Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Anzaldua, A Chicana Native Of Texas, Explores In Prose And Poetry The Murky, Precarious Existence Of Those Living On The Frontier Between Cultures And Languages Writing In A Lyrical Mixture Of Spanish And English That Is Her Unique Heritage, She Meditates On The Condition Of Chicanos In Anglo Culture, Women In Hispanic Culture, And Lesbians In The Straight World Her Essays And Poems Range Over Broad Territory, Moving From The Plight Of Undocumented Migrant Workers To Memories Of Her Grandmother, From Aztec Religion To The Agony Of Writing Anzaldua Is A Rebellious And Willful Talent Who Recognizes That Life On The Border, Life In The Shadows, Is Vital Territory For Both Literature And Civilization Venting Her Anger On All Oppressors Of People Who Are Culturally Or Sexually Different, The Author Has Produced A Powerful Document That Belongs In All Collections With Emphasis On Hispanic American Or Feminist Issues

Gloria E Anzald a was a scholar of Chicana cultural theory, feminist theory, and queer theory She loosely based her best known book, Borderlands La Frontera The New Mestiza, on her life growing up on the Mexican Texas border and incorporated her lifelong feelings of social and cultural marginalization into her work.When she was eleven, her family relocated to Hargill, Texas Despite feeling dis

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  • Hardcover
  • 260 pages
  • Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
  • Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  • English
  • 14 April 2019
  • 9781879960572

10 thoughts on “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

  1. says:

    Anzald a s most famous work, a collection of essays and poetry is a refreshing and important book I read this for my Chicana literature course and it is by far the touchstone of Chicana studies Anzald a writes very personal but powerful essays on what it means to be Chicana and what it s like living in a country in which she is seen as a second or third class citizen Her poetry is political but highly readable and perfectly complements the essays in this collection I highly recommend this work, even if you have no interest in Chicano studies, it s required reading.

  2. says:

    Oh well.

  3. says:

    Culture is made by those in power men Males make the rules and laws women transmit them Anzaldua, 16This is really a great book that I will surely go back to over and over There is a certain point that i find revolutionary and inspiring to me in this text In the second chapter, Anzaldua navigates her position between a patriarchal culture and the white man s violence At page 22, Anzaldua mentions sisters who glorify colored cultures to offset the extreme devaluation of it by white culture I personally struggle with navigating my position as an Arab woman who shares the same academic space with white culture Before coming to the US, I have never met the white other and felt much comfortable criticizing and confronting the sexism, racism, and homophobia of my own culture Such criticism, in an American space, becomes material for war propaganda, a way to patronize Arab women and use them as victims weapons It turns into some Islamophobic material Feminists of color have been debating this question for years now how can we have critiques of our cultures communities when we are vulnerable to the white man s gaze Navigating our positions between two axes of oppression is a very difficult task that might be presented in a text like Borderlands, but does not seem feasible to me in everyday life In Borderlands, Anzaldua sets up the path with her first chapter detailing a history of violence practiced by the white man against her people Then she goes off to debate her homo sexuality as a tool to challenge one s culture This shift between the two parts states an important point that both cultures are patriarchal and have done violence to women s bodies Yet, women need to navigate between the two settings to protect the self.

  4. says:

    Gorgeous writing, crafting a way of seeing, experiencing, being in the world Identity politics at its most rooted and important The first half of this book is a critical theory essay on the epistemology way of knowing of a person whose very being is sin front ras, crossing borders Chicana, mestiza, queer, woman, class mobile and educated, critical This first part devolves a little into esoteric musings I couldn t always grasp reading, listening, but acknowledging that I didn t understand Sometimes, literally Anzald a intersperses Spanish and many dialectic variants thereof throughout the text, and while the back of my book says English readers will understand in context, I didn t much of the time But the whole time the writing pulses with an urgency and a declaration to take it in as written the book doesn t ask readers to understand, it asks readers, particularly those whose identities root them in one or another side of any number of borders, to hear and listen and pay attention to their ignorance What does it mean to feel destabilized, insecure, uncomprehending within the culture of a text What does it mean to navigate these social and cultural geographies Borderlands invites readers to experience the doubt and struggle of this movement, Anzald a s chosen, fluid words instead of her constant movement to meet each dominant culture in its own space This book just feels significant, like learning a lesson.The second half is poetry, and evoked opposite feelings Clear, sharp, crystal poetry Here Anzald a writes in narrative, says what she means in language that communicates without leaving room for doubt.

  5. says:

    i have read, am reading, and will continue to read this text as part of preparing for my masters exam in literature specifically, i am looking at the borderland that anzaldua speaks of as a place of passing racial, sexual, class for individuals, and what it means to constantly exist in that space, without a homeland to move toward or away from anzalduas prose and poetry are both symbolic and dense parts of the book are written in spanish, and my understanding of the language is embarrassingly bad her analysis of mestiza consciousness coupled with the invocation to feminism are rich, as is her attempt to explain the frustrations of speaking a language that also exists in the borderland, a mixture of spanish and english and other languages, and the ensuing condescension from others who speak so called pure languages i highly suggest reading her in conjunction with frantz fanon and trinh t min ha it seems a random mix of theorists, but there is much they have to say about the power of language and the formation of cultural identities.

