Spanglish is not random. It is not simply a piecemeal cobbling-together, a collecting of scraps of random vocabulary into a raggedy orphan of a sentence. It has logic and rules, and more interestingly and importantly, it embodies a constantly shifting and intimate morphology of miscegenation. It is the mix of my husband’s innate Mexicanness and my innate Americanness, of my adaptive Mexicanness and his adaptive Americanness, in Spanish and English morphemes that come neatly together and apart like so many Legos into new and ever-changing constructions.
Sarah Mendedick on Spanglish, the language not of Cervantes*, nor of Shakespeare. Perhaps Spanglish is the language of “Mexican Americans too Mexican to be American and too American to be Mexican,” but it is a language of more and more American and Mexican familias:
At home, Jorge’s and my Spanglish has leveled the Scrabble playing field. For his güero, there’s my lonely. For my standard, there’s his deudas. The tiles intersect, English’s short consonant-stacked words overlapping with Spanish’s euphonious roly-poly vowels. Into and out of one and the other we slide, unconscious of how we have assigned parts of ourselves to one side or the other, to one idioma or the other. Unconscious of how each of us has become tangled up in both, until we are in Mexico and we miss beer and the woods, then back in Ohio and we miss corazón, calor humano, vida. Until the middle of a sentence, when I realize I cannot write the word “firework” when what shot into the southern sky was a cuete, loosed by a cuetero, an old man in an untucked white shirt who carries a passel of cuetes and stops to light them one by one, their sparks soaring up from between his cupped bare hands.
Living on the Hyphen, Oxford American.
* ¿Porque no?:
In un placete de La Mancha of which nombre no quiero remembrearme, vivía, not so long ago, uno de esos gentlemen who always tienen una lanza in the rack, una buckler antigua, a skinny caballo y un grayhound para el chase. A cazuela with más beef than mutón, carne choppeada para la dinner, un omelet pa’ los Sábados, lentil pa’ los Viernes, y algún pigeon como delicacy especial pa’ los Domingos, consumían tres cuarers de su income.
Sin Embaro speculates that Adrián Rubalcava Suárez, hoping to be the PRI candidate for Jefe de Gobierno (Federal District Governor) in the next election wants to keep his private life private. But, then really, can Adrián Rubalcava Suárez honestly expect to be a candidate for public office, without photos like… oh…
Via Stace Medellin (Dos Centavos), comes this political advertisement from Texas. Where I grew up in western New York, it wasn’t unsusual for politicians to throw in a little Italian into their advertising, but about the only Italian anyone uses regularly up there are a couple of Sicilian swear-words. Meaning, I guess, that the Italians were assimilated into the mainstream, though a few traces of what was once a minority left its marks on the mainstream.
I wonder if the candidate is inching into “Spanglish” (which I believe is a true “creole” language… with its own literature to boot) or just … like politicans appealing to any minority community… proving she is one of them, while simultaneously assuring mainstream voters (i.e., English-speakers) that she is not an “ethnic” candidate.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Her opponent apparently is also running ads in Spanish-language media… though weirdly enough, he’s running on an anti-immigrant platform. If I were still a Texas voter (and some of you are), I’d vote for her, even if I’m not sure she’s speaking one, two, or three languages.
The kind of book I’d want to have published.
Mercedes Olivara in the Dallas Morning News on Mexican novelist Carmen Boullosa‘s “Texas, The Great Theft” from Deep Vellum Press, which specializes in foreign works in translation:
It may be historical fiction, but many of the events in Carmen Boullosa’s latest book seem as if they just happened yesterday.
Texas, The Great Theft takes us back to 1859, in the years following the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, which ended the U.S.-Mexican War. Tensions were high as one culture displaced another. Bandits were commonplace, and so was legal chicanery.
Many Mexican landowners who had been given land grants centuries ago by the Spanish crown lost them in legal schemes or in English-speaking courts where Spanish documents were not recognized. This caused one landowner, Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, to fight back as best he could — with his own army.
(more at the Dallas Morning News)
Federal Police officer Esteban Morales Santizo disappeared 3 December 2009, in Lazaro Cárdenas, Michoacán. His mother, Margarita, like family members of other disappeared people have never received any answers, or assistance, from the government, and have been protesting for years.
Margarita never did get an answer, but she wasn’t going to stop demanding one either.