Chicano Poetics: Heterotexts and Hybridities by Alfred Arteaga

By Alfred Arteaga

Chicano Poetics: Heterotexts and Hybridities examines the crossing of literary and social forces that types the context for being Chicano. Heterotextual poetics finds how a poetry of the go can impact identification, in readings starting from the poetry of gender and race via Sor Juana In?s de l. a. Cruz to that of the fragmentary, postmodern topic of Juan Felipe Herrara. Heterotextuality is the medium during which xicanismo is articulated and springs to be a hybrid topic of textual distinction.

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This alternative is not so much racial, as in the synthesis of the mestizo, as it is cultural. There they speak a "bastard language, Chicano Spanish, [that] is not approved by any society": an alternative language for the making of alternative space, the third country between the United States and Mexico. Borderlands/La Frontera is less concerned with reproducing the body than it is with producing new consciousness. Because of this, the procreative role of the father is bypassed, as is the more general patriarchal imperative.

18 For Anzaldua, sexuality, specifically sexual orientation, is a dynamic factor at play in the politics of the subject. Mexican border es una herida abierta [an open wound] where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country — a border culture" (3). The image of the genesis of the hybrid subject is in violence to the body, in a wound, and its reproduction transpires in a rupture, in the continual reopening of that wound.

In the first instance, the story of Gonzalo Guerrero challenges the story of Malinche and Cortes, that is, it posits a narrative and history that recontextualizes the former narrative and history. The story of Gonzalo Guerrero does not oppose the actual history of Malinche and Cortes, it supplements, yet in doing so radically reshapes its meaning. It neither refutes their act of sexual intercourse nor denies their biologic reproduction and the production of mestizo offspring. What it does do is to overturn the semantic impact of Malinche and Cortes as the historical analogs of the mythical Adam and Eve.

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