dimecres, 28 de maig de 2014

Temps al temps

M'acaben de dir que és molt difícil quedar amb mi! Serà cert? Realment tenim una agenda que Déu n'hi dó! Però tot és posar-se i organitzar-se per trobar un raconet per xerrar, fer el cafè, plorar o estimar o el que vulguem!!!
Cert és que tots tenim unes prioritats o obligacions que molts cops ens impedeixen trobar-nos amb gent que voldríem veure i abraçar més sovint, però, és clar, amb això pel mig, les coses es dificulten molt més!
Jo no he pogut quedar amb la meva millor amiga a soles, i gairebé ni en grup tampoc, des de fa gairebé tres anys! Tant ella com jo tenim unes responsabilitats familiars que ens impedeixen reunir-nos o molts de cops ni tan sols parlar per telèfon! Però això no vol dir res perquè les dos sabem com ens estimem i que quan ens necessitem podem comptar amb el suport de l'altra. I això ho faig extensiu a la resta d'amics. Hem de fer incís, però, en distingir entre amics i coneguts! Coneguts, molts, amics molts menys!
No obstant, hem d'estar contents de poder comptar amb tothom perquè a o amb tothom tenim alguna cosa en comú, siguin aficions, amor per alguna cosa o gent, mals de caps,... tot el que ens envolta ens dirigeix cap a un sector de gent o cap a un altre i de vegades per molt de temps o d'altres només per un període curt.
El que hem de tenir clar és que aprenem de totes aquestes riqueses que ens proporciona la vida. Qui no està content d'haver conegut algú en algun moment? Fins i tot si aquest algú al final ha sortit de la nostra vida, sempre hem d'agafar allò que ens fa millors, més savis i més tolerants; i pel que fa als que ens deixen un mal sabor de boca, hauríem de ser capaços de valorar si en algun moment ens van proporcionar alguna cosa que ens ajude a evolucionar, perquè sigui el que sigui, de tothom s'aprèn, tot i el desencís, la malenconia, el dolor, la ràbia... que ens hagin provocat, hem d'aprendre del que ens han aportat, si més no per no caure en un abisme de repeticions de situacions que tornaran i tornaran fins que no aprenguem la llicó.
Donem-nos temps, el temps necessari per païr el que sigui i desprès anem fent!

dimarts, 27 de maig de 2014

ADRIENNE RICH'S "SNAPSHOTS OF A DAUGHTER-IN -LAW"

1.
You, once a belle in Shreveport, 
with henna-colored hair, skin like a peachbud, 
still have your dresses copied from that time, 
and play a Chopin prelude 
called by Cortot: "Delicious recollections 
float like perfume through the memory."

Your mind now, moldering like wedding-cake, 
heavy with useless experience, rich 
with suspicion, rumor, fantasy, 
crumbling to pieces under the knife-edge 
of mere fact. In the prime of your life.

Nervy, glowering, your daughter
wipes the teaspoons, grows another way.


2.

Banging the coffee-pot into the sink 
she hears the angels chiding, and looks out 
past the raked gardens to the sloppy sky.
Only a week since They said: Have no patience.

The next time it was: Be insatiable.
Then: Save yourself; others you cannot save.
Sometimes she's let the tapstream scald her arm, 
a match burn to her thumbnail,

or held her hand above the kettle's snout 
right in the woolly steam. They are probably angels, 
since nothing hurts her anymore, except 
each morning's grit blowing into her eyes.


3.

A thinking woman sleeps with monsters.
The beak that grips her, she becomes. And nature, 
that sprung-lidded, still commodious 
steamer-trunk of tempora and mores 
gets stuffed with it all:  the mildewed orange-flowers, 
the female pills, the terrible breasts 
of Boadicea beneath flat foxes' heads and orchids.

Two handsome women, gripped in argument, 
each proud, acute, subtle, I hear scream 
across the cut glass and majolica 
like Furies cornered from their prey:
The argument ad feminam, all the old knives 
that have rusted in my back, I drive in yours, 
ma semblable, ma soeur!


4.

Knowing themselves too well in one another: 
their gifts no pure fruition, but a thorn, 
the prick filed sharp against a hint of scorn. . .
Reading while waiting 
for the iron to heat, 
writing, My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun—
in that Amherst pantry while the jellies boil and scum, 
or, more often, 
iron-eyed and beaked and purposed as a bird, 
dusting everything on the whatnot every day of life.


