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It is with the return of the baroque in the field of contemporary philosophy that emerges a Neo-baroque in Latin America during the late s. Its practitioners— Severo Sarduy, Haroldo de Campos, Rodolfo Hinestroza, and Nestor Perlongher, among others—no longer appeal to collective identities; rather, they seek to disturb traditional social narratives and coherent moral universes to generate new spatial configurations and possibilities for social agency.
Their work operates in the polemic field that has helped establish the baroque as a legitimate question for post-utopian sceptic audiences. The references are Jacques Lacan, "Du baroque," Encore. Its performances address the crisis that takes place with the collapse of romantic notions about art and populist utopias. A fifth return, this time in the field of colonial cultural history, cultural studies and anti culturalist critiques, takes place during the last decade.
Recent debates between John Beverley and Alberto Moreiras, among others, exemplify new approaches to questions of domination and resistance. If colonial Hispanism is considered a site of epistemic appropriation, what then are the irruptive possibilities of thinking within University discourse? Is there an exteriority to this discourse that might anchor thought in a new horizon of possibilities?
Modernity, Coloniality, Globality In spite of its frequent usage what I call its many returns , critics and historians agree on the problematic nature of the concept. They charge that the notion of the baroque is an anachronism tainted by a pejorative meaning, imprecise nature, idealizing thrust, and even ideological complicity with populist state formations.
For these critics, the concept of the baroque is irrelevant or, in the worst of cases, vitiated by a long chain of nationalistic appropriations. However, the baroque refuses to go away; it returns once and again and signifies from its abjection, as a remainder, one might even say in a baroque manner.
Indeed, debates about the colonial baroque and America-as-Baroque inevitably prompt four themes that are of fundamental importance for our age and locality: the question of modernity, of coloniality, of globality, and of the failure of modern colonial globality. In other words, the baroque preserves its recurring naming capacity in Latin America not because what it 15 - The recent Encuentros Internacionales sobre el Barroco attest to the furor over the baroque.
The baroque not only has been validated as an important historical category, but also as a cultural event in its own right. For illustrative purposes I submit a partial list of new work relevant for Latin Americanists. Jean Michel Sallman, ed. Indeed, the early modern period witnessed the paradoxical proliferation of technologies of the self—that is of specific practices by which individuals could monitor and constitute themselves as virtuous subjects— and of institutions that scrutinized and punished those who deviated from orthodoxy.
The confluence of technologies of the self and institutionalized mechanisms of control and surveillance produced new modes of experiencing, of relating to, and of being in the world.
Procuranda Indorum Salute by Jose Acosta
These practices gave individuals a greater sense of self-control and constituted a fundamental break with previous modes of governance. Sensorial, imaginative anima secunda and 17 - Clearly, the scope and legacy of modernity extends well beyond these technologies of the self.
They include the advent of strong centripetal states, the opening of new trade routes, the expansion of the market and the emergence of new mercantile practices, the appearance of the printing press, the development of new scientific methods, etc. However, I will focus on the technologies of the self because though they may not be the only practices necessary for the emergence of the modern, they are certainly absolutely essential for its emergence.
Luther H. Martin, Huck Gutman and Patrick H. I am borrowing the concept of self-fashioning from Stephen Greenblatt who uses it to designate the heightened awareness during the early modern period that printed culture made available new and versatile modes of self-presentation which were themselves also modes of self-fashioning.
Similarly, they both depart from the principle that helping others arrive at the truth entails employing persuasive—as oppose to repressive— means to convince those who had erroneous conceptions. As persuasion rests on the calculated usage of signs, rhetorics becomes the procedure through which members of society negotiate its demands. I: Such an agonic mediation presents the baroque as embodying both the modern and its negation, or better yet, the reticent presence that through self-negation a double monstrosity makes the modern possible elsewhere.
Hence, its phantasmatic nature.
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If modernity bears the contradictory management of the self, monstrosity calls for its own technology of control. For more, see Electra Arenal and Stacey Schlau, eds. The paradoxical language of affirmation in disavowal had an earthly correspondence. Corrientes y diversidad, ed.
My emphasis Ill-desiring will and unfit to carry out judicious self-fashioning reason , Native Americans must be subjected before they might become subjects; persuasion—the work of culture—must be supplemented with violence Acosta De procuranda This way of thinking was officially incorporated into the Third Provincial Council in Lima and surfaced most dramatically in catechisms, manuals for extirpation campaigns and dictionaries of Indian languages.
By the end of the sixteenth century, the evangelical task —and thus, indigenous subordination—was imagined as unfinishable. Thus, the return of the baroque is, once again, the return of the abject, the berrueco, the excluded. As with every return it urges us to consider the present as only one among many possibilities. That is to say, in its multiple distortions, the baroque preserves the historical memory of that which could have been but still has not been resolved.
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Immanuel Wallerstein argues that the global present has its roots in the violences that ripped the world apart and stitched it back together into a colonial globality in the seventeenth century Geopolitics Such achieved globality organized the radical heterogeneity of the world into a systemic whole which set in motion the early capitalist world system; it constituted the colonial as the obverse of the modern and the modern at the expense of humanity in the colonial. Indian deficiencies required sheer force to make them submit. Allowing Indians to serve Spaniards was simply a compensatory measure and the only mode to secure their permanence in the Spanish dominions.
Magerit, In fact, one might add that the idea of the baroque evokes the first moment of a promise regarding the pluri-national globality in which divergent social logics coexist under a unified ethical criterion and under a coherent and reciprocal system of representations. However, the promises of a new globality are not solely affirmed by those Europeans who sail the oceans and discuss the meaning of Imperium. Even within the logic of early modern capitalism there survived the longing for a globality that was not driven by greed. I must thank Paolo Vignolo for furnishing this opportune reference.
This last sense is the result of the decolonizing process that took place during the twentieth century and that makes evident the idealized character of the concept, but it is fundamentally alien to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For early modern culture, empire means the ultimate, expected and desired harmonization of particular interests with secular and theological principles that sustain the monarchy. In its most messianic version, the political profile of the empire inaugurates that which we now call globalization. It is he who reminds Europeans that there is no longer a world divided in many.
The meaning of such globality is in the best of cases uncertain, and in the worst, dominated by the violence and greed of the conquest and subjugation. In his rendering, the Spaniard asks the Mexican to give him all the gold and to become a vassal of the Spanish King. The Mexican informs the Spaniard that they do not have any usage for the gold and do not have any desire to change religion or King. Once again, such irony is not exclusively European. The well-known difficulty in locating this elusive narrator along the Andean-European divide makes this textual opening an enthralling moment: For, who was discovered again?
By whom and for whom? Were Americans or Europeans discovered by and for us? The return of the baroque signifies not just the discovery and invention of new worlds by Europeans, but the de-centering principle by which totality is not exhausted by the center. The native at once became and ceased to be autochthonous upon the inaugural moment of colonial globality.
And yet, though these Mestizo logics are not dominant, they certainly inhabit and rehash imperial logic. In the periphery, cultural logics are already necessarily contaminated: they are Mestizo, or ironic and indeterminate. MESTIZO Finally, if the baroque brings to mind the onset of the modern global colonial world, it also recalls its deep-seated failures.
However, the machinery of colonialism developed technologies of failure as well. I shall briefly mention three fronts where these technologies of failure were enacted. Second, the ample and brutal context of colonial violence undermined meaning- producing systems and resulted in impotence, uncertainty and faithlessness; in such a precarious social order, forms substituted substance, and tactics replaced strategies as the privilege forms of advancing political claims Gruzinski Third, the imperial design was deformed in the very process of integrating and subordinating Indians, blacks and whites.
For more on the topic, see the introduction to John Frederick Schwaller, ed. Madrid: Mundo Negro, Behind the baroque of images hides the grey eminence of politics. The Letter is meant to inform the King of the deplorable situation in the kingdom of Peru and to instruct him on how to remedy the ills caused by the colonial government. The map, drawn within European logic but certainly not by it, produces an ex-centric effect whereby the familiar becomes anew. It is a disorienting map. The return of the baroque, therefore, signals the presence of a persistent will that marked a critical distance from the self-affirmation of capital and empire as the only possible presents Modernidad Such critical distance, however, did not result in the imagining of possible futures or the setting up of enduring political alternatives.
The baroque: that which remains to be thought To argue over how adequate the label of the baroque is, suggests we have forgotten its spectral nature. A critical reading of the baroque pays attention to that which does not find a satisfactory mode of expression and which returns once and again. The so-called colonial period is a foundational and privileged moment in the history of the baroque because it fruitfully triangulates the historical promises contained with the onset of modernity with the violent legacies of colonialism and a contemporary need to re-compose political imagination.
Ultimately, the place of the baroque is that of theory, or better, a theoretical insufficiency that is intimately linked to the impasse faced by philosophy and politics. Only in that sense it is possible to find in the returns of the baroque —and therefore in our field of colonial studies—the announcement of something which cannot be reduced to identity. Furthermore, the logic of the phantom ties the question of the baroque to the enigmatic place of the Other, a formula already coined by Carpentier when he proposed that the baroque realizes its potential with the awareness of being Other.
Thus, its returns must be seen as a recurring heterology, a copious —if anxious— discourse on the Other Certeau Writing of History 3 , which threatens to irrupt the language of mastering. Consequently, these remnants might be the proper grounds for re-thinking utopia, in as far as the baroque-as- specter allows us to re-imagine what is possible, and to claim what is legitimate in our historical present. Francisco Mateo. Madrid: I.
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(DOC) Remnants of the Baroque or the History of a Phantom | Francisco A. Ortega - esicywowyq.tk
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Going for Baroque: Cultural Transformations,
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