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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, October 29, 2012


As a North American scholar of Spanish literature, I have been often "Spainsplained." This is when a Spaniard explains things to me that I am an expert in, or offers up a cliché I have often heard as though I had never heard THAT one before, or is generally condescending. I have to say it doesn't happen as much as it used to, but it is noticeable when it does. It's least objectionable form happens when I am told: "You are not like those other American Spanish professors who come here and don't know anything." Or "Your Spanish is very good." The worst was when I was told: "Oh yes, you probably wrote one of those worthless dissertations people write just to get the degree..." In the middle is when people tell me "Lorca is a folkloric poet." !!!@%@#% I guess the equivalent in the US is when people ask me if I REALLY speak Spanish, if I have to know the language well to have the job I do (yes, in fact) or say "gee, you must like to read." [Blogging from Spain]

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