joi, 29 decembrie 2016

Chicano Manifesto or Chicano Rage

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

marți, 27 decembrie 2016

This is what freedom is for

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

Alma Luz Villanueva, Song of the Golden Scorpion



 
 
 

duminică, 4 decembrie 2016

plain ol' l i f e

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

luni, 21 noiembrie 2016

vers 12, Angela de Hoyos

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


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


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

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

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

Or beneath the stars - offended
by your rude sings of rebellion -
... when, at last, you shroud your dreams
and with them, your hymn of hope.

Thus a bitterness in your life:
wherever you turn for solace
there is embargo.
How to express your anguish
when not even your burning words
are yours, they are borrowed
from the festering barrios of poverty,
and the sadness in your eyes
only reflects the mute pain of your people.

Arise, Chicano! -  that divine spark within you
surely says - Wash your wounds
and swathe your agonies.
There is no one to succor you.
You must be your own messiah.


To Walt Whitman
hey man, my brother
world-poet
prophet democratic
here's a guitar
for you
- a chicana guitar -
so you can spill out a song
for the open road
big enough for my people
- my Native Amerindian race
that I can't seem to find
in your poems.


Below Zero
No se puede traducir
el aullido del viento:
you can only feel it
piercing your skinny bones
through last year's coat
            papel-de-China

walking to work
from deep in the barrio
una manana de tantas
             bajo cero.






sâmbătă, 5 noiembrie 2016

vers 11, Emil Brumaru

Apocrifă I 

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



Astenie 

Vorbiţi încet, sau poate chiar în şoaptă,
Azi sunt neputincios ca o mătasă,
Doar sufletul îmi lunecă prin casă
Pe marile covoare şi aşteaptă.
Intrarea lui în vis e-ngăduită
De mult. S-a pregătit cu sârguinţă.
Hainele mele fragede palpită
Să-i înfăşoare lirica fiinţă.
Căci va pleca. Şi-n alba încăpere
O să rămân cu faţa mai frumoasă.
Şi fiecare lucru îmi va cere
Să îi surâd. Azi sunt ca o mătasă.



Apocrifă II 

Parfumurile după ploaie
Ne bagă degetele-n nări.
Un kilogram de fluturi putrezi
Candoarea are în cămări
Din care cu delicateţe
Serveşte triştii musafiri.
Adolescenţii mor de coşuri
În toiul marilor iubiri.



Să nu uit că sunt poet

Poetului îi şade bine
Să fie trândav, bleu şi pur.
Mânânce miere de albine,
Beie din sticle borş de-azur.
Îmbuibă-se printre chiftele,
Cu târtiţe de fluturi moi.
Poetul trebuie să-şi spele
Zilnic picioarele-n oloi.
Şi mâinile în lapte dulce,
Şi faţa-n bulion de crin.
Dânsul de-a pururi va să-şi culce
Pe plusuri trupul longilin.
Să nu citească, să nu scrie,
Ci numai doar poet să fie,
Cu papanaşi la pălărie
Şi c-o iubită fistichie
Ce are sâni cât garderoba
Şi coapsele cât Europa!



Amnezie 

dacă iei o portocală
şi-o dezbraci în pielea goală
ca să-i vezi miezul adânc
peste care îngeri plâng
cu căpşune-n loc de ochi
şi aripi de foi de plopi
se întâmplă să uiţi totul...




Prezentare

Trăiam în bulion, trăiam în fructe,
În dulci latrine cu hârtii murdare,
În untdelemn duceam naive lupte,
Sticlele mele aveau dop de soare.

Iubeam păieanjeni fără ca să-mi pese,
Şi lângă ziduri mirosul de var;
Pe tăvi dormeam alături de mari fese
De piersice roz-albe ce transpar.

Iar perna mea, ca laptele de moale,
Puf de cocor ce zboară-n ea avea.
Piperele cu rangurile sale
Vechi pretendent-au fost la nara mea.

Şi pentru-a-mi fi stăpână şi regină
Peste imperiul vast de lene calmă
În faţa mea creştea ciuperca fină
Cu reverenţe şi cu spori în palmă.



Cântecel

Spune-mi franş, ce chiloţi ai,
Bleu-jandarm sau galben-pai,
Când treci gingaşă-n tramvai
Pe la margine de rai?

