identity. On the one hand, identity is constructed both socially and linguistically (Smuts 254). On the other hand, “both the form and content of linguistic production are shaped, and frequently driven, by the imperatives of identity” (Joseph 224). In this paper, we view identity shift in terms of this bond between language and identity or, specifically, as a process of identity (re) construction through language. In literary theory and criticism there has been a tendency to either separate the author’s identity from the text (Barthes 148) or to view the author as the organizing principle behind the text.4 This article encourages scholars to reevaluate the author-text dialectic by imagining the author as created by the text. In other words, we perceive the author’s identity as a sum of experiences and utterances manifested in her literary creation. 74

Exile authors like Guilarte found themselves in a linguistic


environment like that described by Dewaele in which “language learners or users are constantly bombarded by events that continuously shape and reshape their personalities and identities, resulting in linguistic progress, stagnation, or loss” (Dewaele 371). Our study performs a diachronic sociolinguistic analysis5 of Guilarte’s employment of the object pronoun le as a direct object (known as leísmo) to measure the extent to which her use of Spanish changed as the result of her exile experience. The variations in its use among the author’s works before, during and after exile both reveal patterns of linguistic accommodation and suggest complex shifts not only in her writing style, but also in her border identity. Biography and Intellectual Activity of the Author Cecilia G. de Guilarte was born in Tolosa, Basque Country, in 1915. Before the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), she published several short pieces, Locos o vencidos (1935), Mujeres (1935), Los claros ojos de Ignacio (1936), and Rosa del rosal cortada (1936). With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936, Cecilia married the commander of the Batallón Disciplinario de Euskadi, Amós Ruíz Giron, and began her work as a war correspondent for CNT and Juventudes Libertarias, covering the hostilities in Northern Spain in her war chronicles. In 1940, she departed for Mexico where she would remain until 1963. Throughout her exile in Mexico she continued her work as a prolific journalist, novelist and dramatist.6 The states of Sonora and Michoacán as well as various regions in Spain were a frequent setting for many of her texts published in Mexico. In La Trampa (1958) she portrayed the rebellion of a young woman in a small village in La Mancha against the silence and repression imposed on the defeated in the Civil War by a dictatorial regime. El camino y la cruz (1954-1958) was set in Michoacán and challenged the exploitation of the indigenous people in the hacienda system. It moved away from the indigenista trend in Mexican literature, portraying the Indio as capable of standing up to the rich landowner to demand his rights to the land. While the previous two works were set in the periphery, Contra el dragón (1954) took place in Mexico City. Its female protagonist was an intellectual whose life was far from a fantasy, as the title of the work might suggest, and full of everyday economic, social, and psychological struggles. Guilarte’s work therefore encompassed a broad range of geographical and cultural contexts in which language and identity played a prominent role. In 1959, the author returned to Spain where, not without difficulties, 75


she managed to recuperate her reading public and critics’ appreciation.7 Monica Jato called her return “the second exile”, during which Guilarte’s texts expressed her need to remember her exile experience and reaffirm her exile identity (22). Un barco cargado de… (1972)8 reconstructed the road to exile; Todas las vidas/Cualquiera que os dé muerte (1969) explored the issue of identity crisis away from home; and La Soledad y sus ríos/El indio mi compadre (1975) drew parallels between the survival of minority identities in Spain and Mexico. Guilarte’s literature of return was also a literature of return to exile that sought to negotiate the identity shifts caused by her experience, which this paper explores from a linguistic perspective. Identity: Approaches in Sociolinguistics Brubaker and Cooper use the term “identity” to denote “one’s sense of who one is, of one’s social location, and of how (given the first two) one is prepared to act” (17). It is precisely the speaker’s linguistic “acts of identity” or linguistic behavior that have been at the center of the linguistics approach to identity (Le Page and Tabouret-Keller 14). According to William Labov, with regional and social variation as an unquestionable reality of any living language, certain ways of pronunciation or lexical and syntactic elements serve as markers of social identity of members of a particular social group or community. Speakers often employ these linguistic markers consciously or unconsciously, often depending on degrees of perceptual and cognitive saliency. Furthermore, listeners frequently use speakers’ way of talking to make judgments about their origin, level of education, socioeconomic class, and even such personal characteristics as friendliness.9 First sociolinguistic work was done exclusively on phonetic variables10 because they possessed all four defining characteristics of a linguistic variable: (i) no change in referential meaning of the variants, (ii) high frequency of use to ensure low level of conscious control in spontaneous speech,11 (iii) tight integration within the larger linguistic system, and (iv) social stratification (Labov 8). Since the current project centers on written text, only syntactic or lexical level of linguistic analysis is feasible, of which syntax more closely meets the four requirements of a linguistic variable. Among such variables, Sedano and Bentivoglio identify the clitic system of Spanish as one of the most favorable environments to variation due to the complexity of its synchronic and diachronic development. In this work, we focus particularly on the use of the clitic le, prescriptively used as an indirect object pronoun but which has a long history of variation with the direct object pronoun lo/ 76


