“An end can also be a beginning”

So it’s true. Disaster themes pop up everywhere. While discussing a disaster-related poetry chapbook that I hope to be finished with in January, a friend of mine sent me the following link:

The Center for the Study of the End of Things Inaugural Symposium.
Charlottesville, VA. February 5, 2010.

Highlights (excerpts from the “Call for Submissions”):

*The location is a vacant 10,000 ft2 furniture store in Charlottesville, VA. Immediately after the Symposium, the building will be demolished.

*Our curatorial goal is to assemble a coherent body of work that revolves around themes of obsolescence, weathering, and decay, as well as meditations on growth, rebirth, and the utility of discarded materials.

*Drawings, paintings, architectural models, maps, diagrams, written work, found objects, obsolete technological artifacts, photographs, audio or video recordings, sculptures, or other work that relates to the theme will be considered for inclusion. We are also seeking musicians and sound artists to hold appropriate live performances during the Symposium.

*Our view of The End of Things is intentionally broad. It could refer to a cultural, political, material, theological, geographic, technological, or environmental end. The end can be global or microscopic, nihilistic or optimistic. And keep in mind that an end can also be a beginning.

In an attempt to come up with something more substantial for my last blog post than I’ve done with other blogposts I did a general search on the internet for The Brief Wondorous Life of Oscar Wao. Of course, one of the first links to pop up is a wikipedia article about the this novel we just read. They of course mention the comparison between Oscar Wao and Oscar Wilde, but they also mentioned The Short Happy Life of Francis Macombre and the likeness in titles between these two stories. So I went back and read over this short story by Ernest Hemingway and found what I believe to be a very interesting similarity between the two characters.

As a reader, we get to know both characters for different amounts of time but we see both men come into their manhood and we see both men die at the hands of a woman. For Oscar his manhood is reached finally by losing his virginity to Ybón. For Francis, he came into his own when he felt he had made up for his cowardice at running from a lion by successfully killing two (and a half) buffalo with little help. Oscar’s newfound manhood allowed him to stand up for his love and Francis to stand up for his life, in a way. Wilson, the hired hunter in The Short Happy Life, even tells Francis’s wife that he would have left her because of this new found confidence and coming into manhood that Francis experienced immediately before his death, and potential murder at the hands of his wife. Oscar is killed for his love at the hands of Ybón’sangry lover, Francis for his lack of love and at the hands of his own wife who had ceased to be a faithful lover.

What is really interesting to note between the titles is that it begs to be read not as the lives of these men being short but rather the happy/wonderous parts of their lives were short/brief. Both characters live less once they achieve satisfaction and happiness. It seems for both that the span of their lives before discovering what it meant to be a man was drawn out and to a certain degree dull. The end of both of their lives then becomes bittersweet as we are glad of their achievement and sad at their demise, but at the least they conquered their fears.

The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

The structure that this book is written in reminds me of the numerous changing perspectives in Lucifer’s Hammer.  It is very irritating to have the story be told out of order and it takes a while to figure out whose life we are suddenly thrown into.  However, this kind of structure could be said to attribute to a causal relationship in the characters in the sense that first we are introduced the characters and then when we read deeper into the story, we come to realize how and why the characters became what they are when we first meet them.  A good example of this is Oscar and Lola’s mother.

The novel does a really good job with engaging the reader in the book, even though there are many political contexts within the story that might have otherwise made the tone more serious.  The author manages to do this by bringing up the familiar: nerdiness.  While many people who know nothing of Trujillo or the Dominican government, or spanish, which comes up alot throughout the narrative, might be confused at times, the nerdy references help make the narrative more understandable.  A majority of the things that are difficult to understand are made clear through analogies to fantasy stories, many from Tolkein.  Also, this is the first time I’ve encountered footnotes like the ones in this book.  Footnotes usually have a very formal, informative, and factual tone, but the footnotes in this book are extremely informal and somewhat hilarious.  Therefore, they also contribute towards the reader’s interest in the novel.

I also find the female characters in this book to be very strong in the narration, especially Lola and her mother.  Their life story illuminates deeper than Oscar’s, whose narrative mostly deals with his quest to find love, and his obsession with nerdiness and all things Tolkien.  I was shocked to find later on that all this narration was done through one of Lola’s boyfriends, which for the most part explains the informal tone.  I have yet to finish the book, but it will be interesting to see where all of this ends up heading.