C-am înnebunit cu toţii
Să-ţi vedem un pic chiloţii,
Stând de-o săptămână-n stăţii
Cu gâtul pe şina roţii


miercuri, 17 august 2016

intrarea soarelui in mercur retrograd

Și eu am citit Intrarea soarelui de Cecilia Stefanescu și nu mi-a plăcut defel. Punctul de plecare al cărții, suprapunerea planurilor temporale, e unul foarte bun, însă a fost dezvoltat cum nu se poate mai prost. Ideea ca Sal și Emi, protagoniștii-copii, să se întîlnească pe stradă cu Sal și Emi, protagoniștii-adulți, e una foarte bună, care cred că a fost irosită. Și e păcat. Tot încerc să îmi imaginez cum ar fi ieșit romanul dacă ar fi fost scris de un alt scriitor român contemporan. Poate de un Augustin Cupșa ori un altul. 

Totuși, în cele 360 de pagini am găsit două fragmente scrise bine, care mi-au plăcut:

Obrazul lui fusese de multe ori îngropat între sînii enormi ai prietenelor bunicii, care-l admirau și-l scuipau mereu de cîte trei ori, împotriva deochiului. "Ptiu, ptiu, ptiu, ce băiat frumos. Ia vino, să-l strîngă mama la piept." Iar el se lăsa în brațele lor, acceptîndu-le resemnat tandrețurile. Cu nasul adîncit între cei doi munți, era înconjurat din toate părțile de adierea pielii îmbătrînite și a parfumurilor cu care doamnele se stropeau sub urechi, pe gît și în decolteuri. Așadar, femeile nu simțeau atingerile băieților, ei erau niște ființe eterate care treceau pe nesimțite prin lumea femeilor cu forme pline, nu li se puteau citi nici gîndurile murdare, nici dorințele josnice. (41)
[...] acasă căpătase pentru ei un nou sens. Acasă era o vitrină din care străluceau o groază de obiecte prețioase și inutile (137) 
Atît.

P.S.: ah, pînă și coperta e atît de nepotrivită! 



vineri, 24 iunie 2016

the way of the world

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

duminică, 5 iunie 2016

de ce-mi place Nora Iuga

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

Anna implinise in ianuarie, cind bradul nu fusese inca despodobit si aruncat de pe balcon, saizeci si cinci de ani. De pe la cincizeci am inceput sa nu mai vreau sa fiu sarbatorita. Mi se parea la fel de absurd ca si cind as fi schimbat apa la niste flori vestede.
 [...] singurul meu criteriu moral fiind acela al trupului, cu toate placerile si nevoile lui, lasate de Dumnezeu si deci fara de vina.
 [...] Uite papusa, ia-o pentru fetita ta. In orice caz locul ei e mai degraba in bratele Gerdei decit in patul lui Tiberiu. Anna n-o sa spuna nimic, asculta-ma pe mine. Kloth nu mai stia cum sa-i multumeasca. In miinile lui butucanoase de muncitor la fabrica de sapun, papusa parca era o nobila rusoaica violata de un mujic. 
 [...] dimineata pe plaja mahmuri cu totii, durerile de cap, gustul cleios din gura, amiezile acelea caniculare, capacul portbagajului e atit de fierbinte ca poti sa faci ochiuri pe el, cui ii spusese ea asta si ce mindra era acolo pe nisipul incins cind juca fotbal cu Tiberiu - cel mai frumos copil din lume, fireste - goi amindoi, nu avea de ce sa imi fie rusine, eram inca tinara, pielea statea pe muschii nostri neteda si intinsa ca matasea unei parasute deschise, ar trebui sa-mi notez asta, in tigaie mai e putin ulei de la omleta de ieri, n-o mai spal, torn deasupra, tot nu se observa, pina vine el sper sa termin, ce-ar fi sa-mi faca o surpriza, Nino imi aducea crengi infrunzite sau pisoi aruncati. [...] I-auzi ca suna, ma duc sa deschid. 
[...] Era toata roz, pielea ei emana caldura. am gindit atunci ca un barbat si l-am invidiat pe cel care ii statea alaturi, in fata altarului, pentru noptile care aveau sa urmeze. 
[...] Nu stiu de fapt cum puteti trai asa dupa ureche, acest 'carpe diem', cu care va laudati voi poetii. Toti aveti in voi o mare doza de histrionism. In felul asta nu ajungeti nicaieri, decit cel mult la o reclama suprarealista care dispare curind, inainte de a-si fi facut efectul. Eu cred ca trebuie sa-ti privesti viata in totalitate, cu toata raspunderea, sa ai permanent controlul asupra ei. Sa fii un om care stie ce vrea.
[...] Uneori mi-e frica de cartile pe care le scriu [...]
 Este Dumnezeu in legitima aparare cind ucie copii, cind schilodeste, cind sterge asezari intregi de pe fata pamintului; cind ne insala cu toate iluziile posibile, cind ne da jos de pe tron fara preaviz, este si el in legitima aparare? 
 (Nora Iuga, Sexagenara si tinarul)

