Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita Gonzaalez, and the Poetics of Culture

By María Eugenia Cotera | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6

Feminism on the Border
Caballero and the Poetics of Collaboration

For those who privilege the notion of the solitary author, literature char-
acteristically provides vicarious pleasure even while distancing the writer
from the reader; literature provides voyeuristic seeing, possessive know-
ing, or teasing seduction. For those who interest themselves in collabora-
tive writing, literature is reimagined as a place where people meet, where
they must negotiate their differences, where they may contest each other’s
powers, and where, while retaining bodily borders, they may momentarily,
ecstatically merge.

HOLLY LAIRD, WOMEN CO-AUTHORS

By moving from a militarized zone to a round-table, nepantleras acknowl-
edge an unmapped common ground: the humanity of the other. We are the
other, the other is us …

GLORIA ANZALDúA, “NOW LET US SHIFT … THE PATH OF
CONOCIMIENTO”

In the late 1930s Jovita González and her friend Margaret Eimer began working on “a historical novel of the Border during the Mexican War” entitled “All This is Mine.”1 They started working on the manuscript in Del Rio, Texas, where González and her husband worked as teachers, and they continued to collaborate after relocating to different cities: González to Corpus Christi with her husband, Edmundo Mireles, and Eimer to Joplin, Missouri, with a relative, “Pop” Eimer.2 Over the next decade or so, González and Eimer collaborated on the manuscript long-distance, sending revised copies to one other by U.S. mail and, occasionally, sharing the manuscript with friends and relatives, who praised its characters, plot, and historical setting.3 Unfortunately, publishers did not agree with these

-199-

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Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita Gonzaalez, and the Poetics of Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Para Juan Javier v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Native Speakers xiii
  • Introduction - Writing in the Margins of the Twentieth Century 1
  • Part One - Ethnographic Meaning Making and the Politics of Differencee 23
  • Chapter 1 - Standing on the Middle Ground 41
  • Chapter 2 - "Lyin'' Up a Nation" 71
  • Chapter 3 - A Romance of the Border 103
  • Part Two - Re-Writing Culture 133
  • Chapter 4 - "All My Relatives Are Noble" 145
  • Chapter 5 171
  • Chapter 6 - Feminism on the Border 199
  • Epilogue - "What''s Love Got to Do with It?" toward a Passionate Praxis 225
  • Notes 233
  • Bibliography 259
  • Index 275
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