la – a phenomenon known as leísmo. Leísmo The Real Academia Española (RAE) defines leísmo as the use of the dative (or indirect object) le(s) in place of the accusative (or direct object) lo/a(s), as in Le mataron ‘they killed him’; les contrataron ‘they hired them’ (2010: 315). Leísmo has existed in Spanish language for centuries and can be found in the works of Early Modern writers such as Miguel de Cervantes (Parodi 221). In spite of its extensive use among the post-Renaissance Spanish elite, RAE began to emphasize its inappropriateness and gradually limit its use to animate masculine singular referents.12 In 1917 they warned, however, that “it would be better if the writers paid more attention to the etymology than to the use and that they employed the form le only as a dative” (193, our translation). Both trends co-existed in colonial Spanish America, as evidenced by the writings of Juan Suárez de Peralta and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (Parodi 220). Nonetheless, since leísmo was vastly linked with the Spanish Court, it lost its prestige once the American regions won their independence (Parodi 217-236). It disappeared categorically from Spanish language grammars and from literary works published in America since then.13 Nowadays, leísmo is mostly associated with the Peninsular Spanish, while the American Spanish is characterized by nearly non-existent leísmo, also known as a distinguishing variety.14 Most sociolinguistic work on leísmo, therefore, has been done on Peninsular Spanish,15 with variable results pointing to females and higher social class speakers as leaders of its use. Dialectologists also describe such regional deviations from the normative leísmo as its extension to plural masculine referents in northwestern Spain and even to feminine referents among bilingual speakers of the Basque Country.16 This last point is especially relevant to the present study because of Guilarte’s origin. As a Spanish speaker, educated within the system of normative leísmo yet raised in a community with a different standard, Guilarte faced the distinguishing norm in Mexico.17 In what follows, we explore the ways in which Guilarte negotiated her identity through balancing these contradicting currents of language. We hypothesize that if Guilarte’s identity indeed experienced shifts related to exile, her language, and particularly her use of leísmo, would show significant differences across all three time periods: pre-exile, exile 77