sâmbătă, 21 mai 2016

"so the past is still present in the future"

     31 years have passed since the publication of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale (1985) and we are still living in a pre-Gilead world. We know what follows, what awaits us; we know that we are on the verge of destruction. Yet, we go on with our petty lives, ignoring all the signs around us: when our professors laugh at us because we are feminists, the black eye of the woman sitting in front of us in the tram, our fathers' control over our mothers, and so on. 
     The Handmaid's Tale is a warning. One not only about the future, but, most importantly, about the past since we have created the book through our long history as oppressors. In an article for The Guardian (2012), Margaret Atwood confesses that she made a rule for herself 
not [to] include anything that human beings had not already done in some other place or time, or for which the technology did not already exist. I did not wish to be accused of dark, twisted inventions, or of misrepresenting the human potential for deplorable behaviour. The group-activated hangings, the tearing apart of human beings, the clothing specific to castes and classes, the forced childbearing and the appropriation of the results, the children stolen by regimes and placed for upbringing with high-ranking officials, the forbidding of literacy, the denial of property rights: all had precedents, and many were to be found not in other cultures and religions, but within western society, and within the 'Christian' tradition, itself.
     The novel can be disturbing, but we should keep in mind that we are in it, the Aunts and the Commanders, and that the book is the fruit of our oppressive and scornful lives. The book is more about ourselves and our mistakes than we would like to admit, and, as an example, the Romanian audience shamefully finds itself cited in the novel: "Rumania, for instance, had anticipated Gilead in the eighties by banning all forms of birth control, imposing compulsory pregnancy tests on the female population, and linking promotion and wage-increases to fertility".
     Gilead is a very strictly structured society and every single individual has a well established role, according to his/her gender and class. Men can be Commanders of the Faithful, Eyes (the secret police), Angels (soldiers) or Guardians (soldiers used for more domestic and less important functions; can be promoted to Angels). The Commanders represent the ruling class and enjoy the most liberties. They can read, have cars and own a household with a Wife, Handmaids and Marthas. Women are Wives, Daughters, Aunts, Handmaids, Marthas and Econowives. The Wives, being married to the Commanders, are highly regarded in the Gilead society and have power over all the other women. The Wives wear blue, while the Daughters wear white until marriage. Marthas (green) are old, infertile women used for their domestic skills, and Econowives are the wives of poorer men. They have to do all the work in the household, and thus wear multicoloured clothes (blue, red and green).
     Very important for the society, though highly disconsidered, are the Handmaids. They are national resources and their sole purpose is to procreate. After being trained and re-educated by Aunts (brown), who in fact brainwash women into killing their previous identities and becoming proud Handmaids, they are sent to a household to bear children for the Wives. If they become pregnant, they are sent to another household immediately after giving birth. After a considerable amount of time, if they fail to become pregnant, they are sent to the Colonies. They wear red dresses with white wings around their heads to prevent them from seeing and being seen.
     Everything is strictly controlled. There is no room for other than the prescribed roles, clothes, actions and even words: " 'Blessed be the fruit', she says to me, the accepted greeting among us. 'May the Lord open.' " There is no room for memories and feelings, the only freedom they can get is at night: "The night is mine, my own time, to do with as I will, as long as I am quiet. As long as I don't move." They can't even commit suicide, everything being sealed and permanently controlled.
      The Handmaids are, as noted above, natural resources. Hence, they are not seen as women with feelings, thoughts and aspirations. They are not allowed to read, to have pastime activities or to exist outside their prescribed roles. The Ceremony, the moment of the sexual intercourse between the Commander and his Handmaid, is strictly orchestrated. There is no room for passion, sexual desire, kissing or romance:
Above me, towards the head of the bed, Serena Joy [the Commander's Wife] is arranged, outspread. Her legs are apart, I lie between them, my head on her stomach, her pubic bone under the base of my skull, her thigh on either side of me. She too is fully clothed, my arms are raised: she hold my hands, each of mine in each of hers. This is supposed to signify that we are one flesh, one being. What it really means is that she is in control, of the process and thus of the product. If any. The rings of her left hand cut into my fingers. It may or may not be revenge.
My red skirt is hitched up to my waist, though no higher. Below it the Commander is fucking. What he is fucking is the lower part of my body. I do not say making love, because this is not what he's doing. Copulating too would be inaccurate, because it would imply two people and only one is involved. Nor does rape cover it. 
      Most Handmaids really become what they are destined to be: "two legged wombs". They erase all memories, the essence of their beings; "they force you to kill, within yourself". Others fail to adapt and are killed. Offred, the protagonist and narrator, struggles not to forget who she was. For her, memory is identity and she thus continues to exist as long as she remembers; her mother, Luke, her friend Moira, her child, her self: "Today's bread, freshly baked, is cooling on its rack. The kitchen smells of yeast, a nostalgic smell. It reminds me of other kitchens, kitchens that were mine. It smells of mothers." This is her freedom. This and, later on, her telling the story:
I'm sorry there is so much pain in this story. I'm sorry it's in fragments, like a body caught in crossfire or pulled apart by force. But there is nothing I can do to change it. I've tried to put some of the good things in as well. Flowers, for instance, because where would we be without them? [...] By telling you anything at all I'm at least believing in you, I believe you're there, I believe you into being. Because I'm telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are. 
          The ending is particularly interesting and as powerful as a slap in the face. We never learn what happened to Offred; if she escaped or not, and that is excruciating. All we know is that her story, lacking an ending, has reached an audience. And then comes another ending which shows us how fools we were in trying to find out what happened to the protagonist. Her life is not important. History is more important. Context, society and life at large are far more important than poor old Offred. Individual lives are completely unimportant. Merely casualties in the face of humanity's bigger aims. Unfortunately, this is, always has been and always will be the way society functions. We are merely numbers. Numbers to be discussed in academic writings and presented at conferences, where everybody constantly and eagerly looks at their watches, looking forward to the cocktail party afterwards.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum./Don't let the bastards grind you down. 
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum./Don't let the bastards grind you down. 
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum./Don't let the bastards grind you down. 