5.

Dulce ridens, dulce loquens, 
she shaves her legs until they gleam 
like petrified mammoth-tusk.


6.

When to her lute Corinna sings 
neither words nor music are her own;
only the long hair dipping 
over her cheek, only the song 
of silk against her knees 
and these 
adjusted in reflections of an eye.

Poised, trembling and unsatisfied, before 
an unlocked door, that cage of cages, 
tell us, you bird, you tragical machine—
is this fertilisante douleur? Pinned down 
by love, for you the only natural action, 
are you edged more keen 
to prise the secrets of the vault? has Nature shown 
her household books to you, daughter-in-law, 
that her sons never saw?


7.

"To have in this uncertain world some stay 
which cannot be undermined, is 
of the utmost consequence."
                                         Thus wrote 
a woman, partly brave and partly good, 
who fought with what she partly understood.
Few men about her would or could do more, 
hence she was labeled harpy, shrew, and whore.


8.

"You all die at fifteen," said Diderot, 
and turn part legend, part convention.
Still, eyes inaccurately dream
behind closed windows blankening with steam.
Deliciously, all that we might have been, 
all that we were—fire, tears, 
wit, taste, martyred ambition—
stirs like the memory of refused adultery 
the drained and flagging bosom of our middle years.


9.

Not that it is done well, but 
that it is done at all? Yes, think 
of the odds! or shrug them off forever.
This luxury of the precocious child, 
Time's precious chronic invalid,—
would we, darlings, resign it if we could?
Our blight has been our sinecure:
mere talent was enough for us—
glitter in fragments and rough drafts.

Sigh no more, ladies.
                               Time is male 
and in his cups drinks to the fair.
Bemused by gallantry, we hear 
our mediocrities over-praised, 
indolence read as abnegation, 
slattern thought styled intuition, 
every lapse forgiven, our crime 
only to cast too bold a shadow 
or smash the mold straight off.

For that, solitary confinement, 
tear gas, attrition shelling.
Few applicants for that honor.


10.

                                                Well, 
she's long about her coming, who must be 
more merciless to herself than history.
Her mind full to the wind, I see her plunge 
breasted and glancing through the currents, 
taking the light upon her 
at least as beautiful as any boy 
or helicopter, 
                     poised, still coming, 
her fine blades making the air wince

but her cargo
no promise then:
delivered
palpable 
ours.


 There is an "I" in the poem: it is the narrator's voice possessed of and providing all those allusions, angry, disabused, exigent, only hopeful, and not entirely convincingly so, at the conclusion.

The "you," an older woman whose mind is "moldering like wedding-cake" addressed in the opening section, is not the mother-in-law of a daughter-in-law but the mother of an impatient daughter. In many patrilocal cultures, the role of daughter-in-law is, across social classes, difficult and arduous: a young woman leaves her family home to be installed as dogsbody and scapegoat to her husband's extended family, often, in particular, to her mother-in-law, escaped by virtue of having borne and married off a son from the same thankless position: rarely are examples given of mothers-in-law who in empathy refuse to put their daughters-in-law through the trials they themselves suffered. Rich might not (yet) have been thinking of Indian or Indonesian daughters-in-law as she composed the poem (the only "mother-in-law" specifically mentioned is "Nature," from whom, the poem posits, a woman paradoxically stands at far greater remove than "her sons," like Aphrodite in the myth of Eros and Psyche), but the enforced generational or sisterly enmity between (powerless) women is much more focal to the poem than any relationship with men, who are largely present as sources of misogynistic quotations and damning faint praise. The only direct human confrontation in the poem is in the (14 line) third section's second septet—although putatively verbal, it is almost erotic:

    Two handsome women gripped in argument
    each proud, acute, subtle, I hear scream
    across the cut glass and majolica
    like Furies cornered from their prey:
    The arguments ad feminam, all the old knives
    that have rusted in my back, I drive into yours,
    ma semblable, ma soeur!

—terminating with the transformed last line of Baudelaire's poem "Au Lecteur" from the book he first wished (coincidentally) to call Lesbiennes.
the text moves through ten measured glimpses, each challenging the truth of preconceptions about the female individualist. The focus, a Shreveport belle, enters stanza 1 with studied grace. Well-schooled in womanliness, she performs a musicale, one of Chopin’s piano confections. By the end of the poem, the persona has achieved a transformation “long about her coming.” No longer the precious, static model of femininity, she accepts the challenge to “be more merciless to herself than history.”

