Conversations with Mexican American Writers: Languages and by Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak

By Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak

Via a chain of interviews with 9 acclaimed authors, Conversations with Mexican American Writers explores the languages and literature of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as a confluence of social, cultural, ancient, and political forces. of their conversations, those authors speak about their linguistic offerings in the context of language guidelines and language attitudes within the usa, in addition to the East Coast publishing industry's mandates.The interviews exhibit the cultural and geographical marginalization persisted via Mexican American writers, whose voices are muted simply because they produce literature from the remotest components of the rustic and approximately humans at the social fringes. Out of those interviews emerges a portrait of the borderlands as a dynamic house of foreign alternate, one who is positioned and will purely be understood absolutely inside an international context.

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Sample text

I still believe we have serfs in Mexico, and this is 1999! I believe in the revolution of the Zapatistas, and I believe that we have to spill a lot more blood before it ends. I definitely believe that my writing gets its energy from that. Russian literature gave me access to the Russian struggle. World War I was starting, and they were still passing ordinances that finally got rid of serfdom in 1914 in Russia. I mean the parallels between Mexico and Russia -6- “Stuff that you pull out of your kischkas ” are shocking.

I wrote a play, “Jana,” at that time, and it was patterned after a story about a daughter who was angry because she lacked a father-figure since her father was in prison. It first was a story, but I turned it into a play. I actually read it to my classmates, and that’s where everything took off. Sister Sabina asked me to read it, and then she asked me to run for the school editor position. ” - 24 - braiding languages, weaving cultures I won by one vote because I had a bad reputation. I was being escorted to school by the police.

I remember holding a book, and it had my poem called “My Seashell,” and it had something like an a-a-b-b-c-c rhyme scheme, but most importantly it was written in English. Back then I would write mainly to myself. But when I had a near-death experience on the Rocky Mountains on the Western Slopes, and I was liter-4- “Stuff that you pull out of your kischkas ” ally hanging from a twelve-thousand-foot cliff, I said to myself, “I haven’t done it. ” I had done some pseudonymous writing and I had sold some ideas for screenplays, but I’m talking about the stuff that you pull out of your kischkas, out of your inner self, I hadn’t gotten around to doing it.

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