and post-exile. The key element in our interpretation of the direction of her identity shift is the post-exile period, during which the author could have returned to her former linguistic style or reconstructed it to reflect her exile experience. For instance, a return to the initial usage patterns observed before exile would signal what we will refer to as temporary accommodation to Mexican linguistic norms. On the other hand, retaining a newly acquired system upon return to homeland would suggest a more permanent and significant shift in identity. Methodology In order to reach the objectives of this study, seven of Guilarte’s works written before, during, and after exile have been analyzed for the use of le. The works that were chosen to represent her pre-exile writing style are Rosa del rosal cortada (1936) and a collection of war chronicles published in the Frente Popular, CNT Norte, and El liberal between 1936 and 1939.18 The three plays, Contra el dragón (1954), El camino y la cruz (1954-58), and La trampa (1958), represent her style during exile. Finally, Cualquiera que os dé muerte (1969) and El barco cargado de… (1972) demonstrate Guilarte’s post-exile linguistic preferences. All instances of the clitic le(s) were extracted and analyzed for their function as a direct or indirect object and for linguistic factors suggested in grammar and sociolinguistics literature, such as animacy, number, and gender of the referent.19 The function of each clitic was determined by the type of verb it was governed by (i.e. (di)transitive or intransitive) based on RAE (2001; 2010) and Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (2005). The features of the referent were established from the context. Also worth mentioning are three relevant methodological decisions: (i) any feature of the referent that could not be unambiguously deduced from the context was excluded from the statistical analysis; (ii) instances of impersonal se le + verb were discarded due to their invariable nature across Spanish dialects (DeMello 271-273); and (iii) all cases of ándale in the Mexican texts were ignored due to their idiomatic use as discourse markers. Results and discussion The total number of cases of le found in the works of each time period is as follows: 179 for pre-exile, 324 for exile, and 574 for post-exile. In these, Guilarte employs le as an indirect object pronoun 91.75% of the time, adhering to the mainstream grammatical conventions. However, it occasionally surfaces as a direct object (8.25%) during all three time periods 78


under study.20 A chi-square statistical test proves that these differences in pronoun use across time are significant. Put differently, they cannot be due to chance with χ2 (2, 1077) = 22.56, p < .05. Figure 1 shows the diachronic change in Guilarte’s use of le.

Figure 1. Diachronic change in Guilarte’s use of le as direct and indirect object pronoun (pre-exile N = 179, exile N = 324, post-exile N = 574).

As can be seen from Figure 1, Guilarte’s use of le as a direct object diminishes in her exile literature, suggesting accommodation to the Mexican Spanish norm characterized by a nearly nonexistent leísmo. As our hypothesis suggests, her post-exile style in comparison with the pre-exile one is most revealing of the author’s linguistic and identity shift. Therefore, the fact that the diminishing trend in the use of accusative le continues even after exile (decreasing from 7.41% to 5.75%) especially highlights the change that has taken place. It is important to consider some of the other possible causes of the observed trend, such as editorial oversight or the author’s intentional portrayal of characters. Nevertheless, these effects apply constantly to all her works across all three time periods and therefore they cannot account for all the changes in Guilarte’s style. For example, if the author’s grammatical change were due to editorial control only, her works published in Spain (before and after exile) would have shown similar ratios of le as direct vs. indirect object pronoun. The fact that she stays faithful to the writing behavior adopted in Mexico indicates more than a temporary linguistic accommodation. Rather, it signals a more permanent shift in style as part of her restructured identity. Consideration of individual linguistic factors can also be revealing of her identity shift as a multifaceted and nonlinear process. Since leísmo is acceptable only in reference to animate masculine singular objects, animacy, gender and number of the referent were also analyzed for each instance of le. With respect to animacy, Guilarte adheres to this rule without exception throughout her writing career. On the other hand, she shows interesting patterns of synchronic and diachronic variation with respect to referent gender and number, which is illustrated in Figures 2 and 3. 79


Figure 2. Distribution of le-DirObj and gender. Figure 3. Distribution of le-DirObj and number. Note: Percentages are based on the total number of tokens of le in function of a direct object only (pre-exile N = 30, exile N = 24, post-exile N = 33).

