A parody called homeland

What beliefs, images or ideas make us members of the same homeland? The territory, the language, the culture? The customs and symbols? Is it the land of the fathers? The nation in which we are born? Or perhaps in this globalized world we have much more in common with a Brazilian or a Finn from our same social class than with a countryman who is in a step well above or below our own? These and other questions reign in the collection of poems by Mariano González, logotomy, characterized on its title page as a “poetic essay on language and the homeland”, while declaring on its back cover that it was “written in 2011-2012, after the celebrations of the Bicentennial of Uruguay”. Far from being postulated as a panegyric or an elegy of that cultural artifact constituted by an imagined, limited and sovereign political community, as defined by B. Andersonone to the nation, logotomy He performs a parodic key disassembly operation of the device that defines us as Orientals from the 19th century, Uruguayans from the XX-XXI. And if in the beginning it was the logos, the book opens to the demolition machine of its construction through the game of the signifier-word: «etymologies/estymologies/ the logos that I estimate/ the place of the logos/ is logos there?/ logos of sea/ achievement of bar/ bar of locro/ crazy/ parrot/ donkey loin logos/ mud logos/ cargo mud/ cargo of logos/ then cargo/ the old logos are loaded from then […] the logical thing is something that goes / from there to now / save now and you will live longer ». The synapse between the words is established by phonic permutations that dislocate the meaning until it reaches the absurd and the comic; hierarchies stop operating to carnivalize the world order sustained by language. A different syntax is established, such as galaxies by Haroldo de Campos, in which the proliferation of the signifier through phonic, semantic or rhythmic analogies produces a new system of meaning. In this way, the lobotomy of the logos is carried out – trepanning that was done to dangerous lunatics and criminals in psychiatric hospitals of the brain’s frontal lobe – to show the underside of a grammar as a burlesque imitation of the composition of the imaginary that we call homeland. The arrangement of these chains of replicating words, whose connectivity does not depend on logical syntax, is ordered under the structure of the alphabet, whose illustrated letters recall that old dialogue between image and language of the capital letters in medieval illuminated manuscripts. However, the alphabet does not condition the beginning of a text either, but rather indicates another scale in the articulation of language from the minimum units that make it up. The collection of poems runs between the dissolution of the borders that delimit the categories and the logical and social staggering, uniting the cultured and the popular in the cannibalization of poetic, imaginary and historical discursivity, the advertising slogan, the commercial catalog, the dictionary entries or the chats on cell phones: «Uruguayidad al palo/ urubagayo/ urubú and gallo/ gallo de riña de pinta y de Santamaría/ Onetti/ gathers national corpses and watches over them in a novel/ patriotic Bela Lugosi/ Dracula/ dragons/ a Dracula of bombachudos/ dragons/ soldiers/ thousands/ Miles Davis/ barracks bugle/ cornucopia/ world cornucopia/ identity cornudism/ corned beef/ national corned/ canned football/ canned/ lateros/ pickpockets/ rats…». From the Q the poem mutates and we return to the logical syntax of a narrative in verse that presents the arrival of the corsican for the festivities in the Plaza Independencia: «a book grew fat/ and was butchered at the end of the year/ to celebrate the bicentennial of something/ that someone once told/ and that was written/ in the book that everyone ate/ from time to time resounds/ the occasional lost belch/ to exalt the country/ that has no budget/ for fireworks…». The Rabelaisian procession ends at the presidential palace, where the president hands over the coronation piñata, whose content ranges from “necklaces made with roast strips/ rings with one-peso coins/ the five most prestigious historians/ playing dice… to a bulleted garment/ that it is not known if it is/ by Baltasar Brum/ by Roberto de las Carreras/ or by Ibero Gutiérrez…» patriotic exchange that reaches the Y, when the piñata becomes «into a glorious general piñata/ at the height of events/ glory/ devotion/ devouring/ language and homeland/ homeland of language/ language of the homeland/ patriology/ patriology/ logos/ logopatria/ logopathos/ logopathy/ logotomy».

one. Imagined Communities. Reflections about the origin and spread of nationalismEconomic Culture Fund, Mexico City, 1993.

logotomyby Mariano González. Astromulo, Montevideo, 2022. 57 pages.

A parody called homeland – Digital gap BOOKS. Criticism