Post #30

When I first began to read Severo Sarduy’s novel Cobra and Maitreya, I was astonished by Cobra’s need to make her feet smaller. As the narrator states,

She’d set them in molds at daybreak, apply salt compresses, chastise them sith successive baths of hot and cold water. She forced them with gags; she submitted them to crude mechanics. She manufactured wire armors to put them in, shortening and twisting the threads again and again with pliers; after smearing them with gum Arabic she bound them with strips of cloth: they were mummies, children of Florentine medallions.

 As an avid watcher of the Discovery Channel, I remembered watching an episode of how the Chinese appreciated and even found foot binding a trait of perfection.

This video, I found, was great at portraying the rituals and all the concoctions Cobra felt he needed to perform just so his feet would change in size.

 *Video can be graphic. Viewer watch at own discretion.

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3 Responses to Post #30

  1. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the website is very good.

  2. Justin Tse says:

    Since I’m of Chinese ethnicity I actually know a bit about this. Women at the time had to follow a particular structure to be considered beautiful; delicate, fragile, pale, red lips to name a few and definitely petite in size. These rigid guidelines are in every ethnic background the more I think about it. In our own American society, women have to be voluptuous with a “coke-bottle” figure to be considered to have a large sense of sexual appeal. This applied to the Chinese foot-binding as well; women must adhere to a certain role in society to be a part of the norm; in which case Cobra is trying to fit in to society by shrinking his/her feet.

  3. salvarez says:

    Andrea, thanks for that definition of “ese”. I think that they’re speaking a sort of “vato” form of Spanish. The Pocho Spanish sounds like when a “white” person speaks Spanish. They don’t use Spanglish, or when they do, they pronounce the Spanish like someone who speaks English. It’s like the Mexican American who becomes a professional working in the office.

    This “ese” kind of Mexican Spanish is a sort of “gang slang”–the person who looks like the Chicanos in the video. Think of the dudes in The People of Paper as the folks in this video. Also the characters in Foster. But as for Pochos, we don’t really read much of that, except with Omaha Bigelow when he learns Spanish in the next book.

    I have you down for all ten blogs this round. Thanks for adding some media. Start thinking about some media you could start gathering which deal with themes you think you want to write about for your final project.

    10 out of 10 possible points.

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