first spanglish article notes

This morning I’m reading “Spanglish: Tickling the Tongue” by Ilan Stavans. Ilan Stavans is a Professor of Spanish at Amherst College in Massachusetts and published this article in 2000. What interested me most about this article was Stavan’s focus on some background of language mixing and–the 150 year history–and his point of view which seems to be similar to mine. I particularly like the way he expresses how the languages in the Americans “cohabit promiscuously”. Yet he also points out opposing views and differing perspectives on mixing of Language–the main stream English point of view as well as the conservative/intelligentsia Latino point of view–the need for a common language. I like the idea that he also focuses on literature and how writing becomes the place where there is the most “experimentation”. He describes that there are many Spanglishes representing many writers and cultural communities. I also had no idea that the Spanglish movement as her refers to it again had so much history and also organized as somewhat of a crusade. I was particularly interested in the comparisons Stavan makes–compelling comparisons of Spanglish to Ebonics and Yiddish–comparisons to the Avant Garde of the Harlem Renaissance. Particularly I was interested in the comparison at the literary level of Yiddish and how Yiddish has become prominent to represent communities publicly and openly and also established by writers and poets. And again it seems Stavans sees Spanglish as fighting integration rather than a giving in to English–Latinos breaking the pattern of assimilation or the pattern of Eurocentric control. A more mutual acculturation and not a surrender. Spanglish as a “hybrid street register.”

Published by

john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo’s debut story collection The House of Order was named a 2013 Int’l Latino Book Award Finalist, and his most recent work Little Mocos is now available from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read. He is currently a professor of composition and literature at Lincoln Land College-Springfield, Illinois.

Leave a Reply