*goes into the book of life tag* “ITS OK TO DRESS UP AS LA CATARINA!!! EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT!!!!!! LOL IM LATINX I DONT CARE!!!!” *sees posts of white folk with sugar skull face paint* *leaves the book of life tag*
At Nine Worlds, I purchased a copy of Zen Cho’s beautiful collection entitled Spirits Abroad, published by the Malaysian press Buku Fixi. I was struck by the publisher’s manifesto, which appears on the back of the flyleaf. In this manifesto, the publisher states:
We will not use italics for non-American/non-English terms.
The publisher then goes on to say: “Nasi lemak and kongkek are some of the pleasures of Malaysian life that should be celebrated without apology; italics are a form of apology.”
Reading this and considering italics as a form of apology, I find myself thinking of writers coming from countries that have endured colonization, from countries where English is an imposed tongue. I find myself asking: do we really need to explain everything to the imagined Western reader? I think of italics, apologies and explanations, and the connecting line between these words.
If we have read and consumed work from writers from the West without complaint, if we have gone that extra step to fully engage with that work, surely we can trust that those who seek out our stories will also take that extra step to meet us halfway.
“Day of the Dead draws near (November 1st for the deceased children and November 2nd for deceased adults), an opportunity for us to nourish and be nourished by our spirit allies, our family members who have crossed over. Just the opposite of Halloween, Day of the Dead is a day to remember our connections to the other side. These spirits are not ghouls come to frighten us, but ancestors who guide and protect us.”—Sandra Cisneros (via thisisnotlatinx)
“We’re so erased. …If you’re a person of color, if you’re a woman, if you’re from a poor family, if you’re from a rural family, if you’re from a family who worked like dogs and never got any respect or a share of the profits - you know that 99 percent of your stories ain’t been told. In any fucking medium.
And yet we still have to be taught to look, and to tell our stories. …Despite the utter absence of us, it’s still an internal revolution to say wait a minute, we are not only worthy of great art, but the source of great art.”—Junot Diaz, in conversation with the New Yorker’s Hilton Als at The Strand, NYC 04-12-13 [x] (via pasunepomme)
You know what I’m honestly terrified about? When the United States finally gets marriage equality, and it will, people are going to say, “gay people have equal rights, they don’t have anymore problems.” People will completely forget about violence, murders, proper representation, homeless youth, lack of education, and every problem within the lgbtq+ community, just because people of the same gender can get married. That’s so fucking scary to me.