Friday, October 21, 2005

What Time is it ... (listening to Ritchie Valens)

Ondale ... La Bloga takes it into the editor's room ... in today's post, Manuel Ramos writes ...

"Time Magazine listed it's choices for the
100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. As with many such lists, it had some obvious picks and some real surprises. How can anyone argue with books like All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren, one of my favorite novels of all-time, or The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, or Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky? Surprises that clicked with me include The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, and Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett, although we could quibble about whether these are Chandler's or Hammett's best.

But, and this isn't a surprise, I guess, no Latino books on the list. No Anaya, Cisneros, Hijuelos, Allende, Véa, Alvarez, Rivera, etc. Not one. Please correct me if I am wrong.

However, let's not dwell on the negative."

Reader's comments follow:

"no, let's dwell on the negative.

what if Time magaziine is correct, that chicanas chicanos have not produced a book that fits anyone's list of the top 100?

it's an opportunity--i'd say responsibility--of the critic to assess the failure of this culture to produce a worthy title. and if defeat doesn't taste so good, then critics must rise to the occasion and show the contrary.

criticism--ideally--starts from a notion of perfection and holds it against a work at hand to identify where the work matches, approaches, or falls short of that sense of the perfect. and here comes that old bugaboo, in what sense is literature "chicano" that disqualifies it for inclusion in some critic's top 100?

criticism ought not be a procrustean bed, but i wonder if top 100 lists are?"
11:10 PM

"perhaps a letter to time magazine from la bloga is in order?"
11:20 PM

"how about a couple of chicanos get into the time's people who created the list, and insist they have more chicano writers on the top 100. otherwise we can try the old way of convincing people with a certain view in literture. "
12:38 AM

"This is something that I see all the time when critics come out with Book Lists. Latino writers are woefully under-represented, or like in this case, non-existent. I think a letter from La Bloga would be great."
7:46 AM

So in honor of Time improving future novel lists ... here's a few stories to enjoy during the next few days along with other sanTana adventures ...

City Life

Contemporary Life As Seen By A

Tom wiped the sweat from his face and placed his hat back on his head. Stuffing his frayed and grey handerchief into his pocket, he used his spade to poke at a clod of dirt in the the 2 foot by 4 foot strip of earth he had just broken. Satisifed with the results, he laid down the shovel.

"Hey Chief! What do you think you're doing? This is a public park. You can't burystuff here!" Tom turned and waited for his good eye to focus on the figure beforehim. Slowly he made out the shape of a policeman of some sort " Aim ahn, officer. I'm not burying anything. I'm planting tobacco."

"Tobacco? What for? You sure that ain't marijuana? Why don't you buy cigarettes at the store like eveybody else? Don't you know this is a public park?" The officer didn'twait for answers. "You can't dig here. It's against the law."

Tom waited until the man had finished, "It's the old tobacco. The one the Creator gave us. It's rare now days. So much of the earth has changed." Tom paused as if he were watching something. Then continued "Some day the people will need it again. They will need it to pray. And to find peace. But there won't be any. So I plant a little here. A little there.Wherever I see a good spot. It won't grow just anywhere. Maybe a few plants will make it."

"It's illegal to dig in a public park." the officer said as he recorded Tom's name andaddress in his citation book. Handing Tom the ticket, he continued "You have to mail in your fine by Monday the 20th. If you don't a warrant will be issued for your arrest. You understand old man? O.K. Get your stuff and go on home."

Tom folded the citation carefully and placed it in his pocket as he watched the officer walk back towards the path. From another pocket he withdrew the old medicine bottle thatheld the tobacco seed he collected the year before. Shaking a few dozen into his hand, he whispered a prayer and scattered them over the broken ground.

As he walked back to the truck Tom's thoughts were already on his next stop. "That creekbank near the bypass on the south side of town would be good place. With a little luckI can sow some seed there and still be home before it's too dark to see. And tomorrow I'llgo over by...."


At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great short story Cholo. Is that a familia pic?

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

La Bloga is a wonderful blog, I hope to read their letter to Time soon. Thanks Cholo.

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahora es Indio? Chingow, I'm all confused about your identity. Who are you, give us the 411!!!

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 411? Hey disco boy, just enjoy the reads and join us for cafe outsie, and bring the pinche vaseline!!

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, don't drink with people who support the new vendor rules!!!

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much Solorio raised at his Oct 6 funder? I can't believe he voted for new vendor rules and so easily. He might lose my support for AD69.

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a good post at La Observed on Daniel Olivas' review of "Chicano". Olivas is with La Bloga. I read the first publication of Chicano years ago and look forward to the new one. Cool blog cholo.

At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Olivas or Ruben Martinez visit Latino Books anytime soon to speak about "Chicano"? Please post this info when avail Cholo. Gracias.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Solorio doesn't have a chance for the 69th. He's not very visible and what has he done for SanTana lately?

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calif secty records show nothing on Solorio, so far. Same for Alvarez, remember her?


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