Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Task is to Survive in the Diaspora

Walking outside, the air is full of cotton. People...sounds are quiet. Then everyone starts to come out of their homes. They go to cafe, they go to theater, they go to disco. Talking, everyone talks. And at two in the morning, it is safe to walk home.

-My grandmother on Paris and seven o'clock at night

There are a lot of things going, going.

My studies seem to reflect my life quite a bit. Right now, I am working on an essay with the tentative title, Taking Back the Mirror: Women Authors and Writing the Body. I want to explore the work of Virginia Woolf, Helene Cixous, Shelley Jackson, Susan Bordo, and Donna Haraway and the authors' use of embodied language to create the woman body. The thread seems to come in analogating the writing process to procreation, and beyond that, using pregnancy as a metaphor for the gestation and ultimate "birth" of ideas as a surrogate (pun?) for child bearing in "real life".

I never thought I would be tackling gender in literature studies (by "tackling gender" I refer exclusively to the feminine, because that is how I have been taught to categorize). I thought that too obvious, being a woman student, to study women authors based on their gender and not their work.

It is easy to make the leap from thinking about woman authors to thinking about women's roles in society to thinking about my role in society. I think when I reference "society", I want to reduce it to my own web of communication, my little corner of the world, my relationships. What do I offer people as a woman (shying away from woman as sexual commodity)? What do I offer them as a person? Is this one and the same? Am I naive in thinking that it could be?

This is all reflective of this last year. I feel, coming into my fourth year of undergraduate studies, I have started to own who I am as a person and, consequently, my work. They are one and the same. My work, myself. This has spurred an increase in confidence that I find pleasantly addictive, a sting in my nervous system that begs for a higher output of ideas. But is all of this work, all of this exploration and creation, the work of a womanperson or the work of a personstudent?

I'll leave you with the paintings of Kris Chau. The work she does is amazing, beautiful, ephemeral, more adjectives. Roots for veins, branches for wings, manifesting the Mother Earth into a group of heralding ghost angels.

1 comment:

miss brix said...

beautiful. keep it coming.