09 October 2010

Sex and mixing languages

At least for Pedro Juan Gutierrez, mixing languages in a literary text is like sex.  (Talk about the New Critical dictum of yoking opposite images together!)  Here is an account of an interview:

"He once told an interviewer that 'the real leitmotiv of my books is poverty rather than sex.' At the same time, he's not making any apologies: 'Sex is very important for the condition of the Cuban people. We're a mix of races, Europeans and Africans, and I think that this mix, along with Cuba's temperate climate, with nobody wearing much clothing, encourages playfulness. We play with language, with gestures, with music, dancing - we're very playful. We're constantly inventing new dance steps. And I think sex forms a part of this playful expressiveness.'"

Language, after all, is as sexually stimulating as physical contact (how otherwise explain the universal and timeless appeal of pornography?).  Is it possible that many poets refuse to play with different languages because playing with oneself is a guilt-laden (though much ignored) societal taboo?  This is at least a nice thought to play with!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting bait for a debate (mind-play?) Incidentally, a recent New York times column claims that the guilt-laden act alluded to is America's favorite pastime.