Thursday, March 13, 2008

The void eternally generative. Wen Fu. It feels good to say that, to imagine myself saying that. Had a conversation with Shorewood following Chris’ lecture on Alberto Masferrer, an El Salvadorian writer; the lecture’s history leading to a memory, leading to a sense of place and closure. Always a beginning, I asked Shorewood, the man sitting next to me what he though gender normative is and he replied the societal standards enforced by our culture, manly men and those around us. One Big Self. Photographs of walls being built and children painting them.

He cited the example of his sister’s children being given things to play with based on gender, and encouraged. This an example of reinforcement, a virulent idea of ourselves. I responded that it seems like the same day for everyone in the terms of “getting over” ourselves as children; that regardless of where one comes from the necessity of self-actualization remains. Our conversation stopped. We looked away. I was self-conscious of the rapidity that I responded; the eagerness to disagree, at least rhetorically, and wondered if that was a bad habit or a brave one.

The lecture ended on a question, that of translating things for oneself, a theme of the evening, and an idea I can understand. The how more than the what the what the content of the lecture the how how we might make sense of it. Translation and talk of translation, to follow up on, to lecture and ask questions. That to become ourselves we must translate for ourselves we must make our own meanings from our own words as opposed to letting someone do it for us. Here is the link to Chris' lecture.