José Martí – Selected Writings (ed. Esther Allen) [2002]


Esther Allen and her apolitical companions from academia try to wrestle José Martí, the poet, back from the Cuban regime’s idolization. They set out to do this by highlighting ‘Martís liberal values’, which surely would have rendered him appalled by the Cuban state of affairs today, what with all the ‘political prisoners’ and such (unlike our, apolitical, prisoners). Not an easy task – highly hypothetical, for one – and they fail miserably. However, let us not waste time on these poets, whMartfs verse and prose, particularly the prose, matched Dario’s and the others’ in their cosmopolitanism, decadent spirit, and uncompromising cultivation of beauty for its own sake. Beauty,

) become part of a nation in which the old class divisions of their mother countries could be abolished. Everyone could begin anew in America, a yearn Did Marti ever see a mountain of foam, or is it

I saw the diligent New Yorkers runninj

…I saw the diligent New Yorkers running up and down, buying here, selling there, transpiring, working, going ahead; when I remarked that no one stood quietly in the corners, no door was shut an instant, no man was quiet, I stoped byself, I lookede respectfully on this people, and I said good-bye for ever to that lazy life and poetical inutility of our European countries…. But is this activity devoted in the same extent to the development of these high and noble anxieties of soul, that cannot be forgotten by a people who want to escape from unavoidable ruin… what richness, if not that of spiritual strength and intellectual comfort, will help this people in its colossal misfortune? [great, hemiplegic country; culture]

Doors are shut for those who are dull and lazy; life is sure to those who are faithful to the law of work.

immersed in foundation mythology – dawns a little on him

I, in the biting fear of our own impoverishment and the varied and ^Jj apprehensive labors we undertake to escape it, it is nolonger possible to produce those long and patient works…

I hate the sea, which unraging bears J

on its complacent back the ship

that ‘mid flowers and music brings a tyrant. | \


And so many noble things that could be done in life! But we have tomachs. And that other stomach that hangs down below: whi’hich is subject to terrible hungers.

Oh! what a lesson! The Dutch, who had withstood all the cruelties es of the Duke of Alba and the Inquisition, could not withstand an increase in their taxes. With taxes, everyone feels wounded! With the Inquisition, each one could still hope that the executioner would knock at the neighbor’s door, not at his own.

Women poets! Sorrow must be manly.

He followed no system, for t that struck him as the act of a bHnd man or a servant; he beHcved in no system, tor that struck him as the act of a weak, low, and envious mind. He plunged into nature and emerged from her radiant. HHp felt h  […] does not argue; he establishes. […] The spirit, submerged in the abstract, sees the whole; science, crawling like an insect through matter, sees nothing but details… When the cycle of the sciences is somplete and they know all there is to know [?!], they will know no more than what the spirit knows now… Man must begin to be angelic.

contrast: Marx. US myths. I. Karl Marx studied the means of establishing the world on new bases; he awoke the sleepers and showed them how to cast down the cracked pillars. But he went very fast and sometimes in darkness; he did not see that without ra natural and laborious gestation, children are not born viable fron

calls for charity / no struggle / precious little to do w Marx…. Emerson – 2 books. misunderstood class conflicts in US. has shed his symp narr of Mex City slums, jewelrybeauty instead

trade w Mexico ?The Mohonk Conferences began in 1883 and were one of the forces

1. That the Indians on the reservations are lazy and given to dnnk and gambling ^as something everyone at the convention__kne_w. Accusi It, they will resist any reform that tends to elevate their character by con

The theft of their lands, even if it was reasonable and necessary, was nevertheless a violent deed…

Why shouldn’t [Walt Whitman] observe human suffering calmly, since he knows that beyond it is an endless being for whom a joyous immersion in Nature awaits?

Haymarket sq 1886 – death penalty

…to make an example of [the criminals] that would strike fear not only into the wretched rabble that can never triumph in a country of reason but also into the tremendous nascent strata.

it. This republic, in its excessive worship of wealth, has fallen, without any of the restraints of traditioion, into the inequality, injustice, and violence of the monarchies. —

. The West’s astonishing rate f growth itself, accumulating palaces and factories on one side and miserable multitude on the other, displays in broad daylight the iniquitji^ f a system that punishes the hardest workers with hunger, the i he mo generous with persecution, and the laboring father with the poverty y of his children. In tl

labor: low, wildly, inflammatory speeches

ändå föerståelse – beskriver männen, fruarna, t.o.m. hur de dör. 180 poliser angrep fredlig demo, började skjuta. Efteråt: polisvittnen + 4 köpta anarkister…

Letter to General Máximo Gómez, 1884;

However, there is one t one thing that lies beyond all the personal symipipathy you may inspire in me, and beyond all argument, however opportune it may seem, and that is my determination not to contribute te by one iota, out of blind love for the idea that is consuming my lifefe, to bringing a regime of personal despotism to my land, a regime t; that / would be even more shameful and calamitous than^an the political al de potism it now endures, and more serious and difficult to eradicate, i, because it would be excused by certain virtues, and established upoion an dea which it embodied, and legitimized by triumph.

. The form of the government must be in harmony with the country’s natural constitution. The government is no more than an equilibrium among the country’s natural elements.

NY – Am Dream – no conflicts; reformism imperialism civilly ? radicalisation




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