We Are the Choosers of the Slain

Many of the books we have read this semester have concerned the subject of death and discovering one’s own mortality.  Even more, the characters we have all come to know in these books have asked questions rarely voiced out loud in the real world: “How am I going to die?”  “Why does no one love me?”  “Who will remember me when I am gone?”.  Perhaps these questions might impertinently impose themselves on our sub-consciences on occasion, but they stop there, never reaching the level of public discourse.

Oscar Wao attempts to kill himself on p.191.  In this simple, tragic act he forces the reader to finally vocalize what Jack and Babette Gladney could not accomplish through there ranting existential crises.  Oscar forces the reader to face his or her own mortality because on some level we have all asked the questions that he asks himself.  We may not all be nerds or have backgrounds from countries with such tumultuous social situations, but we have all felt the sting of rejection, the pangs of unrequited love (see Oskar Schell), and the sense that we are alone in a world spinning out of control.  Oscar Wao is the embodiment of all the little pieces taken from each of us, the audience, he is our hopes, fears, and terror at life and death shaped into a person barely recognizable as ourselves.

But what really sets Oscar Wao apart from the menagerie of characters we have read this semester is his response to his close brush with death.  Where the Father in The Road could only hope to pass on the fire to his son, to keep him alive in a world devoid of life, Oscar Wao instead seizes the far from the jaws of death.  By chance he misses his seeming certain cessation and in his own words is “regenerated” with a purpose: to become the Dominican Tolkien.  This is a step not taken in the other books we have read I think.  Where most of the quests in The Road, Parable of the Sower, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, White Noise, and even Lucifer’s Hammer ended in uncertainty as to what the future held in store or ambiguity as to the purpose of quest in the first place, Oscar Wao takes his brush with death and all of our pieces and forges something new.

We are the choosers of the slain he seems to say, and we choose to live and create.  This gives us the readers hope, because if he can find the good in all the pain of his existence then surely there must be hope for us as well.  But at the last there remains the fuku, which as Oscar says was our parent’s shit but is our shit too.  So we have overcome our own mortality or at least come to terms with it, but in the end there is no escaping who we are the consequences of our own existence.

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I really like what Diaz has done with this novel. The way it spans time and space without sacrificing perspective—in the sense that frequently when the narrator takes us to a different moment in time in the narrative, he places us directly in it more so than keeping us in the frame of a “present” looking back on a “past”—is skillfully done, and I enjoyed the sort of limbo feel it lent to the novel. I did not, however, enjoy the footnotes quite so much. While interesting and entertaining enough in their own right, I found them often too long—and therefore too distracting from the main body of the narrative—to function smoothly with the collective whole. I liked the idea of using footnotes in general, as additions and side notes to the text, and the feel they gave of a person looking back on his own narration and amending and reflecting upon it. It seems to follow the Socratic idea that “the unexamined life is not worth living” in the narrator’s returning to the work after first writing it, and also in that the work itself deals with revisiting past writings and past lives.

What I found, however, was that while the narrative purported to be focused mainly on Oscar—even the title of the novel makes him the star—I could not identify with him in many ways. I could understand him, yes—sure, it sucks to be a fat geek who can’t get any; yeah, I can see where this story is going—but I could not really identify with him. I could identify to some extent with Yunior, because he seemed the most real of all the characters. I suppose you could argue that this “realness” is in some ways inherent in his being the narrator. However, I most identified with Lola. I’m not sure if this is because I found her story the most convincing, or because I could relate to her relationships with the people around her more than I could to, say, Oscar’s. In any case, I did start wondering why Diaz would have chosen a character like Oscar to place at the center of his novel. What, really, was he trying to accomplish in Oscar?

In retrospect, I think the problem that comes up with reading this novel is that it cannot be approached from the usual means/angles/whathaveyous that most works are approached through today. I think this novel attempts to function at a point beyond its own characters; maybe it can be classified as modern, “experimental” fiction. Actually, there is a class being taught at my previous institution, the University of Chicago, this winter (and which, in fact, I’m hoping to get in to) called “Poetics of Dislocation”. Although Diaz’s novel is a prose piece, I think much of it can and should be looked at through the lens which this class intends to employ in looking at certain poetry. The course description states:

“This course explores crises of placelessness and displacement as modern and contemporary verse has attempted to map them: from modernist cosmopolitan collage to poetry of exile, migration, and diaspora, the work we study, lodged between tongues, gives traction to discourse surrounding the abstraction of space in globalizing contexts. We examine the formal and social prompts and repercussions of experiments in polylingualism, dialect, creole, barbarism, and thwarted translation; we delve ultimately into some examples of poetic reckoning with the transformation of the site of reading, in the form of new media, installation, and otherwise ambient poetics.”