Figures 2 and 3 show a drastic reduction of the use of le with feminine (27.27 to 8.33%) and plural (26.67 to 0%) referents in Guilarte’s works written during the exile – be it due to her voluntary or involuntary accommodation. After exile, she returns to the original pre-exile masculine/ feminine referent ratio (30.00% compared to the initial 27.27%, Figure 2). The statistical chi-square test suggests that these changes in use of leísmo with respect to gender are not statistically significant with χ2(1, 76) = 4.03, p > .05. In terms of our hypothesis, this means that the drop in feminine referents observed in Guilarte’s use during exile is a sign of her temporary accommodation to such external factors as editorial control, new audience, or intentional character portrayal, among others. On the other hand, she follows a different path in terms of referent number: she reduces, albeit not entirely, the use of le with plural referents (9.09% compared to the initial 26.67%, Figure 3). This change is statistically significant across all time periods with χ2(2, 87) = 9.19, p < .05. This final compromise between her pre-exile and exile linguistic preferences suggests a more permanent restructuring in Guilarte’s style and identity. As presented data suggest, Guilarte’s use of leísmo undergoes complex shifts every time she changes residence. These changes include a general decrease in the use of leísmo and a selective reduction of specific contexts in which leísmo is allowed. Together, these observations suggest that she resists complete change in style and presumably in identity. She constructs her identity by adopting some new linguistic trends yet stays true to others, striving to find balance between the two. Conclusion Works of Spanish Republican exiles, such as Guilarte, have much to offer to literary and linguistics scholars studying identity and language change. 80


Exile identity exemplifies the complexity and fluidity of identity itself, which, in turn, reflects on the complexity and fluidity of language. As this study illustrates, Guilarte’s work shows changes in the overall rate of the use of leísmo and specific features of the referent that favor it. Her preexile writing uncovers her Basque identity through the way she practices leísmo that defies the Castilian Spanish norm. Yet, she integrates multiple elements of the American Spanish standard into her writing during and after her exile. The contribution of this study is twofold. From the linguistic perspective, it adds to the fields of syntactic variation and language contact and, specifically, to the existing sociolinguistic literature on the phenomenon of leísmo. The article shows that linguistic change is catalyzed by language or dialect contact, which is also observed in immigrant Spanish communities in the United States (Silva-Corvalán 295-298). Leísmo proves to be very appropriate to track the linguistic shift that is due to interaction between Peninsular Spanish and American Spanish. From the literary perspective, this project adds to the scholarship on a lesser-known exile author and further challenges the view of return as renunciation of one’s exile identity. Our results reveal that exile identity can be viewed as both the process and the product of what Gloria Anzaldúa has described as border-existence: We’re becoming a geography of hybrid selves – of different cities or countries who stand at the threshold of numerous mundos. Forced to negotiate the cracks between realities, we learn to navigate the switchback roads between assimilation/acquiescence to the dominant culture and isolation/preservation of our cultural integrity (255).

In order to better understand these hybrid identities, one must break the mold of the disciplinary borders and look for hybrid approaches to border writing. Consequently, an important future direction is to continue the collaborative efforts between literature and linguistics for the theoretical and methodological benefit of both. Notes:

(1) Such literary scholars as Pilar Dominguez Prats, Antonina Rodrigo, Shirley Mangini, Josebe Martínez, Mónica Jato, Guillermo Tabernilla, and Julen Lezamiz, to name a few, have contributed to the study of Guilarte’s works. (2) Linguistics studies tend to center on generalizable phenomena rather than on particular texts or authors. (3) For more information on language and dialect contact as a cause for language shift consult Labov 265. 81


