Monday, August 16, 2010

in honor of Caliban ...

"But within the colonial world there exists a case unique to the entire planet: a vast zone for which mestizaje is not an accident but rather the essence, the central line: ourselves, 'our mestizo America.'" (p. 4)

"Our symbol then is not Ariel, as Rodó thought, but rather Caliban. This is something that we, the mestizo inhabitants of these same isles where Caliban lived, see with particular clarity: Prospero invaded the islands, killed our ancestors, enslaved Caliban, and taught him his language to make himself understood. What else can Caliban do but use that same language - today he has no other - to curse him, to wish that the 'red plague' would fall on him? I know no other metaphor more expressive of our cultural situation, of our reality." (p. 14)

"We can and must contribute to a true assessment of the history of the oppressors and that of the oppressed. But of course, the triumph of the latter will be the work, above all, of those for whom history is a function not of erudition but of deeds. It is they who will achieve the definitive triumph of the true America, reestablishing - this time in a different light - the unity of our immense continent." (p. 38-39)

(Roberto Fernández Retamar, "Caliban: Notes Toward a Discussion of Culture in Our America." Caliban and Other Essays. Trans. Edward Baker.)

No comments: