Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality
Flights of the Imagination: Rereading/Rewriting Realities
2015. "Flights of the Imagination: Rereading/Rewriting Realities", Light in the Dark/Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality, Gloria Anzaldúa, AnaLouise Keating
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This chapter offers a sustained discussion of the imagination as an epistemological-political tool and the most direct statement of Anzaldúa’s metaphysical framework. Anzaldúa draws on curanderismo (curandera work), shamanism, anthropology, fiction, and her childhood experiences to theorize art’s transformational power and imagination’s role in (re)creating reality. This chapter also contains Anzaldúa’s invitation to decolonize reality, and provides the ontological foundation for Anzaldúa’s innovative theory of spiritual activism which she develops in the following chapters. As she connects spiritual activism with transformational aesthetics, Anzaldúa returns to her earlier definition of writing as “making soul” and expands it, linking it both with mainstream canonical British literature and with Mexican indigenous traditions. Other topics covered are “shamanic imaginings;” “nagualismo” as epistemology and writing practice; her theories of the “nepantla body” and “spiritual mestizaje;” the relationship between writing, reading, and social change; and her personal aspirations as a writer.