The poem’s inner structure is a self-willed passage over a treacherous mindscape. From a psyche “moldering like wedding-cake,” the daughter-in-law departs from self-abuse and from becoming masculinized, like “the beak that grips her.” Jettisoning the trappings of fashion and custom, she battles “ma semblable, ma soeur!”—”my double, my sister!” The doppelganger motif places the speaker in merged roles—challenger and challenged—as she sheds constraint and uselessness, typified as “the whatnot every day of life.”

Crucial to Rich’s re-creation of woman is the rejecion of stereotypes—the sweetly laughing girl of Horace’s odes, the externally programmed lute player of Thomas Campion’s ditty. At the climax, the point beyond which life can never return to its old structures, Rich questions whether sorrow itself is a revitalizing force. Stanza 7 answers the question. For the first time, the poet cites a bold woman writer, Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneer who suffered multiple criticisms for declaring that each must find “some stay,” the unshakeable anchor that steadies the rebel against convention. Unwilling to be a mere oddity, the one woman gifted with rare talents, the poet epitomizes change. Like the helicopter freighted with goods, she exults in a cargo
delivered
palpable
ours.

Her selection of a vertical delivery suggests that, for the motivated feminist, a satisfying arrival is a straight shot to earth, guided by gravity.
This poem too she says refers to the persona as ‘she’ and not ‘I’. Rich felt the constraint of the family honour and her children before she could let herself go with her imagination and with whatever she wanted to write. She could not write about pain, victimization or her own body because she was expected to be leading a normal life with a happy family, with absolutely no cause for depression.

Rich talks of a dream where she saw herself beginning to read a poem at a convention and slowly the words of a blues song emerge out of her lips. She realizes that the writings of women were indeed like a blues song. They were a cry of pain, of victimization or were lyrics of seduction. She feels that this feeling of anger and victimization was necessary for every woman to pass through because they were real. They helped the woman write better, be in touch with her own inner self better and to counter the oppressive male writers with her own soulful writings.

Rich feels that an alternate model of re-visioning history and old texts, accompanied by renaming with a fresh eye, would chalk out new territories for women to explore in their writings. While male writers are engrossed in conforming to their own constructions and patterns, to analyze political problems, socio-economic disturbances or acts of violence from a rational male perspective, women could clearly understand them from gendered humanitarian grounds.


Though Rich identifies herself as being a “special woman” who had been given privileges to read and to express, she feels that the model of re-visioning and renaming would only be justified if it brought out the women who were still trapped within the patriarchal confines of the society, morality and language.

dissabte, 24 de maig de 2014

Dels -ismes que corren avui

Ja fa temps que estic pensant en fer un post sobre les diferents postures que vaig trobant segons per on em moc. I casualitat de les casualitats, totes aquestes manifestacions pertanyen a alguna paraula que acaba en "-isme"! Serà casualitat? Doncs potser sí!

Comencem pel primer, "VICTIMISME". Aquest abunda i com! Vivim una època que considerem molt dura segons els estàndars que tenim a la societat "moderna", però realment estem fent alguna cosa per arreglar-ho? Des del meu punt de vista, la resposta és no! Tothom ens queixem de lo cara que està la vida, de la poca feina que hi ha, de lo baix dels sous, de lo malament que va la seguretat social, la política... i què fem? Res! Fer de víctima ja ens va bé, així fem llàstima a la gent que tenim pel voltant i  ja ens va bé! dintre d'aquest block també hi vull afegir el "-isme" d'algunes persones pel que fa a les seves vides personals!!! N'hi ha, i moltes!, que sempre diuen que no volen parlar de la seva vida però sempre estàn queixant-se i usant el "pobret de mi". I, com la resta d'usuaris d'aquest "-isme" no fan res per solucionar-ho!

Vull continuar pel segon ja, el "DIVISME". Que sempre hi ha hagut gent que vol ser el centre d'atenció? Evidentment! Però hi ha casos i casos! Pots ser el centre d'atenció si ets algú que s'ho val, però si ets un més del grup de mediocres que abunda pel món, millor que et quedis a segon termini i no facis el ridícul! Fa uns anys, un "illuminato"( i li dic així perquè ell mateix me va dir que era Déu) va anar a un psiquiatra molt famós i va conseguir que li digués que ell era el marit perfecte, que ell se comportava bé, i que era la seva dona la que tenia el problema, i era aquest, que se sentia diva i com no tenia el reconeixement del públic per això patia de la depressió de l'artista. I un bé negre! Cert és que la dona aquesta també pateix de divisme, i com! Però tinc els meus dubtes sobre qui necessitava més l'ajut del professional, si ella o ell! Però al cap dels anys he tornat a ensopegar amb gent d'aquest tipus, i no un ni dos, noooooooooo, un bon grapat!!! I no cal pertànyer al món de la faràndula, en absolut! A totes les professions trobem gent que pateix d'un divisme exaggerat!! Què hem de fer amb aquest genre de gent? Doncs ignorar-los! Han de madurar i aprendre que el món no volta al seu entorn!

I anem pel tercer, el "MASCLISME". Aquest porta entre nosaltres ja tota una vida, però el que més m'aoïna és que veig que cada cop hi ha més dones que ho fomenten!!! I això, senyores, no pot ser!!! Recordo que també fa uns anys, una impresentable masclista feia comentaris tan idiotes com "aquestes eministes, quan ténen un mal dia sempre culpen a la regla", o "a mi ja me va bé que els homes facin la seva, és el que toca", o "les dones seiem aquí i ells que seguin al davant"... en fi, i no pararia! Però aquesta "dona" té una edat mental de persona del segle 14. El trist és que noies joves, molt joves, continuen fomentant els esterotips que són tan i tan freqüents dintre del patriarcat establer, i si volem avançar i evolucionar, això s'ha d'acabar!!!

Tenim un quart? Dons sí! "PROTAGONISME". Algú pot pensar que aquest podria anar inclòs dintre del divisme, però vull donar-li un tracte a part! Tots volem ser protagonistes de la nostra vida, i de fet, ho hem de ser, però deixant viure la resta de mortals! hi ha gent que vol acaparar tot el que pot i no delega i no deixa que ningú formi part d'allò que s'està preparant, i evidentment, tant de centrisme només porta a la imperfecció. Senyores i senyors, a veure si aprenem que vivim en societat i que un sol no pot abarcar-ho tot ni posar-se totes les medalles, perquè també s'està retratant!!!

I ja ho continuarem perquè ab tot això es podria escriure un llibre i riute'n tu del Tirant!

dimecres, 21 de maig de 2014

LEROI JONES "Dutchman"


"Dutchman," elements of realism, naturalism and non-realism abound. The play features characters such as Clay, a twenty-year-old Negro, Lula, a thirty-year-old white woman, both whiteand black passengers on a subway coach, a young Negro and a conductor.

All of these characters take a ride that, for each, ends with different destinations and leaves the audience to sort through the details and find conclusions themselves. In this play, Jones uses realistic, naturalistic and non-realistic elements to convey social issues such as racism in the author's own disillusioned style. Jones's portrayal is supported with the influences of Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud, whose own disillusionment enhanced their works and greatly diversified theatrical conventions. "Dutchman" is a play that should be talked about by its audience so they can take part cleanse themselves of the issues within, therefore, as many conclusions can be drawn by the individuals exposed in this play as there are numbers of people that have seen or read it.

Realism and naturalism arose out of a world which was increasingly becoming scientifically advanced. Airplanes,railroads, automobiles, steamboats and communication advances such as television, radio, the telephone and the telegraph increased the speed and the amount of information that human beings can send. Realism and naturalism " . . . arose in part as responses to those new social and philosophical conditions
(Cameron and Gillespie, pg. 335)." Following in a realistic style, Jones sets his play in contemporary times and in a contemporary place- the subway. Jones sets the scene with a man sitting in a subway seat while holding a magazine. Dim and flickering lights and darkness whistle by against the glass window to his right. These aesthetic adornments give the illusion of speed associated with subway travel.

Realists believed that the most effective purpose of art was to improve humanity by portraying contemporary life and its problems in realistic settings. Jones depicts racism and murder in a modern setting to remind us that racism and racially motivated murders are not issues only relegated to our nation's past, nor is the issue of nstitutionalized racism.

