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  1. #11
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    I just finished all of Xuli's recommendations in the book, and now I'm going to go back and read the ones I skipped over.

    But I must say that "Little Miracles, Kept Promises" made my heart have a feminist dance party right inside my ribcage.

    I also really loved the language of "Remember the Alamo," but it was wrong for me to generalize it and say "man deals with AIDS"? Am I jumping to conclusions there? If it were a more linear story, I wouldn't be questioning myself, but this story moves by its the fluidity of its language, by catching you up in the dance, so that the sickness (whether AIDS or not) sneaks up on you at the end like it almost didn't happen.

    (Bump!)

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by soapandwater
    I also really loved the language of "Remember the Alamo," but it was wrong for me to generalize it and say "man deals with AIDS"? Am I jumping to conclusions there? If it were a more linear story, I wouldn't be questioning myself, but this story moves by its the fluidity of its language, by catching you up in the dance, so that the sickness (whether AIDS or not) sneaks up on you at the end like it almost didn't happen.
    I just talked about this story in a class, and the AIDS thing didn't even come up. Which is not to say that it isn't important -- the thing I love about these stories is that they're so rich, you can discuss an entire aspect of one story for a long long time and completely leave out huge themes.

    The issue that we discussed in the class was the Alamo. The Alamo is a hugely conflictive monument in Texas -- it represents the fact that the US invaded Mexico and took this territory, and that the 1948 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (which was supposed to guarantee Mexicans living in the Southwest rights to continue owning their land, rights as full US citizens, and rights to continue using Spanish as an official language) was not respected, and many Mexican families living in the Southwest at the time subsequently lost their lands.

    So it's really, really important that the short story tells us to "remember the Alamo" when the narrator is giving us directions to the gay bar where he does a drag show. The famous battle cry during the Mexican-American War becomes simply part of directions to the gay bar. The importance of the monument -- which is taught as integral part of US history to all of us in this country -- is diminished, and the site of a bar that privileges a gay man of color is made the most important site in the story.

    Obviously, that's only a tiny part of what the story is about, but I find it amazing how Cisneros includes that whole critique of the way history is written and remembered in one little sentence of the story.

    *****************

    I'm sorry I'm late in posting discussion topics -- I have a list of them, I'll get them together and typed up this weekend, I promise! But anyone else with thoughts, join in!

  4. #13
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    I just picked up a flyer yesterday about Caramelo being Denver's read-along book for this year. I know absolutely nothing about the book, but I enjoyed last year's selection*, so I think I might do this one too.

    *Though for the life of me I can't remember the title. It's about a boy who has asthma, and his dad is a single parent, and his older brother is on the lam after killing someone in self-defense except maybe it wasn't, and his little sister writes stories. I keep wanting to call it They Better Hurry Up And Make A Movie Out Of It Before Dakota Fanning Gets Too Old.

  5. #14
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    Read the whole thing today. So wonderful. Reading a good book is like a high. When I'm out of the habit of reading long periods of time can pass between books, but once I start a good one it consumes me and when it's finished I'm hungry for another.

    Too tired now to do justice to my thoughts about the stories. Will post again tomorrow.


 
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