I would take this one step further and, going back to the novel’s treatment of time and space, argue that it combines this unique aspect with the “poetics of dislocation” of its prose to the point that it becomes a work that attempts to take a group of people’s unsettlement and form some kind of resolution out of it. I’m not sure what that resolution is yet, but I think that the use of different times, places, languages, people, sources of writing/narrative (letters, etc. which Yunior has used to piece together the family’s story), footnotes, and so on is the novel’s “experimental” condition, as it uses these to explore, well, the “crises of placelessness and displacement” which form the core of what Jennifer Scappettone calls works of “dislocation”.

A Brief Life, A Very Long Narrative

Having already read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, I must admit I was not wholeheartedly looking forward to rereading it again for this class. Reading it the first time left me with the feeling I had spent quite a few many hours (I am an incredibly slow reader) reading a book that was less a 335-page story, and more a 335-page characterization. The second time around, my sense of lose over the time spent was only reinforced. Don’t get me wrong, this is an entirely personal problem. I understand that [over]long characterization serves its purpose, following something along the lines of a “one part representing the whole” standpoint. Oscar is the quintessential fuku cursed young man; both his weight and his inescapable geekiness (nerdiness? dorkiness?) are almost out of his control until some turn of events, such as the appearance of Jenni (what better to inspire change in a young man than a goth girl, eh?), which only leads him to another series of unfortunate feelings and events. Diaz’ characterization of Oscar is overwhelmingly  all-encompassing and complete, but with such a focus on the one character, his feelings, his habits, and his peculiarities, my attention span waned. I’ll be honest, shiny things were about 10 times more distracting while attempting to swallow this book for the second time. Yes, there is a story to TBWLOOW, but it is immensely overshadowed, nay eclipsed, by the presentation of Oscar himself. Sure, a lot of Oscar’s little quirks were amusing (who else would write a space opera?), but only so much so and not to justify an entire novel. I am of the opinion that while a novel most definitely hinges on its’ characters, it should perhaps hinge a little more on plot as well. The events of the novel could probably be summed up in one sizable paragraph, whereas a description of Oscar could take the form of a 50-page thesis. Should the events of the novel not have a little more bearing on the ‘message’ of the text?

Actually, I just had a thought. I was about to say that the title of the novel should have just been “The Brief, Wondrous Oscar Wao,” with a key revision in leaving out the word “life,” as his life seems to be less discussed than his feelings and reaction to it. Then I thought about the idea of a fictional biography and made a few mental concessions for the novel in my head (despite the previous paragraph’s condemnation). I suppose in the formulation of a biography the author mustn’t necessarily rely on the events of the subject’s life, so much as their individual, distinctive, and unique personality that lead to and affected the events of said life. I suppose any number of people could have grown up in Jersey, met a girl, lost a girl, not met another girl for a very long time, went to college, went to teach at their old high school, tried to kill themselves, got beat up by some thugs, and then got killed. I suppose the events of a LIFEstory are only colored by one’s view of them, and in that way biographies hinge specifically on the idea of characterization. And specific to this novel, I’ll admit that had Oscar not been the strange young man he was, I probably wouldn’t even have been able to get past the first hundred pages, much less three hundred.

Perhaps, then, biographies just aren’t my thing.

Reading this novel made me feel nothing for Oscar when he faced his strife that the Fuku brings. Honestly, I don’t believe that Oscar was cursed by the Fuku at all. I think that instead, Oscar was a victim of what modern intellectuals call, self-manifested destiny. Throughout his life, Oscar was warned of the family curse, and due to his Hispanic heritage, he believed it, lived by it, was ruled by it, and ultimately, it is what brought him to his death—well that and he own stupidity. I mean come on, when I read this novel, the only thing I felt for Oscar was the pity that he literally had to force out of you when you read his story.