Jones also used non-realistic elements in his play and was probably influenced by Bertolt Brecht in doing so. Brecht once wrote that " . . . to think, or write or produce a play also means to transform society, to transform the state, to subject ideologies to close scrutiny (Goosens, 1997)." Jones was influenced by Brecht by producing a play in a revolutionary poetic style which scrutinizes ideologies of race. Jones also modeled Brecht's style of character development, creating 'verfremdung' (estrangement). Brecht reasoned that " . . . man is such and such because circumstances are such (Goosens, 1997)." This effect explains the murder of Clay resulting from a society that has perpetuated institutionalized racism and segregation as historically acceptable. Brecht's aspiration was to provoke an audience into reforming society and to leave an audience with the need to take action against a social problem in order to complete an emotional cleansing coined, 'Theatre of Alie! nation." Jones undoubtedly has the same
goal in mind while creating "The Dutchman."

Antonin Artaud also had an influence on the theatre, and possibly on Jones. "Artaud advocated a total spectacle with lights, violent gestures and noise in place of music (Barber, 1990)." Artaud's style for theatre and cinema, envisioned as Theatre of Cruelty, shattered representations of spoken language and carefully orchestrated theatrical action. Artaud directed his fury against a society which was in a state of constant confrontation by favoring controlled writing against dream imagery. Jones's use of dialogue where nothing is what is seems unless spoken by Clay is an example of Artaud's style of fury. Lula exemplifies this also through her dialogue with its slippery candor which eventually causes Clay to respond candidly with a fury of his own. This fury expresses more truth about the minds of black America in a nutshell than countless books on U.S. interracial relations have portrayed.

The play nears its conclusion as Lula violently kills Clay with wild and raw ob! literation, ending this carefully orchestrated plot. The use of realistic and naturalistic elements as well as non-realistic elements makes LeRoi Jones' play, "Dutchman," a hybrid. The realistic elements include the setting (a subway coach racing along through the subterranean world of lights and busy stations). The characters, Clay and Lula, are real people with real histories and real agendas facing a real issue- racism. The non-realistic elements which predominate in "Dutchman" include Brecht's verfremdung and the element of Theatre of Alienation, as well as Artaud's racy dialogue and violent gestures elemental in his Theatres of Cruelty. Because "Dutchman" is a hybrid, it deserves a new categorization that represents Jones's style. A term that can describe this style is "Theatre of Illumination." The Theatre of Illumination sheds light on each individual's unconscious reasoning which forces the audience to reveal its own consciousness. When this happens, the audien! ce can be ready to challenge their own judgements in a constructive way. On the surface, there can always be supported reasoning found for any prejudice or preconceived notion, but the Theatre of Illumination transcends the surface preoccupations of reasoning and dissolves the mists that shroud everyone's apparent opinions and renders humanity naked, infantile and in our primordial state of seeking love and acceptance. In this state, we search for anyone who will unconditionally love us, and accept them for that. The Theatre of Illumination awakens our hearts with yearning, sobbing and human repentance as we realize the wrongs that are possible, and also realize how useless those wrongs actually are.


dilluns, 19 de maig de 2014

JUDITH ORTIZ COFER

Ortiz Cofer is one of a number of Latina writers who rose to prominence during the 1980s and 1990s. Her stories about coming-of-age experiences in Puerto Rican communities outside of New York City and her poems and essays about cultural conflicts of immigrants to the U.S. mainland have made Ortiz Cofer a leading literary interpreter of the U.S.–Puerto Rican experience.
Ortiz Cofer claims to have inherited the art of storytelling from her abuelita ("grandmother"), a fact suggested in the powerful attributes of the grandmother character who appears in The Line of the Sun and many of her other narratives. "When my abuela sat us down to tell a story, we learned something from it, even though we always laughed. That was her way of teaching. So early on I instinctively knew storytelling was a form of empowerment, that the women in my family were passing on power from one generation to another through fables and stories. They were teaching each other to cope with life in a world where women led restricted lives." Ortiz Cofer's most powerful characters are Puerto Rican women who try to break away from restrictive cultural and social conventions or who develop survival strategies to deal with the sexism in their own culture.

 Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (1990) is a book of memories described as "stellar stories patterned after oral tradition." The volume also includes poems that highlight the narratives' major themes. Silent Dancing received the 1991 PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation in Nonfiction and was awarded a Pushcart Prize. It was followed by The Latin Deli (1993), a combination of poetry, short fiction, and personal narrative. In these collections, as in her subsequent volumes, An Island Like You (1995), The Year of Our Revolution (1998), and Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming a Writer (2000), Ortiz Cofer continues to recall and explore through different genres the memories of her formative years. Woman in Front of the Sun, which won an award from the Georgia Writers Association, provides invaluable insights into the inner world of the author, what motivates her writing, and where she places herself in terms of the American mainstream and U.S. Latino literature. In her novel The Meaning of Consuelo (2003) Ortiz Cofer explores language and communication: communication between the title character and her schizophrenic sister, between men and women, English and Spanish.