marți, 3 mai 2016

the (f)utility of life II

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

luni, 18 aprilie 2016

Lecția de viață

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

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

joi, 31 martie 2016

(scurt) vers 10, Excilia Saldaña

[...]
In what place do I rise up or sink down
with full lungs,
with open bronchia,
with the full freedom
of being and not dying? 
Not in this human body. [...]

Mother of future messiahs [...]

The oregano plant humbly perfumes the hand of the one who breaks it. 
A child laughs and he hands me the leaf.
And I smell it.
And I give it for him to smell.
And he laughs.
I have a womb of birds
because I've given myself to the world
in the joy of the earth.
Grow quickly,
breast of my son;
harden,
hand of my son;
get strong,
back of my son;
rise up at once,
height of my son;
my name awaits you. [...]


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

duminică, 27 martie 2016

vers 9, Geo Dumitrescu

Madrigal răsturnat 

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

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

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

Ai să te faci urâtă, fată tristă, fată amară,
ca o grădină bătută de grindină!...
Lacom, înfrigurat, te-am spălat în apele mele,
te-am ales, strecurându-te ca pe un nisip aurifer -
nimic n-am scăpat printre degete:
toată pulberea ta strălucitoare
e-n mine.

Chiar umbra ta, să n-o cauţi zadarnic,
ţi-am oprit-o pe zid, la plecare,
atunci când inima mea, explodând,
te-a spulberat.
Şi iată mâinile mele, priveşte-le:
în palma lor a rămas încrustată
urma genunchilor tăi, aşa cum rămâne
pe cojile nucii urma miezului dulce...

Săracă ai rămas, fată tristă, fată proastă
în mine sunt toate comorile tale,
tot ce mi-ai dăruit urcă, sporeşte -
piere încet ce ţi-am dat, aşa cum seacă
bălţile neadânci uscate de vânturi...

Şi-ţi strig în fiecare noapte, răutăcios,
deschizând fereastra spre luna ce scapătă,
îţi strig mereu cu mâhnire adâncă şi teamă:
ai să te faci urâtă, ai să te faci puţină,
fată tristă, fată de gheaţă.

Ai să te faci urâtă, fată amară!...

miercuri, 23 martie 2016

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

I've accidentally come across these few lines from Insurrection: Holding History, a play by Robert O'Hara, and they so beautifully answer a lingering question of mine that I cannot help writing them here (this also comes as a great answer for the discussion I had yesterday on this very subject with two of my friends, sic!). These lines, quoted in Moraga's Love in the War Years, are from a dialogue between a graduate student and his 189-year-old ex-slave great-great grandfather:

RON: I just gotta finish my thesis.
MUTHA WIT: What's a thesis?
RON: It's a long paper I gotta write.
MUTHA WIT: Then what you do after you don write it?
RON: Then I gotta show it to a bunch of white folks.
MUTHA WIT: Then what?
RON: Hopefully I can get paid like one of them white folks.
MUTHA WIT: Then what?
RON: Then nutin. What you mean then what? Then I'm done. I git a job. I live, become fabulously rich and mildly famous.
MUTHA WIT: Then what?
RON: Then I drop dead I guess I don't know. 

I haven't discovered yet the utility of life (and I wonder if such thing is possible at all), but I do know that, biologically speaking, we are left on this earth to procreate; to ensure the survival of our species. This is a certainty and from this certainty onward everything becomes relative and uncertain.

Some believe that the spiritual component is THE answer to this never-ending question. Thus, for some, we are left on earth with the sole purpose of searching for and reaching God. Or of finding the divine element in us, the element that will surpass mortality (be it in the form of a happy saint on a white fluffy cloud or an atom). For an atheist like myself, this is not a valid explanation. 

Others believe that we were left on earth to enjoy life. But, although I am a hedonist myself, I don't believe it to be the purpose of our lives. Enjoying life is not a purpose but the wisest thing to do given the circumstances. 

Life is short and shitty, we all know this. I don't know why we are here, but I do know (and strongly believe this) that for the short period of time that we are here we should enjoy life at its fullest and we should make it the goal of our petty lives to try to become better persons with every single day. 



vineri, 18 martie 2016

happiness

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


marți, 15 martie 2016

Herta Muller, love at fourth sight

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

vineri, 8 ianuarie 2016

2015 in books

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

1. Boris Pasternak, Doctor Jivago
2. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
3. Giannina Braschi, Empire of Dreams
4. Helene Cixous, "The Laugh of the Medusa"
5. bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center
6. Mary Kassian, The Feminist Mistake
7. Eugen Lovinescu, Bizu
8. Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua (eds), This Bridge Called My Back
9. Vasile Voiculescu, Zahei Orbul
10. Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican
11. Tolstoi, Sonata Kreutzer
12. Esmeralda Santiago, Almost a Woman
13. Esmeralda Santiago, The Turkish Lover
14. Alma Luz Villanueva, Weeping Woman. La Llorona and Other Stories
15. Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha. O poema indiana
16. Giannina Braschi, Yo-Yo Boing!
17. Dino Buzzati, The Tartar Steppe
18. Mary Rowlandson, "Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson"
19. Florin Irimia, O fereastra intunecata
20. Carole R. McCann and Seung-kyuna Kim (eds), Feminist Theory Reader
21. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"
22. Mika Waltari, Amantii din Bizant
23. Angie Chabram-Dernerssian (ed), The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Reader
24. Deborah L. Madsen, Feminist Theory and Literary Practice
25. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
26. Rita Felski, Beyond Feminist Aesthetics
27. Kate Chopin, The Awakening
28. Judith Ortiz Cofer, Woman in Front of the Sun. On Becoming a Writer

Ma bucur ca am descoperit-o pe Giannina Braschi, desi m-am chinuit putin cu cele doua carti citite pina acum (ma asteapta inca una in 2016).
Era si cazul s-o citesc cap-coada pe Beauvoir!
Ma bucur ca mi-am facut timp de Atwood, desi pe atunci trebuia sa ma ocup de alte carti.
Florin Irimia si Ortiz Cofer m-au dezamagit. Asteptam mai mult de la ambele carti.