I have always been a firm believer that you are in control of your own destiny. You make the choices, you chose the road that you go down, and you put yourself in situations that end up getting you killed by inhabitants of Santo Domingo because you’re sleeping with their friend’s girlfriend. What did you think was going to happen? I cannot believe that anyone, even someone as ugly and grotesque as Oscar would go for a “semi-retired” prostitute; it’s just disgusting to think about.

I believe that Oscar had all of this bad stuff happen to him because he let it happen. He let himself get fat because he was depressed, he was depressed because he couldn’t get a girlfriend and loved the vagina, and he couldn’t get a vagina because he never had the self esteem to do so. Seriously, who the fuck eats three containers of Crisco and SURVIVES???

While I believe in some superstitions, like not saying the word “quite” in a smooth-sailing hospital OR; believing that a curse is following your family for years, decades, and even generations is just plain stupid. We control our fates and it’s the decisions we make that get us either into the trouble we create, or in the blissful situations we all long for. Oscar was a victim of himself and only himself. If he never went to Santo Domingo that one last time, if he never got depressed and ate a shitload of Crisco; he would probably still be alive. If he was smart enough to believe that the Fuku was just a silly superstition, then maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t have been the cause of his death in the end.

Imagined Nation

At first I couldn’t really find much to say about Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, much like we discussed how nothing can be said about Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, until the narrator mentioned imaginary in one of his footnotes. This is number 27 which appears on pages 224-225 and comments on “Homeboy dominated Santo Dominigo like it was his very own private Mordor.” He says in the footnote that Trujillo drew a border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti that “exists beyond maps, that is carved directly into the histories and imaginaries of a people.” This is particularly reminiscent of Benedict Anderson’s article “Imagined Communities” in which he considers how to define a nation. An imagined community is a bond with people one can’t see or meet. For instance, you can say you’re a New Yorker, and that you’re a part of that group even though you haven’t met every single other New Yorker. There’s a point in history when people did know everyone who was in their community, but then people started living greater distances apart and they had to start referring to people they’ve never met before but still belong in the same group. Nationalism, then, is like a kinship. One poignant example of this is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There is absolutely no question as to what his nationality is. He’s buried in the United States, so he must be American, and he must have died fighting for our freedom and rights, so he is a hero and an honorable member of the community. No one actually knows his nationality, but we don’t need to.

The narrator, I believe, speaks directly to this conversation that Anderson started and been criticized for. He’s saying that when Trujillo made this border, he made two very distinct communities. People could no longer look at the Haitians as anything but the Haitians, separate from the Dominicans. They’re two different nationalities that have two different imagined communities. Anderson also expresses the difference between a nation and a state. The state is the physical line that involves politics, society, and cultural, whereas the nation is purely abstract. Apparently Trujillo used the imagination of his nation to draw a state line onto a map that clearly defined his nation from the next. This act still affects those Dominicans and Haitians alive today because, as the narrator says, it’s now a part of the history and how they imagine their nationalities.

So, I’m not sure how much I like this book. Just as I get engrossed in the story, I have some obnoxiously long footnote to refer to.  The footnotes are like another story. Half the time I skip over them, and come back, or the other half I try to read them simultaneously and then I just lose my spot on the page (as I rented a large print edition from the library, which I’ve never had to read before and ironically, its blinding me from reading easily). Also, the Spanish which I cannot translate, and all the nerdy references from Oscar – it feels like to read this book; I have to do an insane amount of research. But I do like the basics of the story once all that research is pushed to the side.

Then there were all the Spanish lines. Is it Spanish? Some variation of it? I don’t know. I bugged my roommate this entire weekend, asking him to translate because he speaks Spanish/Portuguese = Spanport? And I remember very little Italian, so the two of us actually didn’t get anywhere with this. As a construction worker, he understood more of the foul language than the descriptions/statements. I was pleased to translate a total of 4 words: �Cono, pero tu si eres fea�. I understood this to be something along the lines as, �but you are still ugly�. Nice momma, for real.

And! All the nerd references. I was nice and lost into the story, and then the narration disrupts by: “Even a woman as potent as La Inca, who with the elvish ring of her will had forged within Bani her own personal Lothlorien, knew that she could not protect the girl against a direct assault from the Eye.” (in my book its pg 227, I have no idea where that is in the class edition) Anyway, these little references kill the story for me. I literally think, “hullo Oscar” whenever the historical story of his mother in Bani gets compared to Lord of The Rings.

