Arguments Made In Take The Tortillas Out Of Your Poetry Even though the cultural and veiled censorships have to do with why they won’t let his book be read, he talks about why he wrote the novel, that it was a reflection of his childhood, and that censors only paid attention to one detail and that was the so-called bad words in Spanish and they used that as an excuse because the novel did not meet the criteria of the circumstances. The censors used a technique where they zoomed in on one detail of the novel and made it seem that because it was in Spanish, it had profanity in it.
Rudolfo Anaya made a great point when he said that if we leave the tortillas out of our poetry meaning cultural values, then the cultural we’re portraying will go unnoticed therefore leaving Anaya, his Chicano readers, and us as readers left wondering why something should be judged because it’s so different from what we as his readers known all our lives. We are in a way are told what is best with what we should read and that these censors are at work in all areas of our lives. Rudolfo Anaya says that censorship has affected him directly and how it recently affected a friend of his as well.
His friend is a Chicano poet and scholar and good one. He says he has been encouraging Chicano writers to apply for literary fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. What happened to his friend was that he applied for the literally fellowship but was turned down twice, but he did not give up. They both knew that many of the panels that judged the manuscripts did not have readers that could read Spanish or bilingual manuscripts. His friend then went on saying to him, “You know,” he told me, “if they can’t read my bilingual poetry, next time I apply I am sending them only poems I write in English.
My best poetry is bilingual, it reflects our reality, it is the way we speak, the way we are. But if I stand a better chance at getting a fellowship in English, I will send that. But the poems I write only in English are really not my best work. It’s just not me. ” (Rudolfo Anaya 68). He talks about why he wrote the novel, that it was a reflection of his childhood, and that censors only paid attention to one detail and that was the so-called bad words in Spanish and they used that as an excuse. He goes on to say had they read the novel, they would have discovered that it is not about profanity.
In his exact words he says, “the novel was a reflection of my childhood, a view into the Nuevo Mexicano culture of a small town. I looked at values, I looked at folkways, I created heroic characters out of poor farmers. I wrote about old healing remedies used by the folk to cure physiological illness. I elevated what I found in my childhood, because that is the way I had experienced my childhood. ” (Anaya 71). He goes on to say that he believes that the reason why schools burned his books was because they did not want a reflection of his way of life in school.
The country was not yet involved with cultural diversity. Chicanos were very upset and disappointed about this because they believed they had a right to literature in their books. That is why the 1990 attack on the NEA by fundamentalist censors has created a national rage and discussion. People have spoken out on their right of freedom of expression and that even though they tried to get others to see their point of view on this, they had to deal with these vicious attacks on their freedom and their storytelling.
I think he makes a good point when he is trying to make readers understand that he wrote this novel for himself and for others to read and understand his childhood and what it is like having a Mexican/Indian background and what he and others close to him had to go through because of it. The most important reason is we are in a way told what is best with what we should read and that these censors are at work in all areas of our lives is because “There is only one magazine that tells you what is right and what is wrong with our cultural life today. “Do you sometimes have the impression that our culture has fallen into the hands of the barbarians? ” And, finally, “Are you apprehensive about what the politics of ‘multiculturalism’ is going to mean to the future of civilization? ” (Rudolfo Anaya 72). Rudolfo Anaya then goes on to tell us that the editor is telling us that he knows what is right or wrong with cultural life which then goes on to call those types of people, “barbarians. ” The barbarians are then identified as those who come from multicultural communities of this country.
That was a type of censorship that was focused against the National Endowment for the Arts in the halls of Congress in 1990. The censors attacked a couple funded projects because they did not agree with the works of the novels. The censors took those rights to keep these works away from us. He then concluded to say censors are afraid of our liberation. Censorship is un-American, but the censor keeps telling you it is the American way. I do not think it is right that Rudolfo Anaya and other Chicano poems or stories get judged because they are written from a ifferent point of view and their culture is different from everyone else’s. If it has meaning to it and teaches the audience who is reading it something different than what they are used to then I believe it should be allowed to read. For example, the role of Ultima is important because she is Antonio’s guide and mentor in a way and her teachings bring him to understand a different and mystical world all about the Hispanic/Indian culture.
It is also not just teaching him about the Hispanic/Indian culture, but also its audience and just because the panel of judges did not have any Spanish readers does not mean that there are not some out there and it should be give a chance. In conclusion, he says every Chicano poem or story carried within it the cry of desire for freedom and equality. That is what literature should do: liberate. There is a lot of different censorships in this essay including cultural and veiled that are two different censorships, but then again also the very same when they are going against something that is not necessarily wrong.
Also, he talks about which is ideal because it gives you a sense of what these censorships look for which is one little mistake and when they find one, they simply toss your work aside and don’t really look at it or give it a chance. Just because something is different from what you are used to, whether it be a book, a person you meet in a store, or maybe place you never been before you should not judge it right away just because it is different. Hence the old saying is true: “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. ”