REFUGE AND SUBTERFUGE: THE AMBIVALENCE OF MIGRANT IDENTITY IN THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN ROAD MOVIES LA MISMA LUNA AND SIN NOMBRE

In Patricia Riggen’s film La misma luna (2007) and Cary Joji Fukunaga’s film Sin nombre (2009), the road is not depicted as a place of escape that represents the freedom of the road often seen in traditional North American road movies; rather, the road in these films becomes a means of escape towards the ideal of freedom that lies across the United States border. In each of these films, crossing the border from Mexico becomes an objective for the protagonists that hope for a future filled with economic stability and political equality. This is, however, an ‘American dream’ that can never be fully realized across the border when a tragic loss of home, family, and belonging has been manifested on the southern side. The following article reveals how the identities of these migrants are caught between the acts of subterfuge and the desires of refuge, creating an ambiguous formation of cultural identity different from that which is established in their homeland. The road, in this way, creates new hybrid identities that illustrate well the modern Latin American condition of cultural mobility across borders.

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SPECTRES OF MEMORY AND LANGUAGE IN THE POETRY OF PAUL CELAN

The poetry of Paul Celan revolves around a constant, intimate play of remembrance and oblivion, repeatedly unfolding an unrepeatable past. Following the lines of interpretation proposed by Jacques Derrida in Sovereignties in Question, by Anne Carson in her Economy of the Unlost, and by Edward Casey’s phenomenology of remembering, the present article aims to describe how Paul Celan’s poetic images generate and surround the void, abandon themselves to self-effacement and oblivion, while retracing an abstract practice of remembrance and inscribing memory into language.

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ALL THE DANGEROUS STUFF IS ON TOP: HELEN’S QUILT AS EKPHRASIS IN THOMAS KING’S TRUTH AND BRIGHT WATER

The description of Helen’s quilt in Thomas King’s novel Truth and Bright Water is a reinterpretation of ekphrasis that shows the potential for collective healing and support among Indigenous communities offered by artistic endeavours that validate Indigenous peoples’ lived experiences. Focusing on the similarities between the quilt and two famous examples of ekphrasis from Homer’s Iliad, this paper argues that King’s novel has repurposed ekphrasis in a way that makes room for the narratives of Indigenous people by describing works of art that double as works of healing and resistance for their creators.

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TRANSGRESSIVE TECHNOLOGICAL WEAPONS OF WAR: CONTROLLING WITCHES, WEARING UNIFORMS, MANAGING VOIDS, AND ENHANCING BODIES

The growing popularity of anime and manga since the early 1990s not only generated passionate community of fans around the world, but also an increasing body of academic work taking the emerging media more seriously than ever. Topics such as gendered stereotypes, the psychology of the otaku’s desire, unconventional gender representations, and so on have contributed to this relatively new field of study. Analyses of the ‘technological body’, dealing with questions of post-humanism and its relationship to gender, have paved the way to rethinking the body in significant ways. The complexity of the technological body and its depictions in anime and manga, however, requires exploring new avenues that further challenge the boundaries of the body. This essay will present a fresh perspective on the technological body by building on current scholarship emphasizing its transformative features, as well as adding a layer of complexity to the analysis by examining the intertwined nature of technology and war in reshaping the human body into a weapon with which to wage war, in the context of four selected works: Strike Witches, Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown, and Saikano: The Last Love Song on This Little Planet.

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JUSTICE THROUGH MISTRANSLATION: ON ERÍN MOURE’S FOREIGNIZING METHODS

In her book The World Republic of Letters , Pascale Casanova highlights the inequality that exists on the world literary stage, arguing that there are forces at play in this distinct realm that have previously been ignored. For her, Paris is (or was, until recently) the dominant “center” that has the almost uncontested power to assign value to literary works. Casanova argues that through this process, which she calls “consecration,” works undergo a change in their very nature: they move from “literary inexistence to existence, from invisibility to the condition of literature” by force of a “magical transmutation” (127). The fact that she points to translation—a process often conceived of as a neutral transfer of meaning from one language to another—as one of the primary means of consecration raises important questions about translation. In this essay, I will use Casanova’s theory as a framework through which to probe some of the still highly contested questions surrounding translation: namely, what is at stake in translation, and what kinds of translations do the most justice? Specifically, I will outline and analyze some of the conversation surrounding translation and how it is used by both central and peripheral writers in order to argue—with and through Canadian poet Erín Moure—that active “mistranslation” actually serves as a more just way of encountering the Other.

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TRANSGRESSION AND TRANSACTION: ON PIERRE KLOSSOWSKI’S LIVING CURRENCY

Pierre Klossowski is not well-known outside of France, and especially not for La monnaie vivante or Living Currency (1970). His récits or his philosophical readings of Sade or Nietzsche have garnered the most acclaim. By way of his reading of “living currency” however, he deconstructs contemporary economics, teasing out the intricacies between sensuality, value, and the simulacrum, transgressing the categories between language and economic transaction. Published alongside photographs by Pierre Zucca that ostensibly illustrate Klossowski’s hermetic theses, La monnaie vivante is at once satirical and deathly serious, a synchronous commentary on the Marquis de Sade’s Society of the Friends of Crime and the utopian socialism of Charles Fourier. After a brief overview of Klossowski’s life and career, a reading of La monnaie vivante in depth is developed. By inverting the classical usage of the simulacrum through its analogies with the numeraire or basic standard of value, Klossowski critiques the discursive biases that stand against a pure flux of intensities. In this way he anticipates postmodernism even as he also problematizes it. The destruction of political economy and metaphysics are combined he suggests, and the relativity of one cannot be granted without the other. We here show how Klossowski uses affect and the exorbitant to address the sensuous libidinal currency moving through and alongside its economic counterparts, as well as how these observations still remain underestimated today.

