Coming into Play: An Interview with Gloria Anzaldua

By Reuman, Ann E. | MELUS, Summer 2000 | Go to article overview

Coming into Play: An Interview with Gloria Anzaldua


Reuman, Ann E., MELUS


Contemporary Chicana poet, writer, and theorist, Gloria E. Anzaldua, was born in Texas in 1942. She is coeditor, with prominent Chicana feminist Cherrie Moraga, of the groundbreaking anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981) and editor of Making Face, Making Soul: Haciendo Caras (1990). A published author of poetry and prose, a university instructor of Chicano studies, feminist studies, and creative writing, and a political activist, Anzaldua is an important voice in the literary world today. Her best known collection of writings is Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987), which was chosen as one of the 38 Best Books of 1987 by Library Journal. In 1986 This Bridge Called My Back received the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award. In 1991 Anzaldua received a National Endowment for the Arts award for fiction. She currently lives in Santa Cruz, where she is working on several projects, including a collection of theoretical essays, a manuscript of fiction, a children's book, and a novel. This interview is an edited transcription of a telephone interview conducted on February 17, 1995.

Interviewer: Looking at Borderlands/La Frontera nearly ten years after its publication, is there anything you view differently? Were you to revise and republish it today, is there anything you would change?

Anzaldua: Well, first of all, I think I would get a reader to proof the Spanish because at the time Aunt Lute didn't have the staff that could deal with the code-switching. So every time I read passages from Borderlands I see typos and spelling mistakes. My other concern was that Chapter Six, on writing and art, was put together really fast. In fact, all of the seven chapters were written after the book had already gone into production and I was trying to write an introduction. They were already typesetting the poetry, and the introduction became the seven essays. And [Chapters] Five and Six, the one on language and the one on art and writing, were the last to go in, and they were the roughest. And especially Chapter Six I felt like I was still regurgitating and sitting on some of the ideas and I hadn't done enough revisions and I didn't have enough time to unravel the ideas fully. I think that Chapter Six especially is an extension of "Speaking in Tongues" in This Bridge, and that what I'm writing now in Lloronas, some of the concepts that I'm working with of which one is nepantla, is kind of a continuation of these other two. I think my writing is always in revision, so that Borderlands built on "La Prieta" and some aspects of "Speaking in Tongues"; and the other theoretical work, Lloronas, is building on all of those that came before.

If I had to do it differently, I think that I would distinguish a little bit more between the kind of historical, rational language of high theory and another kind of language which is the poetic language of myths and of collective self-expression. And maybe unravel some of the spirituality aspects in my work a little bit more. I think that between the times when you conceive of work and you have a deadline and before it gets too unwieldy you have to cut it off. And in terms of this historical, rational, logical, argumentative writing that is what is privileged right now in the academy, there is this other non-rational identity that I dwell in about three-quarters of the time. Three-quarters of the time I'm asleep, dreaming. Another eight hours I'm probably working in my head with words and images, and writing and making fiction, and kind of dreaming the stories into being. And then the rest of the time--I guess, what is left? Another eight hours?--probably out of that, half of the time I'm dealing with this historical, everyday life. And the other, I'm still in my thoughts, like I might be driving along and I might be thinking about other.... So it's like the `T' that I didn't deal with as much in these earlier works would come into prominence a little bit more in the subsequent work. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Coming into Play: An Interview with Gloria Anzaldua
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.