Carol E. Pearson (essay date 1998) SOURCE: Pearson, Carol E. “Hunting the Light: Resis¬ tance from within the Chicano Movement in Lucha Corpi’s Delia’s Song.” Gender, Genre and Resistance in the Works of Lucha Corpi, Angeles Mastretta, and Claribel Alegria, dissertation U of New Mexico, UMI, 1998, pp. 23-70. [In the following essay, Pearson discusses Delia’s Song, focusing on the protagonist’s cultural resistance against the marginalization of Chicanas in the Chicano movement and her political resistance as a minority in the United States. ] I’ve known loveless nights when only music fills the empty space amidst black fires, eyes of the tigers waiting for my soul to leave its boundaries, and then I’ve written verses prayers incantation to exorcise their dark power. Lucha Corpi Delia’s Song (1989), by Lucha Corpi, profiles the resis¬ tance of a Chicana student who makes her voice heard from within the Berkeley Chicano student movement in the 1960’s. The Chicano struggle, dating from the nineteenth century, but exploding most recently from the 1960’s to the present day, has challenged U.S social and political structures relevant to Hispanic communities. Although the Chicano movement profoundly transformed images of Chicanos and opened up social and political spaces for the expression of Chicano culture, the movement often neglected to address Chicana feminist ideology in its early stages in the sixties and seventies. Thus, Chicanas have had a multiple struggle, which includes the fight to support the movement, as well as to establish their right to participate and to be heard within the struggle itself. The resistance in Delia’s Song is an example of resistance- from-within because it is the voice of a woman from within a very male-dominated movement. Corpi’s book, Delia’s Song, is unique in that it represents resistance from within a patriarchal resistance movement.1 In her writing, Corpi appropriates what has been typically a male role and breaks through the traditional silencing of women. Women’s entrance into the public discourse through writ¬ ing about student movements was a crucial step historical¬ ly and provoked considerable controversy and outrage at times among male activists. This was true in general of the 60's student movements, both internationally and within the U.S., as well as of the Chicano movement. Women’s Voice within the Chicano Movement Within the Chicano movement, the appropriation of speech and writing by women was very controversial. As Tey Diana Rebolledo describes, at the beginning of the Chicano student movement in the 60’s, writers (mostly male) wrote to represent and define the Chicano subject and the Chica¬ no experience. This social, political and cultural identity: emphasized Chicanos’ rural and working-class roots; the seizing of the Indian and Mexicano heritage that differen¬ tiated them from Anglos; the imposition of linguistic re¬ servoirs in terms of English, Spanish, and bilingualism; and a sense of exploitation, marginalization, and of being ‘Other’ because of this heritage. (Women Singing in the Snow 95)2 Within the movement, solidarity was seen as critical for group survival. However, in the process of constructing this Chicano sub¬ ject, the Chicana was excluded, according to Angie Chab¬ ram Denersesian, in her article “I Throw Punches for My Race, but I Don't Want to Be a Man: Writing Us— Chica-nos (girl, Us)/Chicanas—into the Movement Script” (1992). Chabram traces this process in detail. In the move¬ ment, ChicanA identity is erased by writing with the masculine endings o/os; the Chicana is subsumed into a universal subject which is represented by the Chicano male. To take one example from early in the Movement, Chabram characterizes the implications of the Chicano Manifesto, written by Armando Rendon in 1972: he grounds his symbolic treatment of machismo in a spe¬ cific male body: his, equating macho with Chicano, a term generalized to embrace the nationalist objective: nation¬ hood. Rendon elaborates: “macho in other words can no longer merely relate to manhood but to nationhood as well.” (Chabram 83) Because Rendon genders the Chicano subject in this way, the Chicana becomes the Other, and is silenced. She is removed from the possibility of full participation in the struggle. Rendon’s Manifesto questions racism, economic exploitation and political domination but neglects the dis¬ cussion of gender differences. It also represents “machis¬ mo” as an important ideological principle not only for the Chicano struggle but also as the pattern for Chicano fami¬ lies. Thus, a patriarchal ideology underlies this crucial contribution to movement origins. It was the exclusion of gender differences and the Chicana identity that also made the nationalist anthem “Yo soy Joaquin” problematic from a feminist standpoint. This af¬ firmation of ethnicity was also a betrayal, because the “us” was a “he” not a s/he. It was necessary to add the space for the Chicana presence, a necessity reflected by those Chi- canas who said “I don't want to be a man” (Chabram 84). As Chicanas began to voice their lack of representation and inclusion in the Chicano movement, they were seen as “Malinches,” or traitors, as vendidas, or sellouts. Chabram says that in the Chicano Manifesto, for example, Chicanas’ gender was not simply excluded, it was also constructed negatively as malinchismo (Chabram 83), signifying betray¬ al, as it refers to Malintzln, the indigenous interpreter/ concubine of Cortez. Because she is perceived as aiding Cortez in the conquest of Mexico, Malintzln is seen as a traitor in male nationalist discourse. Many Chicanas resisted this erasure and the linkage of their gender with betrayal. One way to resist was to question the exclusion. Another was to constmct Chicana subject(s) who would be distinct from the universal male Chicano identity yet still able to participate fully in the cause. Corpi is one of several Chicana authors who deal with this issue; others include Margarita Cota-Cardenas, Loma Dee Cervantes. Viola Correa and La Chrisx. Two poems that effectively illustrate Chicana resistance by questioning include “Teoricanto III” (1989) by Margarita Cota- Cardenas: but his woman in every language has only begun to ask -y yo querido viejo and ME? (Marchitas de mayo 42) Lorna Dee Cervantes also questions the exclusion of women from full participation in her poem “Para un revo- lucionario” (1980): Pero your voice is lost to me carnal, in the wail of tus hijos, in the clatter of dishes, and the pucker of beans upon the stove. Your conversation comes to me de la sala where you sit spreading your dreams to your brothers. (Cervantes 381-82) It is important to note that although these women question patriarchal cultural practices, they also emphasize the close¬ ness of the relationship between the couple with words such as “carnal” and “querido viejo” (Rebolledo, Women 96). The resistance in “La Nueva Chicana” by Viola Correa goes beyond simple questioning of gender exclusion to the introduction of a new Chicana subject. In response to the Manifesto ChicanO subject, she takes us to the New Chicana who is constmcted by a multiplicity of female subjects linked by the work and protest they have in com¬ mon; these women act out their resistance in different roles which demonstrate their connection both to family and to their political commitment. This new Chicana is at last affirmed by her peers and inscribes herself in the discourse of the movement with her own name. Chabram points out that she is both Chican-A and woman and subverts both malinchismo and the myth of her assimilation (Chabram 86). Margarita Cota-Cardenas also questions the equation of Chicana resistance and betrayal of La Raza, and the dis¬ tancing of the female from “La Causa.” She believes that by speaking her female names: “Chicana, Sister, Woman, and imagining a universe which constructs her experiences and rallies on her behalf, the Chicana will be a ‘homage to her race,’ ” (Chabram 87) and that the cause can only ben¬ efit by the inclusion of Chicana voices. Another poem that questions the nationalistic universal ChicanO subject, as well as constructs possibilities for Chicana subjects, is “La Loca de la Raza Cosmica” by La Chrisx (1978). The author plays with and subverts a variety of male texts (Jose Vasconcelos’ La raza cosmica; the story of Christ; Corky Gonzales’ “Yo soy Joaquin”). In rewriting gender into these texts, women are portrayed in the poem as subjects and agents in their own story of resistance, important as individuals, but also in the way they represent the collectivity of their people. In the con¬ struction of this alternative identity, there is both a ques¬ tioning of, and an emphasis on, difference. There are different techniques and strategies employed in the two works “I Am Joaquin” and “La Loca de la Raza Cosmica”: Whereas “I am Joaquin” [...] linked the common Chicano hero to legendary Mexican and Chicano male figures, this Chicana-centered text roots itself in the present and the contrary experiences of a variety of Chicana prototypes. (Chabram 89) Instead of passive idealized women, “La Loca” depicts Chicanas in everyday life in a wide variety of activities. At the end, La Chrisx adds a disclaimer, to make sure that she leaves this representation open-ended: Con mucho carino dedico esto a las Locas de la Raza Cosmica, Y si no te puedes ver aquf hermana, solo te puedo decir “Dispensa.” (La Chrisx 6) In her disclaimer, La Chrisx demonstrates aspects that hold true for many Chicana writings: they resist by being open- ended; they invite feedback from a variety of readers; and they construct multiple possibilities for Chicano/a subjects (Chabram 90). In order to multiply these possibilities, Chicana feminism had to define itself as different from Anglo feminism as well as from the essentialist, nationalist ChicanO represen¬ tation. Instead of the single unified ChicanA prototype through which others (anglo feminists, Chicanos, etc.) have tried to represent Chicana identity, Chicana writers were trying “to articulate the complexities of their struggle for representation ... This crisis arose from the recogni¬ tion, and rejection, of the multiply stifling layers that had erased the voices of the Chicanas for so long ... and from the shifting and sliding they had to do in order to survive colonialism and repression” (Rebolledo, Women 101-02).3 Rebolledo discusses the issues involved in constructing the Chicana subject. In contrast to “Anglo feminists [who] had already seized the speaking subject and created a solidified and unified identity ... and had already become a subject of consciousness, of power and of domination” (Women 97), the first Chicanas, when they attempted to seize the subject and define their identities, found it difficult to de¬ fine and reconcile their identities as women as well as members of their community.4 The concept of identity connotes the individual, yet much of the Chicanas’ focus was on relationships and the communal. Rebolledo be¬ lieves that these are not antithetical aspects but that they complicate the task of defining identity. Amy Kaminsky addresses the tension between individual subjectivity and focus on the collective in Latin American women’s writing. She highlights the importance of the testimonial tradition in Latin America, in particular the idea of “presence.” As we will see in the work of Claribel Alegrfa, those who have been tortured, disappeared, or murdered by the dictatorships in Latin America are hon¬ ored when their names are called out and the collective voice responds “presente.” In this powerful defiance of the oppressors’ power to annihilate, erase and silence, the names and the individual identity of the victims is crucial. But they are also important in their representation of, and relation to, the collective. In addition, it is the power of the collective voice to make visible “the invisible, the contin¬ ued life of those who have been murdered, the appearance of the disappeared, the testimony that makes whole the body of the tortured ... it is presence in the face of erasure and silencing” (Kaminsky 25). As Rebolledo observes, this idea is important in Chicana criticism because Chicana writers also function within cul¬ tures that silenced and erased them (although not to the extreme of the political repressions of Latin America); this notion of testifying and remembering in order to achieve “presence” is seen throughout their writing (Women 119). Rebolledo adds that in Margarita Cota-Cardenas’ Puppet (1985) and in Lucha Corpi's Delia’s Song, the writers are “historians of their times as well as testigas (witnesses) to the social and political happenings around them” (120). These writers resist by constructing their Chicana identi¬ ties throughout the novels. In line with Kaminsky’s formu¬ lation, in these texts the construction of identities and the voices of the individual Chicanas in the face of erasure and oppression is crucial. But they are also important in their representation of, and relation to, the collective struggle in Berkeley and in Southern California. As we will see in Delia’s Song, the focus of the present chapter, the protago¬ nist is a witness to the struggle of her people as she keeps a chronicle of the movement, but she also contructs her indi¬ vidual identity as a Chicana through her personal journal. For Chicanas, then, there are multiple contestations, multi¬ ple discourses to resist. Writing ChicanA into movement discourse is one of these multiple contestations. But along¬ side this is always the challenge of the Chicanos/as to the hegemony—the project of opening spaces in the dominant discourse. Another contestation is the challenge to the na¬ tionalist tendency to remove “sex from politics and vice versa” (Chabram 93). Thus, contemporary Chicana writers have “opened up the gate to human sexuality, giving Chi¬ cana subjects back their desire (both heterosexual and gay), and they have interrogated the sexual privilege of Chicano males ...” (Chabram 93). Finally, there is the challenge to mainstream feminist discourse “for its shadowing of race and class under an ideal universal (white) woman and the upper-class ... milieus of her texts” (Chabram 92). Aspects of each of these contestations are seen in Delia’s Song, including the writing of Chicana voices into the Berkeley movement. Delia’s Song does not so much question exclu¬ sion by the machismo of the early movement; rather it resists by constructing Chicana subjects, and presenting their contributions to the stmggle of their people. The novel profiles the experiences of a young Chicana, including her participation in the birth of the Chicano student movement as a freshman in Berkeley in 1968. Here, she meets Mattie, an Anglo professor who becomes her friend and mentor; Samuel, one of the leaders of the emerging Chicano student movement; and Jeff, another Chicano activist who later becomes Delia’s lover. In addi¬ tion, it traces her personal story over the next ten years, as she completes a doctorate at the university, and struggles to deal with her personal past as well as with that of the movement. Delia’s voice, her “song,” is expressed through a variety of written genres: the archives of the early move¬ ment; her personal journal; and the poetry and narrative she writes as a way to survive. Through her writing, she confronts her past, both personal (including her relation¬ ships with men, family, and friends), and collective (that of the movement), and constructs herself within, and in con¬ nection to, these histories. Lucha Corpi The contexts of both the author and the protagonist reveal aspects of Chicanas’ experience and expression discussed above. Lucha Corpi grew up in Mexico and her experience resonates with issues such as silencing and finding space in which to express herself. Writing has been one avenue of expression for her, one way to resist the silencing; this is evident in a reference which deals with her childhood in Mexico. She started playing the piano at the age of eight; when she was sixteen, her teacher arranged a scholarship at a conservatory in Mexico City, but her father refused to allow her to attend. So she quit the piano at that point, and began to write slowly and