ERIC Number: EJ863209
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 17
Solving Guzman's Problem: "An Other" Narrative of "La Gran Familia Puertorriquena" in Judith Ortiz Cofer's "The Line of the Sun"
Waldron, John V.
Bilingual Review, v29 n1 p39-48 Jan-Apr 2008-2009
The first half of Judith Ortiz Cofer's novel "The Line of the Sun" (1989) narrates events that take place in the small fictional town of Salud, Puerto Rico, during the 1940s and 50s. In the second part of the novel, starting with chapter six, the readers see how two characters from the first half, Rafael and Ramona, and their young children, Marisol and Gabriel, deal with life in the United States. Marisol narrates the entire novel, piecing it together from the stories told by her mother, grandmother, and her uncle Guzman. However it is the actions and occasional disappearances of Guzman that drive her narrative. Though each narrative is distinct and personal, continuity, rather than separation, forms between them. It is one story added to others that Cofer weaves in the narrative, and given the nature of its telling, as an assemblage, there is always room to add one more voice. This type of writing is antithetical to the practices of modernity, at least as they have come forth in colonized areas of the world. Against the positivistic knowledge-seeking devices of culture, the assemblages created by Ortiz Cofer and others form an indeterminate process. These stories also become locations of knowledge that do not necessarily seek to tell a truth. Rather, they become a place of knowledge that is ongoing; there is always another story to tell, another voice to add to the narrative. This type of writing and thinking allows for stories to erupt, contesting dominant, exclusionary cultural paradigms. Western colonial, modernizing practices here are disrupted and their exclusionary practices are revealed. Writing from the space of colonial difference formed between the United States and Puerto Rico, Ortiz Cofer writes in a way that allows a space for cultures marginalized by colonial projects to speak, but not at the expense of creating another silence or of silencing "an other." (Contains 4 notes.)
Descriptors: Literature, Foreign Countries, Novels, Cultural Differences, Identification (Psychology), Literary Genres, History, Puerto Ricans, Narration, Foreign Policy
Bilingual Review Press. Arizona State University, P.O. Box 875303, Tempe, AZ 85287-5303. Tel: 800-965-2280; Tel: 480-965-3867; Fax: 480-965-8309; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.asu.edu/brp/brp.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico