Ilan Stavans

Ilan Stavans

"This whole issue of Latino, Hispanic or the sub-categories, Cuban-American or Mexican-American announces or establishes that we are so involved in shaping an identity. Using language as a category is a way to say who we are in front of a mirror. But in the end, words are perishable."

Groping Marlon Brando’s Face: A Long-Overdue Confession

I can't recall exactly what triggered the incident, but it started like this: I was sitting on a sofa in a dimly lit room...gazing down at the face of a sleeping Marlon Brando...unable to resist the urge to do the unthinkable. Now, let me make one thing perfectly clear—none of what happened that night was

CODA: A Poem

The fit seizes me—I drift— tearing sound of shot silk— plosions below. Gray sun changes to pale yellow wash. Milt bops. Duke downshifts. Bessie kneels from midnight to sun        in golden chains. Thin hipped, thin lipped, you come trailing your bluest India, weeping to any night switchman, tickling his crotch— Sex, you sing, is just

Je Ne Sais Quoi: A Poem

To snooze? Two gaunt men--the one I visited yesterday with bones older than mine; the other, today, my age. I wish to make a gift of my fat. I have more than I need. Yes, but the mysterious laws of this planet, do not permit it. If masters there be, in India, or in the

Seattle: Emerging Character

My initial suspicions of Seattle were only confirmed and further exacerbated by desperate news crews in December 1999 during Seattle's brief contentions with the "Evil" WTO. As the networks covered the protests, violence, and chaos in the damp Seattle streets, they attempted to put a finger on the city; to label it with a few

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