Language and Postnational Identity in Cecilia Vicuña’s i tu
Silvia Goldman presents the Chilean poet and performer Cecilia Vicuña’s poetry collection i tu (2004) as a postnational work of literature that addresses its reader in several languages, such as Spanish, English, and Quechua. Goldman argues that i tu establishes a speech “between languages,” able to pierce through territorial, cultural, and linguistic borders. The poetic voice calls this an “habla-alba” (a “dawn-speech”) that identifies the common roots of several languages and thus re-establishes the connections between them. By challenging pre-established linguistic, national, and cultural boundaries, Vicuña's poetry aims to construct a future based on the continual redefinition of a multilingual and multicultural identity.The poems ini tu, therefore, can be read as an itinerant geography within a provisional country, described by the poetic voice as a “no lugar.” Protected from exile and rootlessness, an alternative sense of belonging can be constructed. The collection i tu, as this chapter argues, builds its own utopian, alternative “global village,” where the threads that lead back to a common point of origin are made visible and where political, national, cultural, and linguistic borders are questioned.
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