Anyway. I also looked up the name Oscar, because I was wondering if there was a reason Foer and Diaz picked the same name. It means, ‘Spear of the Gods’ in Old English, or ‘Lover of Deer in Gaelic’. I guess there’s not really a connection.

There are a few different sub-stories, and different narrations. I’m not really a fan of Beli’s, because it makes me really uncomfortable, but I do like the descriptions of her first love: Jack Pujols, with his ‘Eyes of Atlantis’ or ‘deep dolphin eyes’.  Anyway, Beli kinda scares me, or offends me. I can’t decide which. I think as a younger girl, she offended me for her actions  and then when she’s older, and fake cries to get Lola back and then smiles like a tiger — that would scare me.

The sub-story I like the most is from Lola’s “friend” that becomes Oscar’s roommate. I feel like I get a more real description of Oscar’s life, or at least the sort of interaction a non family member/non nerd friend would experience when living with Oscar. I think the best part was the questions � the inquiries that the readers were privy to:

“These days I have to ask myself: What made me angrier? That Oscar, the fat loser, quit, or that Oscar, the fat loser, defied me? And I wonder: What hurt him more? That I was never really his friend, or that I pretended to be?”

^ pretty heavy. Especially if you think of all the possible outcomes those two questions can have:

1) Oscar quit because he was never a friend.
2) Oscar quit because he pretended to be a friend.
3) Oscar defied him because he wasn�t his friend.
4) Oscar defied him because he pretended to be his friend.

And then all the lovely analysis for each possibility.
Lola is nonexistent in my evaluation. I like how she treats Oscar, but she made me mad with how she dismissed Max when she had to go back. And then he died, and she says:”what happened was that one day he miscalculated – heartbroken, I’m sure – and ended up being mashed…” the nonchalance pisses me off. “I’m sure”. Hmph. I hope he wasn�t thinking about her when he miscalculated and maybe that little mongoose creature lets her in on that sometime in the future.

Also, wondering if this �mongoose with black pelt and gold eyes� that appeared in Bani�s life when she was beaten, and then Oscar�s life when he jumped will have more of a summary at the end. I find it interesting though that it helped Bani get up, and motivate her with the two upcoming children, but with Oscar: “Dude had been waiting his whole life for something just like this to happen to him, had always wanted to live in a world of magic and mystery, but instead of taking note of the vision and changing his ways the fuck just shook his swollen head.”

And, was kinda thinking about the treatment of women in this novel. Besides Lola, every other feminine character lives a sad life. I found a quote in Abelard’s segment: “Young women have no opportunity to develop unmolested in this country.” The word ‘unmolested’ makes me cringe.  It holds true for Bani. And with all the vulgarity I translated, the theory holds true all around.

Sorry for the length. I didn�t know where to go with this. I still don�t know where this story is going anyway. And it keeps changing its narration and subject and languages and reality and nerdism.

Oskar Wao

Overall, I have mixed feelings about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oskar Wao. There were certain things, such as the footnotes and genres, that I really liked about the novel however there were some things that bothered me. First, Diaz’ use of footnotes and genres was really entertaining because it  not only gave insight into the characters, Oskar especially, but it also lightened the mood of the novel itself. It was a good balance to the darker aspects such as the details about Trujillo, the curse of the Fuku, and Oskar’s death. In addition, the footnotes made me laugh and I can appreciate any novel that does that. I especially liked Diaz’ incorporation of the genres because I felt like they really helped me to understand Oskar as a person. While I did not get all of the references such as authors like Burroughs, Alexander, and Bova, I still appreciated them because I do have some interest in the genres. I also liked the historical accounts of the Dominican Republic because prior to reading the book, I did not have much knowledge about the DR’s history. I did some researching on Trujillo’s reign and learned that he had secret police who killed and imprisoned opponents and deprived citizens of freedoms and civil rights. He also slaughtered tens of thousands of Haitians in 1937. (I know in class we discussed the DR’s hatred for Haitians). One problem though I had with the book was Yunior as the narrator. We do not find out that he is the narrator for a while and he seems almost omniscient in the way that he narrarates. It seems to unrealistic. Going back to what we discussed in class, he does in fact come across as an unreliable narrator. I think that Lola would have been a more reliable and credible narrator.

