The good xente over at la bloga have a good discussion going on. Not because the comments of the offices at Yonder Lies It received an answer but because it is clear to the xente del más allá, who for an odd reason of sorts, frecuent the offices, seem to be in agreement (though Geronimo keeps rather silent most of the times) that a Chicano Norton Anthology literature compilation is needed and I see it on the horizon. [yeah, that’s a long ass sentence there, got a problem with that?]
Except that instead of naming it Norton Anthology we could name it like Santa Ana or Stockton Anthology maybe Zorro but that would be a long shot perhaps a lady heroine of sorts. Like the Pachuca Anthology literature for the vox populi in Aztlán proper. Cherrie Moraga or Gloria Anzaldua Anthology would read just as well. But the title we could discuss much later.
There are many threads to start a good huipil with here.
There are the linguistics aspects that I brought forth con todo y my cultural baggage. Though the very fine gente at vivir latino raised the issue of racism in the lengua issue I brought forth.
Make no mistake about it, when it comes to languages, the issues are not about racism. They are instead ones of purity. I understand that the word purity has that race purity what not, connotation but it has an entirely new sense when I use it with language. Instead there is what one can very well see as social fabrications of languages. Everybody thinks they speak real english though there isn’t such a thing as pure english. That notion is just a pure concoction from the last century that has managed to creep itself all the way to this century. In fact, english has about as much latin words in its vocabulary as about spanish does. Well, maybe not, but a good chunk of it composes much of the prestige vocabulary of english. [no, am not about to give you examples, you go find for yerself that ese!] American english speaks wads about it since much of its cowboy mythology is composed of words that have a root on the mexican spanish that helped compose the West/pioneer myth.
Be that as it may we continue con la literatura, in this case, literatura Chicana. Now, english and spanish have had a tumultous upbringing in the Southwest.
For the past 150 years or more english has had the upper hand. Spanish has had to bear the brunt of classroom spankings for utering its vowels in the midst of angloparlandia. Though the first european languages that the land of Aztlán heard were spanish vowels in all the splendor that the conquistadores and Friars used back then.
In this lingua fight, it is we the Aztlán generation that have had to bear the whips and lashes of both households. Both from the spanish part and the english part as well. We can not simply speak anything without having a rebuke at hand to remind us that we speak gibberish at best.
We don’t speak good english and worst yet, we don’t speak good spanish and even yet worst we don’t take care good of our siblings, the new Aztlán generations, from this violent circle. We simply allow the violent language to continue unchallenged with each generation taking sides with either spanish or english or every now and then a few wise voices stating that both languages are good this and that. Or having to hear, like Richard Rodriguez argues, much to the chagrin of the many in Aztlan proper, that english is our light that shines at the end of the tunnel.
It is hard to please two cultures. We have not managed to come across as a unifed entity, at best, we are a footnote in the many essays, commentary, books out there.
But that is ok. We are still defining ourselves. Though I must confess that the issues that we blanket ourselves with are very universal and literature, canon literature at that, is universal driven. Perhaps the issues lies in the universitality of our speech. Perhaps we need to take advantage of this. No matter what english or spanish have to say about it because by then, we will be a different lingua to be reckoned with.