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REALISMO INCESANTE: DESDE LA VORÁGINE Y LA ‘LITERATURA DE LA VIOLENCIA’ HACIA LA RECEPCIÓN CRÍTICA

El presente trabajo examina los criterios que fundamentan las respuestas de la crítica contemporánea a La Vorágine (1924) de José Eustasio Rivera (1888-1928). Se argumenta que los presupuestos desde los cuales la recepción académica busca demostrar cómo la obra ‘representa’, ‘refleja’, o ‘aprehende’ la realidad sociopolítica, no obedecen a procedimientos ‘objetivos’. En este caso, la instrumentación del texto bajo la etiqueta ‘literatura colombiana de la violencia’ se traduce en una dinámica y emotiva negociación de modelos de realidad. La propensión hacia el tratamiento realista de la ficción no constituye un rasgo negativo. Esta experiencia induce a la recepción crítica no sólo a ensayar los paradigmas del espacio y la subjetividad que mediatizan sus aproximaciones a la narrativa, sino también a construir nuevo conocimiento sociocultural. A través del análisis de la interacción texto-receptor, desde el enfoque pragmático, este artículo contribuye a un mejor entendimiento de la producción y transferencia de la lectura realista.

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MIGRATORY TEXTS: MUTANT TERRITORIES AND THE LANGUAGE OF PROSTHESIS

This essay expands upon the range of possibilities encompassed by the term ‘biopoetry’ as coined by Eduardo Kac in 1999, by exploring an alternate example of the genre in a recent collaborative work by Galician poet Chus Pato and Canadian poet Erín Moure, Secession/Insecession (2014). I also wish to situate the emerging field of biopoetry within Merleau-Ponty’s theories of the phenomenology of language and expression, which share with both Kac and Pato/Moure a vital interest in the boundaries between speaking and non-speaking worlds and contain what I believe to be elements of a poetic theory pertinent to 21st century biopoetics. While Kac’s Genesis experiment (quite literally) offers voice to the bacterial world, Pato and Moure, in contrast, situate the poet in a space removed from language, where she writes in ‘secession’ from institutionalized words through the trope of poetry as ‘prosthesis’. Although their visions of biopoetry appear to appear to mark opposite ends of a spectrum, the works of Kac and Pato/Moure each offer poetry as a translational bridge, navigating tensions between worlds. Ultimately, biopoetry stirs questions of political and ethical concern through experimental forms that contest the dominion of words over nature. At stake is the reclamation of the radical alterity of non-speaking worlds, to include the ‘muteness’ of time, geographic territories, and languages lost through forced migration, in addition to the ‘otherness’ of non-human biological life. Biopoetry plays at the margins, testing the fragile ground between a human world demarcated by language, and a world that has no need of it, or of us.

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DESERT/DESTROY, VARIATION, FOURTH DRAFT

“What leads to knowledge is the hysteric’s discourse.” (Jacques Lacan, Seminar XVII: The Other Side of Psychoanalysis)

This token initiated what follows, and what follows is a thread searching for the button at the bottom of the well. This thread twists and drifts in the darkness, descending. We’re standing at the top, bent at the waist and peering into the depths, cool dark air around us and the distant sound of water echoing lightly off the stones. We conjure the thread from a spool in our chests; a long, long thread of words. Enough thread and we will catch the button. Get it out, sew it on—there.

Literature, like love, compels us to speak. How can we teach it?

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THE BIO-FICTIONAL: TRANSLATING FRIDA KAHLO IN RAQUEL TIBOL’S FRIDA KAHLO: AN OPEN LIFE AND ANDREA KETTENMANN’s FRIDA KAHLO, 1907-1954: PAIN AND PASSION

In this paper, I compare the biographical process to the translation process, whereby the historical subject is translated and transformed into the biographical subject; I argue that despite the biographer’s intentions to remain truthful to the historical subject, this subject cannot be fully portrayed via biography. Similar to the translator’s task, the biographer also undergoes a process of interpretation, transfer and reorganization of information as s/he translates the historical figure into a biographical subject, whereby the historical figure is transformed and reinvented by the biographer. I contend that in Raquel Tibol’s Frida Kahlo: An Open Life and Andrea Kettenmann’s Frida Kahlo, 1907-1954: Pain and Passion, the biographical authors construct a fictionalized subject for they resort to interpretative and fictional methods to imaginatively recreate the historical subject. Moreover, like translators who transfer meaning from one text to another, the biographers also transfer the historical Kahlo into biography while molding her into certain identity frameworks. For example, while Tibol portrays her as an exemplary woman, Kettenmann depicts her as an exemplary artist. In addition, the biographers also omit certain aspects of her life and oversimplify her identity, further restructuring her life and identity to fit certain identity frameworks. Thus, I argue that the historical subject cannot be fully equated to the biographical subject insofar that the biographical subject is transformed and reinvented as the biographers imaginatively recreate her life and mold her identity on the basis of certain biographical focuses.

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