inconsistently. In an interview with Perez-Erdelyi, she says: “La urgencia de escribir es- tuvo allf todo el tiempo y lo que pasa es que se expreso de otra manera. Se expresaba por medio de la musica” (Perez-Erdely 76). When she gave up her music, she felt “una dislocation espiritual”; she felt she was living in a false world, “falso en el sentido que ... no tenia libertad de expresion” (Perez-Erdely 77). Traveling to Berkeley at the age of 19 with her new hus¬ band allowed Corpi to experience life outside the con¬ straints of the patriarchal family structure (Brinson Curiel 92). As Corpi describes: Ninguno de los dos querfamos casarnos pero se venfa el y querfa traerme. Entonces venfa precisamente a estudiar a Berkeley, la universidad. Entonces decidf venirme con el y nos casamos alia y a la semana nos vinimos. (Perez-Erdely 77) The couple soon divorces: Yo creo que en parte, tambien, nuestros problemas ... fue el hecho que ni el ni yo sabfamos ... de lo que estaba pasandome a mf, que era no poder tener una expresion ... Cuando vino la ruptura en el matrimonio nuestro, llego la poesfa. (Perez-Erdely 77-78) Thus, we see how painful the silencing was for her and how important writing has been to her survival. She re¬ ceived a B.A. from Berkeley and an M.A. from San Fran¬ cisco State. She has taught in Oakland schools, and has written much poetry and narrative. Her themes in Delia’s Song, as well as in much of her poetry and other narratives, reflect several aspects often seen in Chicana cultural resistance and expression. She often highlights the everyday. As we will see later, she frankly depicts love and eroticism, which challenges the nationalist tendency to separate sex and politics. She ties herself to her people by addressing Chicano (and Chicana) issues. In addition, there is the appearance of the figure of the mujer fuerte y valiente as we see in this description by Corpi of her protagonists: “Todos mis personajes siempre tienden a ser mujeres fuertes. En eso creo que tienen algo de mi. Fuera de eso no tienen nada. Mis personajes tienen su propio destino y su propia fuerza” (Perez-Erdelyi 79). Delia’s World Delia, the protagonist in Delia’s Song, grows in strength and courage throughout the novel. At the beginning of the novel she is a scholarship student at Berkeley who, in spite of the turbulence of the ’68 movement and the departure of most of her companions in the struggle, stays on to com¬ plete her doctorate. In contrast to the author, who grew up in Mexico, Delia’s family has lived in Los Angeles; she has lost her two brothers—one to drugs and one to the Viet Nam War. This loss haunts her throughout the book. The narrator discusses the lack of choices available to Delia’s family and says: She was at Berkeley because an Anglo nun had managed to open some doors for her. Her brother. Sebastian, had not been so lucky and had died of a drug overdose in a damp, putrid-smelling shooting gallery. Her second broth¬ er, Ricardo, had gone into the Army because he was afraid he would suffer the same fate as Sebastian. ‘What a choice,' she had told Ricardo when they kissed for the last time. ‘You either die like Sebastian or you die on a battlefield.’ Ricardo smiled and tried to be hopeful. ‘There won’t be a war, hermanita and I might just come back with a career." A year later, he was lying dead in a swamp in Southeast Asia. (Delia’s Song 17-18) In part because of these losses, Delia is somewhat estranged from her mother. She tells of joyless holidays, when they would come home after midnight mass and she would sit at the table, in between two empty chairs, facing three glasses of sparkling cider and listening to her mother sobbing in the next room for her two sons (Delia’s Song 33). In the absence of her mother’s love, she relies on strong ties to her Aunt Marta in Monterey. Delia keeps her feel¬ ings a secret, but she has always thought of her bedroom in her aunt’s house as her true home {Delia’s Song 88). Later the narrator states in more depth what her aunt’s home has meant to Delia: “For seven summers Delia had lived in a bountiful place where music, legend and family history were consumed every day like food to keep alive and healthy” {Delia’s Song 93). Delia is from lower middle-class roots. Both her father and her aunt have been farmworkers and her mother has worked at a sewing factory. She avows that she and her family have had few choices, and her description of a memory from childhood is even more revealing: She still remembered that afternoon her father had come home early. He had been unjustly fired from the factory, and when he had complained to his boss about it, the man had threatened to give him bad references and had thrown his severance check on the floor. You shouldn’t have said anything Te lo dije Jose Guadalupe Maybe they would have let you go on working. (Delia’s Song 17) Silencing here is experienced not only by the women of la raza; it is also seen as a method of survival in the midst of economic exploitation and disempowerment. The members of this family variously self-identify as Mex¬ ican American and as Chicano. Delia herself, at the begin¬ ning of the novel, uses the former term. For example, Delia thinks of telling her professor Mattie, “For the Mexican- American there are no choices” {Delia’s Song 18). In the following scene, she confronts and ponders the term Chi¬ cano. She has asked Samuel Corona, a graduate student and activist, for information on the history or sociology of Mexican-Americans in the U.S. He brings her a two-page bibliography of books and journals about Chicanos: Delia had heard the term Chicano before, but wasn't sure about its meaning. Chicanos Chicanery No Mexican Me- chicas The Aztecs That’s what Sister Marguerite said they called themselves That must be it Me-chicanos Maybe Not an elegant word What’s this about Chicanos I’m not a Chicano We 're Mexican American Ricardo was so upset Mr. Martinez was just teasing him Mexican American That’s worse Chicanos Yes Chicano Brown Dark sun (19) Here we see Delia’s inner dialogue with herself highlight¬ ed in the text by the use of italics, and we see her process of confronting and constructing her cultural identity. It’s a process that culminates a few pages later in a more militant stance: “/ read and read Suddenly it all made sense I had felt it before Then I knew I was a Chicana We were no longer Mexicans or Mexican American Chicanos A thorn in the system A threat” (26). Already at this stage in the movement Delia finds it easy to name herself in the femi¬ nine gender (Chicana) within the generic masculine (Chi¬ canos). She is establishing her place within the movement and her right to participate as a Chicana. Political Resistance Keeping this context in mind, the types of participation and of political resistance by women in the Berkeley Chi¬ cano student movement are evident in this novel from the outset, with Delia’s involvement with the newly-formed Mexican-American Student Confederation (an organiza¬ tion which later becomes the first MEChA—Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan). The information she re¬ ceives from Samuel Corona and his friend Jeff Morones, their use of the term Chicano, and later, her involvement with the group, all begin her process of concientizacion. For Delia, it is not only men who encourage and befriend her. Sara, her room-mate, is her companera in the early days of the movement. Also, it is an Anglo professor, Mattie Johnson, who first encourages Delia to investigate Mexican-American issues and who sends her to Samuel for information. Mattie in the end becomes a life-long friend and mentor. From the beginning, the novel depicts Delia working in solidarity with both men and women in the movement. The novel resists the exclusion of women from the history of the movement by presenting a variety of ways in which women participated. With regard to direct activism in the movement, before the demonstrations, Delia is involved at first in a supportive role with the preparation of banners and publications. For example, after the Afro-American Student Union, the Mexican-American Student Confeder¬ ation, and the Asian-American Political Alliance form the Third World Liberation Front and vote to go on strike, she joins her friends Sara and Mattie “and other students who were addressing information packets to professors and teaching assistants ... asking them to show support for the strike by taking their classes off campus or giving striking students incompletes instead of failing grades” (37). During the demonstrations, she is up in the front lines: The policemen began to run toward them, indiscriminate¬ ly beating and macing anyone in their path ... She saw Samuel on the floor, a big patrolman kneeling on his back and clubbing him, then saw Mattie hitting the officer with her umbrella and briefcase. The policeman raised his arm and pushed her away with such force that Mattie fell backward and hit her head on the ground. (43) Although Delia deplores the violence, it only makes her more solid in her commitment: “I’M HERE TO STAY!” she shouts to South Hall, after another demonstration in which she is tear-gassed and hit with a canister (5). She puts her body on the line, as much at risk as any of the males in these demonstrations. There are however a few incidents in which mention is made of Delia being protected. In a stream of conscious¬ ness flashback, we learn that: I wanted to go to jail with Samuel and the others and I didn't Samuel insisted I didn't I had to be protected Spared Why Because I was weak A woman Was it that But the other women went to jail And I went home I couldn’t sleep that night I cried You’re special Delia he said the day he left Berkeley What’s so special about someone who never has the guts to do what she wants. (102) We see the big brother role that Samuel takes with regard to Delia; and at this point in her development, she allows him to take this role. It is revealing that immediately pre¬ ceding this quote, she states that she never says what she thinks and that she never does what she wants. She remains silenced and obedient at this point. Writing as an Act of Resistance Out of all the different ways in which Delia participates in the movement, it is writing that seems to be her most im¬ portant contribution. Delia’s Song resists the exclusion of Chicanas by outlining Delia’s activism, but also by placing the narration of this event in Chicano history in the hands of a woman. Moreover, Delia is not only the narrator of much of the novel, she is also portrayed as being the official chronicler of the movement. It is through writing that Delia finds a public voice in her role as historian/archivist of the movement. It is a male student, Samuel, who asks her to record the events as they occur; as she writes down the records of the birth of this movement, she begins to see writing as a way to find her voice, so that at this same time she also starts a personal journal. Just as writing is Delia’s most important contribution to the movement, it also be¬ comes her most important method of survival and growth as an individual. Thus, we have an interesting juxtaposition/ fusion of the individual subject/identity developing along with that of the collective. Since writing in English becomes Delia’s most important method of survival, an analysis of the ways she finds to express her voice is important. How does she establish her authority, seize the language, appropriate this enemy lan¬ guage, this male/Anglo medium to inscribe herself in the discourse? To begin with, how does she gain author-ity and the space to have a public voice? Within the plot of the book, this authority is passed on to her by Samuel: “a few days later, Samuel handed Delia a stack of papers. ‘Read these. They may help you understand better what MASC is doing. ...’ He also gave her a chronology of events he had begun” (25). A few days later, we learn that “Delia ... had taken over the task of writing the chronology that Samuel had started” (28). We leam how she feels about this type of writing: Writing the chronology was different [than the personal journal]. She was an observer, noting down facts, dates, names and events, ‘Documenting,’ as Samuel had told her and Jeff. ‘One day someone will come looking for all that information. Historians, maybe a writer.’ But who would look for us Ants Vermin Invisible Remember (28) In this way, Delia claims authority in a very matter-of-fact manner. Delia’s act of recording and archiving the move¬ ment’s events for history is a strong inscription of the Chicana voice into the public discourse. A second point revealed here is Delia's reaction to this role of archivist/historian. She states in the above quotation that she is in the observer mode as an archivist. Later she ex¬ presses her frustration with this purely objective stance, and her need to express a more personal perspective of the events. After a day in which the police charge their picket line, indiscriminately beating and macing students, and Samuel is severely beaten, she records the incident in a mixture of the public journal and the private stream-of- consciousness narration: February 19th: The inevitable confrontation. Police attack in full force and gear. Mace is used for the first time on campus. Las cucarachas Exterminate them Kill them Beat them to death Death Death First time We have no rights They won’t even take us in Police charge into the Student Union several times, beating people and using mace. Stu¬ dents choose to defend themselves. She put down the paper and pen, and stared at the words she had just written. This says nothing Blood Tears Pain How Tell This says nothing She felt a lump in her throat but tears didn’t come. I won't cry / won't I won't Never again Never “Never. If I’m beaten I will get up again, and again, and again. I will. I will.” (44) As the movement bogs down in its “after-the revolution” phase, and many of her friends give up and leave, Delia keeps writing. Her professor and friend Mattie believes Delia needs to let go of the movement dream, but she does not realize how important the movement and Delia’s contributions are to Delia. Delia keeps writing the chro¬ nology of events she considers important because she wants to have them to send to Samuel when she hears from him again. She keeps going back to the Ethnic Stud¬ ies Department, serving on committees and task forces, none of which have any power. In the end, Delia has a dream in which she repeats that the dream is dead; Mattie believes this acceptance is good because Delia can now go on with her life. But for Delia, the end of that dream was “a loss greater than any other in her life” (61). Later, Delia returns to writing to work through both her personal grief and her grief for the movement. Through her writing, she comes to terms with the sorrow, and reaches for new voices both as a woman and as an activist. The writing in Delia’s Song resists the exclusion practiced by the literature of the hegemony, as well as that exercised by the early nationalistic universal Chicano constmct. There is a fragmentation and a multiplicity of literary gen¬ res, of narrative voices, of space and time, and of the sub¬ ject. By placing the reliability of the narrators in doubt, by fragmenting time so that the narration is not linear and chronological, by narrating through polyvocality, the au¬ thor questions the traditional power and authority of the (male) writer and privileges instead the connection to the collective voice. This opens up spaces for telling history through an oral and communal sharing of the experience. In some sections of the novel we hear a chorus of voices in which multiple narrators are represented using a variety of literary techniques. In addition, time is seen less as linear and more as a spiral in that the same scenes are told in a variety of ways and from a variety of perspectives. The past is made present through retelling and remembering. By using dialogues within the flashbacks, those remem¬ bered and given life through memory are often given their own voice. In this way, Delia is not speaking for them; they are allowed to speak for themselves, even when their per¬ spective is at odds with that of the protagonist. Delia's search for an individual identity as a woman and a Chicana is placed within, and connected to, the desire to bear testi¬ mony to the struggle of her people. In addition, the fragmentation of genres, including poetry, newspapers and journals, which is reinforced by the frag¬ mentation of the narrative voice(s) and of the subject her¬ self, reflects the varying layers of repression confronting Chicana writers. Because Chicana writers have been faced with ‘‘displacement of their subjectivity across ‘a multi¬ plicity of discourses,’ ” they have had “a ‘multiplicity of positions from which ... to grasp or understand them¬ selves and their relations with the real or historical context around them’” (Rebolledo, Women 102). There are many instances of the multiple genres. We see an example of the inclusion of poetry in the following lyric expression of pain and loss within the novel Delia ’s Song: Can’t you see the liquid footprints, the scars still crimson at the edges on the thin and purple fabric that has become the fabric of my heart? (151) Corpi writes very lyrically, sometimes using images (such as fog or a rosebush) to suggest, rather than narrative to explain. Another powerful image that is repeated through¬ out is the representation of silence with knives: I’ve been hurt and I've brandished silence This double sharp-edged blade that wounds two hearts at once. (83) Silence and pain recur as images; writing is one method by which Delia manages to confront and break through the silence, even though writing in itself brings pain, as we will see later in this chapter. The novel also incoiporates newspapers, for example when Delia clips articles to put in Sara’s collection of historical trivia. The articles themselves are imbedded within yet another narrative technique—the stream of consciousness comments: “Negroes making progress in TV” Negroes This is Berke¬ ley California mind you The Black Beauty Boom in Fash¬ ion ... Sara will enjoy this one Perfect This one too Pope Paul VI “This generation” Meaning us of course ... “Ex¬ treme student movements.” (Corpi 34) An example of the chronicle genre is from Delia’s entry about the strike vote: January 22,1969: TWLF students vote in favor of a strike, and informational picket lines are set up. Demands: that a Third World College with four departments be established and controlled by Third World people; that Third World people be appointed to positions of power, including fac¬ ulty in every department and proportionate employment at all levels, from regents, chancellors and administrative levels to clerical and custodial personnel, throughout the university system. (Corpi 37) She weaves all this together with narrative and more traditional dialogue, in addition to the inner stream-of- consciousness we have already seen. The narration also employs a variety of additional tech¬ niques, including an omniscient narrator who lets the read¬ er in on thoughts of other characters alongside that of Delia; dialogue between characters; and Delia’s inner, stream-of-consciousness dialogue. Some of the most unique sections are those of the inner stream-of-consciousness in which other voices are includ¬ ed besides that of Delia. For example, in a section where she says that she stopped writing in her personal journal after Jeff (with whom she was in love) left Berkeley, we also hear the voices of Julio, the Vietnam vet, speaking to Delia (“Suena callous But maybe your brother [Ricardo who was killed in Vietnam] was one of the lucky ones You know To have died right away Look at Giiero That vato is in bad shape Vivo pern muerto”); Delia about Jeff (“He thought there was something between Julio and me Such a silly quarrel Guess I'll never be able to tell him”); Jeff to Julio (“Hey compadre Want to buy my Harley Davidson”); Mattie to Delia (“One minute you feel too much Next min¬ ute you think too much'’); poetry (“The solitary rose in November. ... Collective memory of spring”)', and Delia in despair to herself (“Cold sweat I can't breathe Breathe hard Again Again I will not die I won’t I won't Not here Not now No No”) (52-53). Another example of the mix of voices is found in a de¬ scription of the meetings to screen candidates for Chicano faculty positions; she describes how they turn into “canni¬ balistic rituals where the applicant [is] asked to prove his Chicanismo” (Corpi 54). She represents the complexities of the work necessary to enact the ideals of the revolution by letting the various factions express their own view¬ points. She represents these meetings as follows: But man he’s Luis Valdez You can't be more Chicano than that Yeah but he still has to prove that he’s really interested in doing good for us He just wants to come in and teach his class and leave again What’s wrong with that We need our people to be committed to our cause on campus And he is but his work with the teatro is also important I’m tired of this bullshit We have so much to do on all fronts We’re not separate from the farmworkers or the teatro We’re all part of the same movement (59) We see fragmentation not only of the genre framework and in the multiplicity of voices and punctuation, but also in the non-unified subject herself. The novel opens with a scene in which Delia experiences a breakdown; in addi¬ tion, the inner voice, sometimes self-critical, is represented in italics, and as if she were in dialogue with herself. These inner dialogues also fragment, conflate, and juxtapose dif¬ ferent times and spaces. One example of this is the break¬ down scene which includes the multiple voices and crosses time from 1969 to 1978 and geographically covers Berke¬ ley, Viet Nam, and Monterey.5 This fragmentation of the subject will be seen in the further discussion of Delia’s construction of her personal identity. Another theme emphasized in Corpi’s writing, typical of the resistance seen in the writing of many Chicanas, is the importance of the everyday, of simple actions. In one of her dialogues with herself, Delia mixes her thoughts and concerns with the recipe for the tamales she is making: The icy lyrics of the moon shine on the tiny pools in the yard Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside October will be here Blend masa and cream thoroughly Add butter or margarine and beat well Summer will be over Mattie gone ten months Her last letter Postmark Miami Add salt and egg yolks one at a time I wish she was back Symmetry of petals It’ll give me time to finish the novel The words don’t come Hmmm Fold in the egg whites Without warn¬ ing They’re there on the page Onion wants and here comes chile to upset it all. ... (95) Another example which ties together “lo cotidiano” with cultural traditions is the episode in which she and her Aunt Marta prepare an ofrenda for el Dfa de los Muertos. We learn that Marta’s comadre has asked for help in creating an altar for the church for this Day of the Dead. So Delia learns about this tradition from her aunt: They made the traditional candy skulls and the bread for the dead while Jack [Marta’s husband] made the shelves. ... They made thepapelpicado cutouts and Delia glued them on long sticks to be installed at the ends of each shelf. There were also tiny pictures of Kennedy and Pope John next to a medal of the Sacred Heart; two embroideries Marta had made years ago showing the heads of Tiburcio Vasquez and Joaquin Murrieta hung on each side of the picture of the Virgen de Guadalupe. Marta was a great admirer of both folk heroes, and their feats and exploits were part of her storytelling repertoire. (94) In this description, the detail and the work of the everyday is tied together with much of Delia’s heritage—the culture, the tradition and the (his)stories of both her family and her people. In this episode we see a fusion of the individual and the collective as well as an example of testimony, as it was described in the introductory chapter. Each of these individuals is important, and Marta has told Delia the story of each of them, whether they are part of the family or part of the larger community. But here we also see them as gathered together and woven into a representation of the