  6. says:

    This book appeals to me on an anthropological level it brought back a lot of memories of my cultural anthropology classes The author, however, goes above and beyond to explain defend her culture while maintaining an accusatory tone towards European American white culture This type of writing is neither unique nor unexpected, so the author s attitude doesn t bother or surprise me Studying anthropology has definitely made me aware of the pitfalls of ethnocentrism as well as the joys of learning about other cultures The author does heavily sprinkle Spanish into this work, which can be intimidating if the reader is completely unfamiliar with that language could be off putting or alienating for some A great thing this book offers is an insider s view of a rich and beautiful culture This culture is not totally unknown to me since I have lived near the South Texas Mexico borderland all my life, so I enjoyed the familiarity of that particular aspect of the book.

  7. says:

    Borderlands La Frontera The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzald a is a HIGHLY recommended book for anyone interested in indigenous religion, gender studies, the history of the Southwestern United States, the history of the Chicano people, and ALL women of color.Some passages that resound A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary.The world is not a safe place to live in We shiver in separate cells in enclosed cities, shoulders hunched, barely keeping the panic below the surface of the skin, daily drinking shock along with our morning coffee, fearing the torches being set to our buildings, the attacks in the streets Shutting down Woman does not feel safe when her own culture, and white culture, are critical of her when the males of all races hunt her as prey.Institutionalized religion fears trafficking with the spirit world and stigmatizes it as witchcraft It has strict taboos against this kind of inner knowledge It fears what Jung calls the Shadow, the unsavory aspects of ourselves But even it fears the supra human, the god in ourselves.Those who are pushed out of the tribe for being different are likely to become sensitized when not brutalized into insensitivity Those who do not feel psychologically or physically safe in the world are apt to develop this sense Those who are pounced on the most have it the strongest the females, the homosexuals of all races, the darkskinned, the outcast, the persecuted, the marginalized, the foreign.I remember being caught speaking Spanish at recess that was good for three licks on the knuckles with a sharp ruler I remember being sent to the corner of the classroom for talking back the the Anglo teacher when all I was trying to do was tell her how to pronounce my name If you want to be American, speak American If you don t like it, go back to Mexico where you belong Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity I am my language Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself You re nothing but a woman means you are defective Its opposite is to be un macho The modern meaning of the word machismo, as well as the concept, is actually an Anglo invention For men like my father, being macho meant being strong enough to protect and support my mother and us, yet being able to show love Today s macho has doubts about his ability to feed and protect his family His machismo is an adaption to oppression and poverty and low self esteem.But don t take my word for it Get it, read it If you re anything like me, you ll need to buy the book simply because it cries out for the kiss of a highlighter and caress of a pencil because Sumayyah Said So.

  8. says:

    It s hard to review something this good, this special, this singular It also seems unnecessary After all, this is a germinal, oft referenced, essential book for reasons that quickly become self evident after opening its pages But I can offer a sentence or two, despite sounding like ad copy What Anzald a offers here, among other things, is a powerful weaving of psychoanalysis with a meditation of the radical heterogeneity of identities and experiences organized under the rubrics of indigenous, Chicana, and queer This is a text about a new way of life that involves accepted the repressed and rejected, and a cessation of the cycle of repression and rejection It is a text about living with contradiction, paradox, and ambiguity In Anzald a s own words Her first step is to take inventory Despojando, desgranando, quitando paja.Just what did she inherit from her ancestors This weight on her back which is the baggage from the Indian mother, which the baggage from the Spanish father, which the baggage from the Anglo Pero es dificil differentiating between lo heredado, lo adquirido, lo impuesto. She puts history through a sieve, winnows out the lies, looks at the forces that we as a race, as women, have been part of Luego bota lo que no vale, los desmientos, los desencuentos, el embrutecimiento Aguarda el juicio, hondo y enra zado, de la gente antigua. This step is a conscious rupture with all oppressive traditions of all cultures and religions She communicates that rupture, documents the struggle She reinterprets history and, using new symbols, she shapes new myths She adopts new perspectives toward the darkskinned, women and queers She strengthens her tolerance and intolerance for ambiguity She is willing to share, to make herself vulnerable to foreign ways of seeing and thinking She surrenders all notions of safety, of the familiar Deconstruct, construct She becomes a nahula, able to transform herself into a tree, a coyote, into another person She learns to transform the small I into the total Self Se hace moldeadora de su alma Seg n la concepci n que tiene de s misma as ser.

  9. says:

    For the mid 80s thinking and theory about the intersection of culture, race, and feminism this book is radical A bible to understanding what it means to live in a borderland a fast read, engaging, but VERY thought provoking the form mixes, Spanish Chicanoism, poetry, prose, theory, academia, and the essay Anzaldua continually disrupts you and the text, always evolving the question of identity.

  10. says:

    This book is one of the classics in feminist decolonial theory It s a beautiful story about Anzaldua s life as a Chicana growing up near the US Mexico border I could relate to what she says about mixed races and borders and identity But somehow I found it difficult to agree with her on culture Blanket generalizations about culture being bad never sit well with me since we are never outside of culture, and so presumably good and bad both come from culture.

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