Steven G. Kellman
December 6, 2011
El Titulo, The Title: Translation in Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo According to Bill Johnson Gonzales Through His Article “The Politics of Translation in Sandra Cisneros’s Caramelo: Translation, Defamiliarization, Ethics”
Prologue: Memories, Recuerditos de la Guerita Normita, Como me Decían en Mexico
A Reaction to Caramelo: Memories Repressed and Reborn Though I am aware that this is not a creative writing assignment, I cannot help but, at the very least, mention my personal experience as a first generation Mexican-American as it was fundamentally influential to my choice to read Sandra Cisneros’s novel as well as my overall understanding and analysis of Caramelo. Reading Caramelo has awakened within me senses, memories, experiences that have been dormant, or as Celaya, according to Gonzales, repressed for many years. As a child, raised by my mami, Tita (Cristina Ellen), and my abuelita, Cristi (Maria Cristina), Spanish was the only language spoken at home. Like Celaya, when spoken to in Spanish, I replied in English. Birthdays, we sang “Las Mañanitas,” “The Little Mornings,” instead of Happy Birthday, just as Celaya recalls in Caramelo. We celebrated “las posadas,” the twelve days of Christmas with a rosca, bread in the forma of a cake, large and redondo, round, with a plastic bebe, baby, Jesús baked within. On the day of los Reyes Magos, the three wise men, our shoes were filled with pesetas, coins. Abuelita, or grama as I called her in my Spanglish, prepared: tamales dulces, sweet, of pineapple and strawberry; chiles rellenos, filled with raisins, meat, nuts, and topped with salsa agria, sour cream, and queso, cheese; flan; paella, rice with seafood. Summers we drove forever, manejábamos lejísimos, just as Celaya, mami’s left arm quemada, burnt red, across the border and all the way through Mexico, 18 hours, with el PoPo, Mt. Popocatepetl, always on the horizon. Usually two months in Cuernavaca,
Bibliography: Web. 26 Nov. 2011. Guerin, Wilfred L., Labor, Earl., Morgan, Lee., Reesman, Jeanne C., Willingham, John R. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. Fifth Edition. Oxford University Press (2005).