community. And each story and each picture is a testimony to their importance, and a challenge to erasure and silenc¬ ing. Coipi reflects this fusion of individual/collective when she writes about Delia: “She was someone special there [in her room at Aunt Marta’s], but was also part of a larger family and of a community whose history in California was forever present. Like the cypresses with their twisted roots searching for nourishment, she and her family stood on the rocky shore” (94). Here, in a manner similar to Correa’s poem “La Nueva Chicana” mentioned previously, there is the connection established between the Chicana and her family and peo¬ ple. There is an emphasis on the close relationships between Delia and influential family or friends—her aunt, her mentor at Berkeley, her ancestors, her men. For example, when Delia’s Aunt Marta tells her the stories of their family, she adds: “‘Sad and happy memories, but I wanted never to forget any of them. And here they all are: our family, always with me, and now with you, Delia. As I have told you their story, so you must tell it to your chil¬ dren and their children’” (86). We see here the responsi¬ bility to remember and to witness that Kaminsky mentions (Rebolledo, Women 117). But Coipi and Delia do not only witness the stories of those closest to them. This responsi¬ bility extends to the larger family/collective. For example, there is also a tribute to the work of the secretaries during the strike. Delia says: Everyone at risk Everyone risking It was that kind of time Not only students Professors Romano and Asturias Wives Secretaries The unsung heroines Chicana, Black and white secretaries on campus, some of them married to striking students, passed information about covert activi¬ ties, at the risk of losing their jobs. Copies of memos outlining strike strategies and proposed repressive actions would come into the students" hands even before they reached the administration. (40) In many of the inner stream of consciousness sections, Delia pulls together her people in love and anguish. She grieves for the deaths within her family as well as the tragedies of her “family” in the movement: “In the waiting dark I loose Like marbles spinning from a child The crazed and hooded creatures of the heart" Where’s the moon The crazed and hooded creatures of my heart Why have they come out of hiding Where’s the moon Ricardo Sebastian JeffSamuelSara Mattie and I Only survivors God Total recall. ... Nine dry years They won't take us in They have mace Tear gas Clubs This is it This is it Death to the ants Samuel’s down. (31) Thus, Corpi finds ways to enter the discourse that allow for the development of the individual subject at the same time as establishing its relationship with the collective. Voice of the Individual Examples of Delia’s individual growth through writing abound. In her search to construct her own identity as a woman and as a Chicana, Delia resists and confronts many layers of repression. When she first begins keeping her personal journal (along with recording the chronology of the movement), she finds that writing about it relieves her anguish and sense of loneliness (28). Most of her compa¬ nions during the movement have left at this point, and she feels that the dream has died, yet she can't leave Berkeley because of her parents’ expectations. She begins to have nightmares. At Mattie’s suggestion, she begins her journal again, recording these nightmares in hopes of finding their cause. Because of her parents’ wishes, she finishes her degree, but then she is lost as to what to do next. On the way to a Day of the Dead party at Mattie’s, she experiences a crisis and passes out. In a semi-conscious state, she holds an inner dialogue with herself, in which some of her sup¬ pressed feelings emerge: the emptiness she feels after get¬ ting her PhD.; she cries out, asking what happened to her dreams and who is to blame. When she tells herself that nothing has changed, that she is no more able to control her life than when she first arrived in Berkeley, she hears the inner voice, self-critical, telling her she has died (66). She fears she is going mad at this point, much like her Uncle Simon who is portrayed as believing that he had fireflies in his mouth when he died. Mattie, however, tells her she needs to stop carrying all the loads—her brothers' deaths, her parents’ expectations, the movement—and get on with her life. Again, Mattie tells her she should write—that she has the imagination and sensitivity of a writer, and that she should write her own story as well as that of her compa- fieros (79). Although Delia responds by telling Mattie that Chicanos can’t shed the load of their ghosts, that they are like ants who cany the dead on their shoulders (76), she does begin to write, more than just her journal. She moves to Mon¬ terey with her aunt, and continues to feel an urgency to write about the past. Delia describes the mixed pain and relief associated with the act of writing, as well as one key element in her anguish—the code of silence. This silence is a part of her family, her culture; she says that if they don’t say anything and just take it, maybe nothing bad will happen and they will be able to survive (78). It is a tech¬ nique for survival in the face of the dominant culture’s oppression. It also might reflect the silencing of women in the image of the traditional Mexicana, quiet and self- sacrificing. Delia faces silencing in her worst nightmare, described in the following journal entry: I'm twelve, perhaps thirteen, sitting on a tall stool like the ones in bars. I’m wearing the light blue dress my mother made for me when 1 was ten. I’m writing something be¬ cause I can see paper and pencil at my feet... I feel tired and begin to walk through a long corridor... I know my room is at the end of it. I open the door,... I turn to face him. I can’t explain it but I know who he is and why he’s there ... I think he suffers too. ... We don't speak. He raises his left hand ... I open my mouth wide and stick my tongue out as far as it’ll go. He holds it tightly by the tip, raises the blade, and swiftly slices my tongue. ... I drop my head. 1 watch my blood pouring out black as ink. It turns red when it hits the floor. (116) She is puzzled for a long time by this nightmare, but in the end, she realizes she is punishing herself with silence for having thrown a dictionary at an abusive lover, Fernando. As Mattie says, this is a very symbolic act—she has used the Word as a weapon to free herself from abuse (64). Her words might be prophetic, as Delia goes on to use her writing to break through the silencing and to set free her own voice. Once free of her guilt about hurting Fer¬ nando, writing becomes not therapeutic, but “as natural a need as eating or breathing” (130). She accepts the dark side of herself and can now write “Silence, my oldest enemy, my dearest friend. I surrendered my tongue to you once, freely, and I learned your secret. I learned to write” (150). One key element in Delia’s resistance and personal growth seems to be a challenge to the control others have had over her, in order to gain control of her own identity and actions and voice. Initially we see many examples of the guilt she feels and of her silencing and obedience to others’ defini¬ tion of her identity. In an early encounter with Mattie, we learn: “she had always managed to avoid discussing any issue that would require a strong position on her part” (17). Delia is conscious of her silence and of her need to break through and say what she thinks. Slowly, with the help of her writing, she begins to take control of her own identity and life and to find her own voice. One key incident is the defiance of Fernando. After she hits him, she feels the familiar guilt. But she also feels a “satisfaction at striking back that made her lightheaded, as if she had gulped down a powerful drink” (64). The night she makes love with a man named Roger is also a key moment; being able to acknowledge and express her own desire is a powerful experience that haunts her for a year and a half. Here, Corpi seems to be challenging the