(4) See Foucault, “What is an Author?” 113-138. (5) The diachronic linguistic analysis looks at how a particular linguistic phenomenon changes over time. (6) In 1944, came out her novel dedicated to exile, Nació en España. She also collaborated in several Mexican journals (Rumbo, El hogar, Mujer) as well as those established by the Basque diaspora (Guernika, Tierra Vasca, Euzko Deya, Boletín del Instituto Americano de estudios Vascos). (7) In 1968, she receives the prestigious literary prize Planeta for Todas las vidas/Cualquiera que os dé muerte that was then published in 1969. (8) It was published in La Voz de España between January and March of 1972 until the journal was closed in 1972. (9) See Lambert et al. 44-51. (10) Some classic sociophonetic work includes Labov’s study of postvocalic /r/ in New York English and Lafford’s study of final /s/ aspiration in Spanish. (11) Variants of a sociolinguistic variable are forms that a single speaker may use on different occasions to mean the same thing. This intra-speaker variation is the focus of our study. (12) See Parodi et al. 222 and RAE 1917: 198-200, 2010: 316-318. (13) See Bello qtd. in Parodi et al. 226 and González Moreno 149. (14) While DeMello argues that leísmo does not exist in Latin America, he sets apart certain cases of so-called seeming leísmo, which includes the idiomatic use of impersonal se le and the politeness leísmo referencing the 2nd person formal usted. He also identifies a set of verbs of perception (e.g. oír, ver) and emotion (e.g. inspirar) that accept a dual interpretation of the clitic as a direct or an indirect object pronoun (273-278). For more information on leísmo in Latin America consult Fernández-Ordóñez, Lope Blanch and RAE 2010: 316-318. These dialectal particularities are taken into account in the methodology and analysis of the study presented in this article. (15) See Blas-Arroyo 93-136; Klein 45-64; Moreno Fernández et al. 101-122. (16) See Fernández-Ordóñez 72-125; Urritia Cárdenas 517-38. (17) See RAE 1917: 186-193 on the normative use of leísmo in Spain at the time. (18) These chronicles were collected by Guillermo Tabernilla y Julen Lezamiz, the founders of the Asociación Sancho de Beurko that has dedicated itself to the studies of the Spanish Civil War and the Basque Country in particular since 1998. (19) For the purposes of this study, we did not consider the use of the accusative lo/la(s) alongside the accusative le(s). This is a necessary next step in continuing this line of research. (20) An interesting observation is that 50% of cases of the accusative le during Guilarte’s residence in Mexico is comprised of precisely the verbs that DeMello identifies as admitting dual interpretation of the clitic as a direct or an indirect object (e.g. verbs of perception, such as oír and ver, and verbs of emotion, such as inspirar), followed by verbs of action and of influence (273-278). In Spain, on the other hand – before and after exile – her use of the accusative le applies to a larger range of semantic categories of verbs: predominantly verbs of action, but to a lesser extent to verbs of perception, communication, influence, emotion, movement, and state.

Works cited Anzaldúa, Gloria, and Ana Louise Keating. Interviews = Entrevistas. New York: Routledge, 2000. Barthes, Roland. Image, Music, Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. London: Fontana Press, 1977. Blas-Arroyo, José Luis. “Datos sobre el uso de los pronombres átonos de tercera persona en el habla de Valencia: Aproximación sociolingüística.” Epos 10 (1994): 93-136. Brubaker, Rogers, and Frederick Cooper. “Beyond ‘Identity’.” Theory and Society 29.1 (2000): 1-47. DeMello, George. “Leísmo in Contemporary Spanish American Educated Speech.” Linguistics 40 (2002): 261-283. Dewaele, Jean-Marc. “Investigating the Psychological and Emotional Dimensions in Instructed Language Learning: Obstacles and Possibilities.” The Modern Language Journal 89.3 (2005): 367380. Diccionario panhispánico de dudas. Madrid: Santillana, 2005. Fernández-Ordóñez, Inés. “Isoglosas internas del castellano: el sistema referencial del pronombre 82


