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On the object of property


The first thing that strikes me is the wonderfull articulation of academic writing and “personal� writing. This personal writing is testimonial, also. Williams mixes both past memories and insights into new experiences and then compare them, relating them to the academic realm, to finally write an academic article.


The academic article has an ending, but her own search, her questions do not. Her questions end in silence. This is a silence that is eloquent in its own way, because it confronts the seeker with an open space, for her to look again for more answers.

The academic article, then, is a mixture of personal memories and how they relate to the rights of people that are disempowered, like Williams was or her ancestors were.

The second thing I want to emphasize are the stories of polar bears, They resemble represed memories, like the impotent man’s in Peri Rossi’s Lovely’s. But in Williams article, the silence occupies a space and is localized, as we see in the polar bear passage. What I see in this passage is that parents, elders, try to silence some painful experiences, so that their offsprings do not get damaged like they did. Elders sometimes try to preserve the happy non-traumatized child. That might be the explanation for the prosthetic memory, which occupies the place of the “real� memory. Is literature -as in the polar bear story- the same? Does it have healing powers? Could it be a place were “the reconstitution of the self� happens?

Third, the rights of the “owners� that trascend social stratification of production modes, from slavery ( slave owners were the ones with the rights in a pre-capitalist society) and in a modern capitalist system (finances, money reproduces itself). Who makes the rules, who makes the rights?. Those rights are not for the other but for themselves (the owners). As Williams herself becomes ( a yelling self different from the composed and mild-mannered one, in that same way, all mistreated people should/could reclaim their right places in society. Now, rules are supposed to be equally accepted for everyone, but they are not.

Fourth, is it in the process of writing that our self can construct a explanation? Is there a confrontation with fear necessary? Is it in the process of writing that the writer confronts his/her own dilemmas?

Morejon’s I love my master is an example that fits perfectly:

I love my master
I gather firewood to light his daily fire.
I love his clear eyes.
Tame as any lamb,
I scatter drips of honey on his ears.
[…]

My master bites, subjugates

[…]

Hearing from the old field guards talking, I leaned
that my love
gives lashings in the cauldrons of the sugar mill

[…]

¿Por qué le sirvo?

[…]
My love is like the weeds that cover the dowry
the only possession he cannot take from me.

I course

[…]

I love my master, but every night
when I cross the flowery pathway to the cane fields
where we have surreptitiously made love,
I can see myself with knife in hand, butchering him like
innocent cattle.