nationalist tendency to separate sex and politics, that Chabram speaks of (93). There is a definite connection, in some of the love and erotic scenes, between love and politics. The personal is political. For example, Jeff first kisses Delia after they have spray-painted a flag with TWLF (Third World Liberation Front). Love and eroticism also seem to be tied into Delia’s person¬ al growth. Delia meets and makes love to Roger when he is disguised as James Joyce and she as Santa Teresa. Thereaf¬ ter, he becomes somewhat of an obsession; as a faceless, character-less fantasy being, he appears to her often. The night she makes love to Roger remains in her heart and seems to be representative of a time when she did what she wanted, not what someone else expected of her: “I wanted him that night And he was there for me Understood my sorrow my loneliness I gave myself to him without hesita¬ tion For the first time For the first time” (187). Finally, Delia makes a direct connection between the movement and the need for including love and eroticism within the discourse. She wishes that there were some good Chicano love stories and poems, and declares that there is even a need to express eroticism (129). In her love for Jeff, she ties in her ethnicity with her eroticism: “ Where darkness travels at the same speed of light Fve looked for you For your body Your soul Brown like mine Love If only it could be like this always” (128). Thus, in Delia’s search to inscribe her self into the discourse, to have her life, to tell the whole truth, and not the truth as someone else wants it to be—in this search, love and eroticism are an important element of her truth.6 In her final confrontation with Roger, she expresses her joy in finally feeling free to have her own voice. The same thing happens to her while talking to Mattie—she realizes she is now free to speak her mind. In this way, as part of her process of growth, she constructs her own identity by writing the story of her life, her time at Berkeley and since, including her obsession with Roger. She says, “This is my story My song I was born to be Delia in the world To seek the elusive pair... Love and truth Its light is still there” (175). She is now able to face Roger, and she tells him that she has thought of him often, but that she does not want a relationship with him; in this way she puts to rest that obsession. She does finish her story, and decides to give it to Jeff, “Because I want my life. I’m tired of being what someone else wants me to be. I want to stop living my nightmares, being afraid of myself, always ask¬ ing for forgiveness” (190). She wants him to know the truth about her, whether he can accept it or not, whether it means risking their relationship or not. She loves him, but she wants him to accept her and love her as she really is. At this point, she has come to “hunt the light” (191). Voice of the Collective Delia’s individual growth is never separated from the growth of the collective. A large part of her anger and anguish comes from seeing the pain of her people, includ¬ ing the deaths of her brothers and the tragedies of the movement. She feels that their sacrifices went unrecog¬ nized, 'dike graffiti scribbled with invisible ink on the walls” (9). When the demands of the protestors are met but only partially, and there is conflict as everyone scram¬ bles for their piece of the pie, Mattie tells her “The day after the revolution is always the hardest” (58). But she can’t accept this and it gets worse, and when Samuel, Jeff and Sara leave in defeat, Delia grieves as much as she did for the death of her brothers. Delia begins, however, to see herself as connected to a larger community, her larger family and her people “whose history in California was forever present” (94), but often silenced and erased. She forms a plan to initiate a group called Chicana Mothers for Peace who would teach their sons to resist the draft and death in corrupt wars, and would resist involvement in Central America. This is a step much like that of being able to write again. It is only after Delia has worked through her guilt about hitting Fernando and the nightmares have stopped, that she can begin to write without pain. She can write the story of her life; she is able to construct her identity and tell her/story. Similarly, she can begin her political activ¬ ism once again only after she works through her grief at the losses of the movement. She finally can reach an accep¬ tance and an acknowledgement of the gains made by the movement, as in Mattie’s statement that “You were only a rag-tag bunch, yet you were able to shake down one of the most powerful educational institutions in the country. That’s a story yet to be told ... The story you must write” (78). Delia does this. In her writing, she gathers up her people, her parents, her brothers, her aunt and grandpar¬ ents, her companions in the movement, and she gives them a history. When she revisits Berkeley and thinks about the FBI files on the participants in the Third World Strike, she says “Now I’m cdso in this business of dossiers Mine tell a different story” (169). Conclusion In summary, how does resistance appear in this book? What motivates Delia’s resistance? Her political resistance initially is tied to her pain about the lack of choices her family has had As we have seen, it also is tied to her anger at her brothers’ deaths. After she begins to read and leam more of the history of her people, her resistance takes on a collective, as well as a personal, motivation. The move¬ ment becomes so much a part of her identity, of her fight against the hegemony that killed her brothers, that she grieves greatly when the movement seems to have died and she no longer has that avenue of resistance. What limits do we see to Delia’s resistance, and how far will she go in order to resist? Politically, after she comes to self-identify as a Chicana, there seem to be no limit to what she would dare. She dares to put her body on the line in the demonstrations and the picket lines. She risks probation at the university, jail, physical harm, and her career. These are all things that happen to her friends in the movement. She even loses her scholarship as a consequence. Also, she feels obliged to he to her parents about her participation. She lies about losing the scholarship, she lies about not receiving her report card, and she writes letters of reassur¬ ance during the strike that are full of lies. These are some of the risks she takes for her political involvement. The only limits to her political resistance stem from her personal position, because at first she will not speak her mind, nor contradict others. Thus, at least in one instance, she cannot risk jail, because Samuel tells her not to. How¬ ever, part of her resistance on the individual level has to do with the process of finding her own voice, becoming her own agent and telling her own truth. By the end of the novel, we see her controlling her own actions, speaking her own mind and writing her own story, regardless of what people think. And as we have seen, within her story are many aspects that challenge the traditional role for a Chi- cana according to patriarchal norms. How is this a resistance-from-within? Delia is working within the Chicano resistance movement of the late sixties in its struggle against the hegemony, as well as within the academic environment. There are many examples of the patriarchal structures mentioned in the introduction to this section that restrict Delia’s resistance. One of the heaviest loads she carries is the expectation that she be a traditional Mexican-American woman—obedient, loyal and silenced. Thus, she has to lie to her parents to open enough space for her political participation. Even to her Aunt Marta, she has to explain the concept of the Chicano subject, as well as the ideas of the movement. These are perspectives that her aunt does not fully understand until she reads Delia’s book nine years later. Moreover, she is always taught or led by the men in the movement and by Mattie, the Anglo professor. Here we see Herrera-Sobek’s statement illustrated—that