Gloria Anzaldua and the tyranny of the “West”

“Ethnocentricism is the tyranny of Western aesthetics. An Indian mask in an American museum is transposed into an alien aesthetic system where what is missing is the presence of power invoked through performance ritual… Let’s all stop importing Greek myths and the Western Cartesian split point of view and root ourselves in the mythological soil and soul of the continent. White America has only attended to the body of the earth in order to exploit it, never to succor or be nurtured by it.” Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: 90.

It is cheeky picking this quote for B/LaF because it seems to strike with the polemic which can so often put people off reading what has been labeled (by the “West”) “post-colonial” theory. However, Anzaldúa’s relationship with text/s, past/s and the planet offers ways of reconceiving textual relationships (even those from “Greece”)  aware of their own borderland status, their own nurturing potentiality through being re-conceived, blended, like the soil or the sea– connected in the act of reading things together.

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