Oscar Wao

While reading “The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao”, I’m finding that, although I’m enjoying the storyline, I’m having a difficult time identifying with the cultural references and spanish language. In class we’ve discussed the possibility that students may not catch all of the anime, manga, video game, or comic book references, which is definitely true for me, but personally I don’t struggle with that so much. I can glance over the name “Galactus” without worrying that I’m missing an essential part of Oscar’s identity, because I can assume that it has to do with his interest in “The Genres”. However, when dialogue is placed in the book in spanish, like it is on almost every page, I feel that I’m missing a really big part of the storyline. This is especially the case when reading about Beli, because the whole reason for including her story is to get to learn why Oscar and Lola’s mother is so strange and harsh. Its important to learn her narrative intimately, so I feel as though I’m missing something important every time I see a word that I don’t recognize.

This makes me wonder why I can effortlessly gloss over the constant references to super heros and anime characters, which obviously provide a new dimension of identity and better understanding of the characters, but feel frustrated every time I see a word or phrase I can’t understand. It’s a different kind of reference, but probably just as important. I easily disregard and ignore one, and feel frustrated at the other. I’m really not sure why that is, but thats the reaction this book is causing.

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This is coming from having read up through 261.

Still thinking about the use of genres as I read the novel, and as I write this, and was trying to come up with additional ways to look at the  constant references.  One of the most compelling reasons I came up with for them has to do with a desire for moral justice or simplification.  The torture, terror, death, and oppression of Trujillo’s reign was something almost unfathomably evil.  (I hesitate to use terms like “evil” because they situate the world and people on a black and white moral spectrum of “right and wrong” which I don’t really believe in, but with Trujillo, I will make an exception.)  As was suggested in class, genre villains and heroes can be used to express the immensity of this evil.  But I want to go one beyond that and say that these genre figures are situated in universes in which moral justice is assured, or at least the immorality of the villains is certain and the morality of the heroes is also certain.  The moral or innocent underdog will eventually succeed, against overwhelming odds, to crush and dispel the influence of the evil tyrant.  Obviously, this represents an ideal, fantasized situation for both Oscar and for the Dominicans under Trujillo, a moral universe which the real world is brutally at odds with.

So, why, specifically, is there the desire to put the narrative and the history of the DR in that moral universe? Going back to the idea of trauma, is it an attempt to achieve psychological control over a traumatic and baffling situation?  Is looking at life through these genre universes a way for Oscar and Yunior to achieve catharsis which they couldn’t find in their day to day lives?  I think it’s easy to look at the use of genre references in the novel as something merely stylistic, but it’s increasingly obvious to me that they have fundamental importance to the narrative.  They aren’t something that should be glossed over, and, on closer examination, they provide a number of significant and deeply layered interpretative opportunities for the reader.


“Tell us what fuego means in English” (322) said Oscar’s killers. He was killed anyway after telling them the right answer. The heartbreaking ending of this novel forced me to think about something more uplifting within the story. On a personal note, I really loved the Spanglish presented throughout the story. Although, there were moments of frustration because there is a variation of the Spanglish because of the Dominican slang and the New York street slang. Overall, I loved the general idea of the Spanglish phrases: The mixture of words in both English and Spanish. It was very easy for me to identify with all the characters because of the Spanglish element. It was very funny to see phrases like “the family getting on a guagua… my paternal abuelo… Hijo you’re the most buenmoso.”

I say very funny because this is my families and my everyday way of talking. For instance, today I sent a text message like this: “yo te miss you mucho mas than you do.” By experience I know that Spanglish phrases come out unconsciously or without thinking.

The growing use of English and Spanish in the everyday speech and writing is a reality and this novel it is just one example of many artistic works. There is already a movie called Spanglish. I am aware of the fact that it could be a very controversial topic for some people that may be troubled by mixing the two languages. The fact is that it looks like a new language has emerged and most people like myself who speak or write using Spanglish do it unconsciously. It just happens naturally. In the story of Oscar Wao we see the most extreme case of Spanglish. Not only that but also a lot of regional slang such as the Dominican way of talking or the New York slang.

White Noise. . . the Pop-up?

White Noise

I didn’t mean for this to be a normal blog post, but I saw this this morning and laughed so hard. It’s definitely not Don DeLillo. This is a pop-up book by David Carter . .. for children, and from the description I heard it may or may not emit some sort of white noise. Maybe it’s DeLillo with training wheels? I wish his had pop-up pictures, though.

And there’s a video for this . . . thing they call “a pop-up book for children of all ages.”

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