Many of Ortiz Cofer's stories, poems, and personal essays describe the lives of Puerto Rican youths, straddling the Puerto Rican culture of their parents and a mainland culture consumed by its own prejudices, while asserting their own dignity and creative potential. 

Major Themes, Historical Perspectives, and Personal Issues

The theme of male absence and women who wait is perhaps the major one touched on here. Also, there is the historical theme of Puerto Ricans and other minorities in the military as a way of life that both gives them mobility yet divides their families.

The colonization of Puerto Rico by the U.S. and the division of its population into island and mainland groups are reflected in the division of the family. The bilingual child is another result of the confluence of these two nations, reflected in the preoccupation with which language authority will accept from would-be participants.
Significant Form, Style, or Artistic Conventions

This is confessional poetry, but with a twist. The author walks a fine line between writing for her own group and writing for the general audience. Thus she introduces Spanish and some culture items from the island, but recontextualizes them into English and U.S. culture. The style becomes an intercultural hybrid.
Original Audience

There is the Puerto Rican audience that will bring to the poems a specific knowledge of cultural elements that they share with the poet. This audience will place the poem in a wider catalog of cultural references. The non-Puerto Rican audience must draw only from the information given, and will perhaps apply the situations to universal myths or archetypes.

diumenge, 18 de maig de 2014

URSULA LE GUIN 2

The use of language to name the world seems to have two sides. On the one hand, things are given names as an expression of intimacy and respect; and on the other, they are given names to create distance and separation. In the story, "She Unnames Them," barriers are broken down as the names for animals are taken away.
Adam (the first man in the world according to the Bible), was instructed by God to name the animals. Eve takes all the names back because they were either wrong from the start or they went wrong. As she does this, the barriers between herself and the world are dismantled.
Although the story is very short, it took me a little while to realize that Eve is actually the one telling the story of how she frees the animals of their name. According to her, most of the animals "accepted namelessness with the perfect indifference with which they had so long... ignored their names."
Order and chaos are related to and dependent on each other. The clear cut distinction between them is man made and an illusion. Society uses order to regulate all aspects of the world from nature to personal lives, while chaos allows for open mindedness and also provides an explanation for certain aspects of the world. This can be seen in science, theology, music, language, and imaginative play.
Science is rational, logical, and orderly. It has the ability to break apart complex systems into simpler ones described by theories ad equations. This is seen in the description of the planets' orbits, evolution, and Newton's laws. Scientists have a thirst for knowledge and seek understanding about the world around them. Their methods are clear and proper ,such as the popular scientific method. Yet even with all their rules and equations they have come to realize the universe is not as predictable and orderly as it seems.
In the story, the conclusion to Adam and Eve's relationship seems very interesting. The importance of Eve unnaming the animals is enabling her to become closer to nature and ultimately forsake her domesticity. However, there is also the gesture of woman reclaiming language. According to the Bible, man was created first, then the animals and then woman. Man was allowed to name the animals, thus granting man a power of language that woman was not given. By unnaming the animals, Eve in this story seems to reclaiming that power in a way. Now, she feels closer to them than "when their names had...
Judging by the descriptions of the other short stories in the collection in which this story was published, the importance of Eve unnaming the animals, at least for Le Guin, is enabling her to become closer to nature and ultimately forsake her domesticity. However, there is also the gesture of woman reclaiming language. According to one of the creation stories (the one generally favored), man was created first, then the animals and then woman. Man was allowed to name the animals, thus granting man a power of language that woman was not given. By unnaming the animals, Eve in this story seems to reclaiming that power in a way.
Man created language and that language created a hierarchy, a separation between humans and animals, animals and other animals.