átono de tercera persona.” Revista de Filología Española 74 (1994): 72-125. Fernández-Ordóñez, Inés. “Leísmo, laísmo, loísmo.” Gramática descriptiva de la lengua española. Vol. 1. Eds. Ignacio Bosque and Violeta Demonte. Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1999. 1318-1390. Foucault, Michel. “What is an Author?” Language, Counter-Memory, Practice. Ed. Donald F. Bouchard. Ithaca: CUP, 1977. 113-138. González Moreno, J. Manual elemental de gramática histórica hispano-mexicana. México: Talleres Gráficos de la Nación, 1926. Guilarte, Cecilia. G. Locos o vencidos. Barcelona: Editorial Urales, 1935. ---. Mujeres. Barcelona: Editorial Urales, 1935. ---. Los claros ojos de Ignacio. Donostia: La Novela Vasca, 1936. ---. Rosa del rosal cortada. San Sebastián: Navarro y del Teso, 1936. ---. Cualquiera que os dé muerte. Barcelona: Editorial Linosa, 1969. ---. La soledad y sus ríos. Madrid: E.M.E.S.A, 1975. ---, and Monica Jato. Un barco cargado de... Spain: Editorial Renacimiento, 2012. ---, and Maravillas Villa. Trilogía dramática. Donostia-San Sebastián: Saturrarán, 2001. Jato, Monica. “Introduction.” Un barco cargado de... Ed. Monica Jato. Spain: Editorial Renacimien to, 2012: 9-65. Joseph, John E. Language and Identity: National, Ethnic, Religious. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Klein, F. “Factores sociales en algunas diferencias lingüísticas en Castilla la Vieja.” Papers: Revista de Sociología 11 (1979): 45-64. Labov, William. Sociolinguistic Patterns. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1972. Lafford, Barbara. “Valor diagnóstico-social del uso de ciertas variantes de /s/ en el español de Cartagena, Colombia.” Estudios sobre la fonología del español del Caribe. Eds. Núñez Cedeño, Rafael, Iraset Páez, and Jorge Guitart. Caracas: La Casa de Bello, 1986. 53-75. Lambert, Wallace E. et al. “Evaluational Reactions to Spoken Languages.” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 60.1 (1960): 44-51. Le Page, R. B., and Andrée Tabouret-Keller. Acts of Identity: Creole-based Approaches to Language and Ethnicity. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985. Lope Blanch, Juan M. “Estado actual del español en México.” Estudios sobre el español en México. Ed. Juan M. Lope Blanch. México: UNAM, 1983. 11-31. Moreno Fernández, Francisco, et al. “Anotaciones sobre el leísmo, el laísmo y el loísmo en la provincia de Madrid.” Epos 4 (1988): 101-22. Parodi, Claudia, Kenneth V. Luna, and Ángela Helmer. “El leísmo en América y en España: Bifurcación de una norma. (English).” Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 89.3 (2012): 217-236. Real Academia Española. Gramática de la lengua castellana. Madrid: Perlado, Páez y Cía, 1917. ---. Diccionario de la lengua española. 22 ed. Madrid: Real Academia Española. 2001. ---. Nueva gramática de la lengua española: Manual. Madrid: Espasa, 2010. Sedano, Mercedes, and Paola Bentivoglio. “En torno a una tipología de la variación gramatical.” Anuario de Lingüística Hispánica XII–XIII (1996-1997): 997-1011. Silva-Corvalán, Carmen. Sociolingüística y pragmática del español. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown UP, 2001. Smuts, Jan C. Holism and Evolution. London: Macmillan, 1927. Tabernilla, Guillermo, and Julen Leramiz. Cecilia G. de Guilarte, reporter de la CNT: Sus crónicas de guerra. Bilbao: Ediciones Beta III Milenio, 2007. Urritia Cárdenas, Hernán. “Los clíticos de tercera persona en el País Vasco.” CAUCE: Revista de Filología y su Didáctica 25 (2003): 517-38.

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Resurgimiento del pueblo andino - Claudio MartĂ­nez Paredes Ă&#x201C;leo sobre tela 1,20 cm x 80 cm

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Awake Tonight

By Alicia Gignoux

There are moments when I remember the abundance of bruised mangos in the street, the terrace where we danced to the sound of tree frogs, the stars slipping from our hands, and the song we sang in mother’s tongue. Seven crescent moons ago, we fled bleached coral reefs for guttural glass shores. Dancing tonight under the waxing gibbous moon, stark-naked swordfish swim to us across the sea, sway to sandbar rhythms near shore, spawn 29 million eggs and whisper in my ears and whisper in my ears, ‘Hola mi hija, hola’.

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(812) 336-Bake 313 East Third St Bloomington, IN Baked! of Bloomington

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Fore, Devin. Realism after Modernism: The Rehumanization

of Art and Literature. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012. 416 pp.