Between the humans, “talk was getting [them] nowhere.” And, though it isn’t made explicitly clear in this story (though a hierarchy in the animal realm is explicit), language creates a hierarchy between men and women. By disassembling Adam’s language and joining the animals, Eve effectively renounces the hierarchy of the human realm and joins her newly created, classless society.
When we get to know someone or something, well we sometimes use a special name, a nickname. A nickname is really a name over and above the name that something or someone already carries. i would say that, with the nick name we indicate our special relation to something or someone. We make our world knowable by giving names, or let us say assigning labels to them. However, nicknames and proper names serve a special function. In fact giving names is a most peculiar act. In order to explore the living relations that we maintain with the world we first need to un- name things. In the short story "She Unnames Them" the science fiction author Ursula Le Guin hints at what happens in un-naming. For me Ursula in her let's say story or whatever you say strives to say that after the unnaming she had discovered with surprise how close she felt to the creatures around her. They seemed far closer than when their names had stood between myself and them like a clear barrier: so close that my fear of them and their fear of me became one and the same fear. i don't know how much are you going to agree with my ideas. sometimes we need to hide our names to get more and detailed information about something or to protect ourselves from something. At the end of my word I would say that reflecting on words or names helps us to realize how closely related language is to thinking and to our ways of being in the world. i have two questions to you. But what occurs when we unname things is a question that is rarely asked. Can we truly erase the words we give to the things that are important to us?
it is in the retelling of our most essential myths that we learn the truths of our existence: "Myths are one of our most useful techniques of living ... but in order to be useful they must ... be retold."  The re-telling, she adds, must include a seeing differently, so that we can be aware of the ways in which the old narratives have formed our ability to see and to understand others, the world, and ourselves.
In their own way, contemporary women writers are attempting to revise the more traditional interpretation of Eve, and to challenge the views of women that have grown from it. Many of the poems from recent years postulate an Eve much like Trible's, wise and self-possessed, with little patience for an Adam who is blinded by his self-centeredness and lack of ambition. She sees herself as part of the natural world, her wisdom a natural extension of its development. These writers also present an image of God that is more experimental, often suggesting that God did not realize what could happen once humanity was created.
Ursula Le Guin's Adam is also lost in the abstractions of his mind, in "She Unnames Them"; while Eve prepares to leave Eden, Adam, content that his naming has settled each being into a comfortable and forgettable niche, fiddles with some invention. Eve first "unnames" the animals and, like Adam and Eve of Clifton's early poem set before the naming, discovers that she and they have regained some lost community, which she says was "more or less the effect I had been after."

Eve then returns her own name to Adam: "You and your father lent me this--gave it to me, actually. It's been really useful, but it doesn't exactly seem to fit very well lately. But thanks very much. It's really been very useful," she says again, as if to soften the blow of its uselessness. Adam pays no attention, says "Put it down over there, OK?," convincing Eve that her actions were right: "One of my reasons for doing what I did was that talk was getting us nowhere." For Le Guin's Adam, language has become a barrier, relegating Eve, the animals, and the garden itself to generic functions in service to his needs; he cannot see them as individual selves.
Eve dawdles, hoping he will wake up and hear her, but she finally leaves, saying, "Well, goodbye, dear. I hope the garden key turns up." Adam replies absently, "OK, fine, dear. When's dinner?" Le Guin's Adam has not really understood the garden, has not got the Key to paradise--to communion with the animals or with Eve--or, most likely with himself. He continues "fitting parts together" but misses the whole point of creation.
Le Guin "imagines a new Eve redefining and thereby liberating Adam's world."  Eve "leaves the oppressively enclosed Garden of a patriarchal vocabulary," reclaiming the right of all creatures to name themselves according to their own natures, and begins her own, distinctively female, creation story. presents an Eve who comes to know and take on her power, from within what seems to be her weakness.
The women writers examined here have begun to re-imagine the Genesis creation myths, correct misinterpretations, and change the point of view so that "the drama of history," as Phillips calls it, will likewise change, so that "our reality can be narrated," in Le Guin's words, and we can all, male and female attain "spiritual wholeness." Their presentations of Eve display the strength and self-knowledge that many women, like Plaskow and Christ, found lacking in the works they studied in the 1970's, and demonstrate that women have begun to reclaim the heritage of their faith and to find in them a source of source of stregnth and encouragement in their own personal spiritual journeys.

dimecres, 14 de maig de 2014

URSULA K. LE GUIN An Introduction to Technoculture

            “Technoculture” is an ill-chosen word to describe the substrate of postmodernist literature that illustrates the relationship between mankind, history, society, and technology.  This is an erroneous term because it implies the study of more than just literature, embracing art, music, and film.  However, because this is the established term in the world of literary criticism, it will stand for the time being.  (Author’s note:  I prefer the term Techno-lit to describe this form of literature.)

            According to Postmodern American Fiction, one of the first titles in Technoculture is Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 (1966).  Also among early titles is Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.  While most readers consider Le Guin a science-fiction writer, the truth is Technoculture both embraces and rejects science-fiction.  Even though many titles and authors fall under both designations, there are a few who are solely science-fiction such as Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and contemporary writers like Robert Aspirin and Mercedes Lackey.  The difference between a purely science-fiction text and on that typifies Technoculture is the sense of a theme that comments on the present while being set in the future.  For example, John Carter of Mars is singly science-fiction because it focuses only on the life of one man who takes a fantastic journey to the surface of Mars, while Le Guin’s short story “Vaster Than Empires and More Slow” discusses the prospect of human intellect coming in second on a galactic scale.

            Some of Le Guin’s works typify the characteristics of Technoculture literature, meaning that they illustrate how one person or a group of people react with knowledge of their history, technology, and their own civilization.  To illustrate how a person deals with his perceived history and civilization take a look at The Lathe of Heaven (later adapted for a television movie) which characterizes how a single person, George Orr, copes with the knowledge that he and several other people have the ability to change the world merely by dreaming.  Because the story draws a correlation between this very ability and that singular talent exhibited by writers, the story “becomes a metafiction, a reading that influences our response to various aspects of the text” (Malmgren).

The Four Themes of Technoculture

The Ghost in the Machine

            This phrase applies to the idea that mankind’s divinity/salvation lies in science.  Donna Haraway’s article “A Cyborg Manifesto:  Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” comments on this idea.

                        The…distinction is between animal-human (organism) and machine.  Pre-cybernetic machines could be haunted; there was always the spectre of the ghost in the machine. (Haraway 606)



What she means is this: man projects himself onto his creations, seeking a path to his own divinity.  Le Guin addresses this in “Schrödinger’s Cat” by using the story of a quantum physics experiment developed by Erwin Schrödinger involving a cat being put into a box.  The whole point of the experiment is that before Zero-Time (five seconds after the box is closed) the whole “system” is calculated using Newtonian physics, but after that time, a much more complicated set of equations must be used to determine the outcome of the experiment.  Because the man in the story is so eager to boil his universe down into equations and experiments, it is the woman’s job to retain some level of humanity.  She accomplishes this when the cat jumps into the box on its own and the man refuses to open it.  She knows what is in the box:  nothing.  While the man wants to know if “God does play dice with the world” the woman merely wants to understand the changes the world has undergone, not be bound up in the whys and why nots.

Origins

            This one is simple enough.  It illustrates how man reconciles his mythology, which he has carefully cultivated over the centuries—including what he always believed was his history—with what is now known to be scientific fact.  This is pointed out in “She Unnames Them,” a humorous short story involving a domestic altercation between Adam and Eve, his active disbelief that she will abandon him, and the importance of woman’s perceived authority.  Even though Adam named all the animals, she “unnamed” them, freeing them to discover their own place in the universe instead of relying on man’s projection.



The Hypothetical

            This theme embodies man’s dread of the unknown, in spite of his desire to make it a possession.  In “Vaster Than Empire and More Slow,” the main characters are members of a research team sent to explore a seemingly uninhabited planetoid.  It appears to be covered in rolling grass fields and thick forests, but one member of the team—who is an empathy, one who picks up the emotions of others—discovers that the trees are the inhabitants.  Not only are they sentient, they are sapient and ready to purge the human invasion of their planet.  The looming question in this story becomes whether or not human beings are the only cognizant beings in the universe, and if they are not, what is?

The Future

            This designation, like Origins, is fairly straightforward.  Or is it?  In The Dispossessed (1974), Le Guin offers up the idea that a utopian society might not be the best course of action for a people that thrive on conflict and violence.  Humankind’s future hangs continually in the balance, and no one within it can say for certain whether it will continue to be the dominant force or become enslaved to its technology as it reaches out to new worlds among the stars.

Conclusion


          Ursula K. Le Guin might be considered a premier science-fiction writer, but her real talents lie in her ability to perceive human perception and conditions.  Her characters always strive to know more, to understand what contributes to those conditions.  It is not her unforgiving imagery or language that grabs a reader’s attention, it is her unerring ability to see past what the reader would project onto the literature and force her ideas home.  In a sense, Le Guin helped create and shape the designation “Technoculture.”  It is her work that has contributed time and again, remaining a provocative influence on other writers both yearling and old-hat.  Because her work captures a reader’s understanding, she transports them into the midst of her ideas making them a part of a reader’s thought processes.