D

evin Fore begins with the observation that, after the radical experimentation of the various schools of aesthetic modernism, “the human body staged a dramatic comeback” in nearly every variety of realism of the 1920s and 30s: visual artists returned to portraiture, novelists once again populated their works with well-rounded characters, and so on. Realism after Modernism investigates this phenomenon in terms of the following thesis: the very codes and conventions of realism are predicated on the human figure, and the core artistic techniques of 19th century realism worked from the implicit postulate that “man is the measure of all things.” Each chapter is devoted to a different genre: photography, the novel, naturalistic drama, autobiography, and portraiture. In each case, Fore investigates how artists and writers like László Moholy-Nagy, Bertolt Brecht, and John Heartfield tried to reconstruct realism “after aesthetic modernism, social modernity, and technical modernization had destroyed the anthropomorphic foundations of its artistic program” (4). These artists were all too familiar with many of the ideological pitfalls of the realist mode, and so they set out to systematically revisit and reconfigure realism. The opening chapter, which discusses the visual arts projects of MoholyNagy, is illustrative of Fore’s methodology: he starts by looking at a work of avant-garde collage, where snippets of printed text, a human face, numbers, maps, and paper money are chaotically assembled over a blank background in a “radical act of optical nihilism.” He then introduces Moholy-Nagy’s Leda and the Swan, which employs similar collage techniques, but positions images of a swan and a woman in a swimsuit executing a dive near a set of optical grid lines that recede toward a point in the distance; in addition, two men cut out from larger photographs are climbing the grid —which is set off-center, to the left side of the page— as if it were a ladder. Fore suggests that both pieces should be read in the context of the long history of perspective as an artistic device. He includes a reproduction of Albrecht 87


Dürer’s woodcut Draftsman (1525), where an artist sketches a female nude in his studio as he stares at her through a window pane equipped with grid lines, and explains that “[a]s the Renaissance humanists were establishing man as the measure of all things, pictorial perspective humanized the surrounding environment by giving the modern spectator a privileged point of view within a homogenous, stable, and infinite geometric space” (25). Avant-garde collage often sought to demolish this method of producing “realistic” art by placing a jumbled set of elements on the surface of the artwork: no depth, no fixed, organizing perspective, and certainly no need to employ a grid. Moholy-Nagy, on the other hand, reincorporates grid lines into his work, but he does so knowingly and in ways that emphasize their artificiality, in this case setting them off center so as to separate it from the privileged perspective of the viewing individual, and turning them into a sort of jungle gym rather than an optical device. As Fore goes on to explain, “if the Dadaists, fantasizing about a mode of perception devoid of human subjectivity, sought to eradicate the perspective paradigm utterly, …MoholyNagy sought instead to multiply, relativize, and denaturalize the device of perspective” (32). He brings back the old tools for creating realistic images, but in ways that underscore their artificiality. Each chapter repeats this framework: “negative” or “anarchic” modernist art works are compared to later realist works, and both are studied in terms of the underlying humanistic techniques that were first critiqued by modernism, then refashioned by interwar realism. Brecht’s plays from the mid-30s, for example, combine naturalistic acting methods with material culled from newspaper reports and other forms of secondhand speech in works that are “paradoxically both anthropomorphic and mechanical”; Carl Einstein, for his part, re-writes his modernist novella Bebuquin two decades later as the sprawling, autobiographical Bebuquin II, which, by bombarding the reader with constant re-formulations of concrete personal experiences, calls into question the conventions through which autobiographers “reinforce the psychic contours of selfhood.” In all cases the artists were accused of cultural conservatism due to their respective “returns to order,” but Fore argues that, by repurposing the codes and conventions of 19th century realism in ways that emphasize their artificiality, these artists were far more progressive than their critics made them out to be. He demonstrates how their works dialogue with anthropological, political, and aesthetic discourses of the early 20th century and thus participate in a broad and progressive reconsideration of what it means to be human; in short, he shows how, in a specific time and place in the history of art and literature, the human figure stopped being the measure of all things. Matt Johnson.

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Hiedra Magazine 3  

Hiedra Magazine Issue 3 - Fall 2014 - ISSN: 2328 3653 Please contact revistahiedra@gmail.com with any questions or concerns. © 2014.

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