the Chicana’s construction of identity has to resist being subsumed within the Chicano and Anglo feminist projects. In the beginning, she says “Sara and I did everything Samuel and the others told us Follow orders We didn't know enough” (24). And when Mattie tells her, in one of their first encounters, that Delia should fight the system, Delia wants to respond that Mexican-Americans have no choices, but she holds her tongue. Finally, there is no evidence of a Chicana taking a leader¬ ship role within the student organizations, nor of one hav¬ ing a public voice. Samuel, Julio (who is depicted as speaking on a public news program), Sid Macias, Manuel Delgado—these are the names of the leaders. Mattie is the only woman professor named, as well as the only woman with a public voice, and she is Anglo. But by the end of the novel, as we have seen, Delia has found ways to resist from within this context of multiple repressions. She never renounces or criticizes the men who lead the movement, nor the men in her personal life, other than the abusive Fernando. She is not removing herself from the movement or from the company of men. But as we have seen, she does find ways to claim her space and construct her own identity, both on the personal and on the political level. Delia challenges the men’s construction of her. She claims her own identity even within her connections to men.7 She constructs herself and visualizes maintaining her identity even in the midst of making love: “I want him in me Until I want no more I want to wake up beside him every morning Hear his laughter in the morning dispell the darkness And not have to explain my self Know that I am Delia even when he is in me” (153). Delia also is able to challenge Mattie by the end of the book. Mattie explains her reasons for returning to Central America by saying that, “We don’t know what it is to have our country tom in two, to lose parents, children, brothers or sisters, our homes. To watch a mother put a rifle into her son’s hands and send him to a sure death ...” Delia re¬ verses the habitual mentor/student roles in their relation¬ ship when she tells Mattie, “Maybe white people don’t know what war is all about, but we Chicanos know all about it... For us the Civil War never ended. We're still fighting it” (158). Mattie replies, “Touche! The student has become the teacher” (158). As Mattie articulates, this situation is somewhat of a reversal; Delia is often in the leamer/subordinate position, while other characters are more typically in the teacher/dominant position in relation¬ ship to her. On the political level, besides Delia’s activism in the de¬ monstrations, there are also her testimony and memories reconstructed in her book. In addition, there are her chroni¬ cles which resist the erasure of the hegemony and the “of¬ ficial story” that lies in the dossiers of the FBI. One other method of resistance is her idea about forming a group— Chicano Mothers for Peace. In this way, she could return to activism again. Through this group, she could resist and work through her anguish about Ricardo’s death, and her anger at her mother for letting Ricardo go. Corpi portrays multiple resistances-from-within. Corpi creates resistance by writing a book commemorating one period in the history of the Chicano movement; moreover, the novel is narrated by a Chicana, centered on a Chicana whose writing connects the movement with multiple pos¬ sibilities for Chicana subjects. There is the grounding in the everyday, in cultural traditions and food and family connections. There is a strong representation of female desire in the erotic passages. There is an affirmation of the space for Chicanas’ resistance. These multiple Chicana subjects are not traitors to the movement; their voice, their resistance, their subjectivity does benefit la raza. As in La Chrisx’ “La Loca,” we have a touch of the locura which breaks through limits, as when Delia, dressed as Santa Teresa, makes love to Roger, dressed as James Joyce. We have no passive idealized Chicana subject, but rather multiple Chicana subjects acting as their own agents of resistance. These women are not spared the harsh reality of life—there are drugs and unemployment in Delia’s im¬ mediate family, as well as imprisonment within her close circle of friends. As in “La Loca ” Delia’s Song also depicts the collective’s resistance and is a witness to that. Delia’s Song profiles a complex resistance which includes the development of self-identity within the context of the collectivity. Thus, although the book is titled Delia’s Song, it is dedicated to the collectivity: to all the Chicano students who participated in the Third World Strike at the University of California at Berkeley, with my deepest gratitude. Without their courage and de¬ termination my son Arturo most likely would not now be a senior and a Regents’ Scholar at U.C. Berkeley. Notes 1. In contrast, Arrancame la vida portrays resistance from within a patriarchal institutionalized revolution, Cenizas de Izalco represents resistance from within a military dictatorship. 2. The Chicano identity is constructed through a variety of literary prototypes: “el pachucho, el vato loco, el cholo, the Aztec, the militant Chicano, the Jungian Chicano-o-o-o, and mostly authoritarian fathers” (Chabram 82). 3. Alarcon affirms that: the writers were aware of the displacement of their subjectivity across ‘a multiplicity of discourses.’ This displacement in turn implied a multiplicity of positions from which the writers tried to grasp or understand themselves and their relations with the real or histori¬ cal context around them. They were also aware that these ‘positions were often incompatible or contradic¬ tory, and problematic.’ (“The Theoretical Subject(s)” 356) 4. Rebolledo states that: because theirs was a subjugated or subordinated dis¬ course, excluded from both mainstream and minority discourse, they were trying to “inscribe’’ themselves in a collective and historical process that had discounted and silenced them. (Women 97) 5. LaVeme Gonzalez, in her review of Delia’s Song, takes issue with the lack of an integrated subject. Gonzalez complains that the character of Delia eludes us in spite of the free access to her thoughts. Is she subservient or unorthodox? What is her song? Gonzalez struggles with the uncertainty, and points to it as a fault of the book. I suggest, however, that this uncertainty could be because Corpi is represent¬ ing the “multiplicity of voices and experiences” (Re¬ bolledo, Women Singing in the Snow [ ILS'.S'], 6). As Alarcon has shown, for Chicana writers, the op¬ pression they experience along with their “commu¬ nal and social ideology” has led them to develop a “shifting, split, multiply voiced speaking subject that claims an authority only as it speaks for a collectivi¬ ty” (WSS 5). Much as in Rebolledo’s description of Anzaldua’s writing, in Delia’s Song, Corpi moves from the "personal to the collective, from the emo¬ tional to the political’’ (WSS 6). In seizing the subject, she is using “shifting zones of representation and signification” (WSS 6), and because she does this, Delia’s character eludes us; we can't reduce it to a single identifiable “universal ethnic subject” (Chab¬ ram Demersesian 82). 6. Another interesting question with regard to how women enter the discourse is that of the inspiration or the muse; for Corpi, this muse seems to be James Joyce/Roger. He appears to her often when she is wrapped in silence and cannot write. “Delia would get up in the middle of the night to write, especially at those times when she would remember Roger” (114), and her fantasies about him included just the two of them making love in a dark space. 7. When Jeff, without consulting Delia, gets tickets for them to go to a horse auction in Oregon, she responds abruptly, “Why didn’t you ask me?” (138). When he walks away hurt, she blames herself at first, but then she says to herself, “He has to learn to ask me what I want I’ve always been told what to do” (139). Works Cited Alarcon, Norma. “The Theoretical Subject(s) in This Bridge Called My Back and Anglo-American Feminism.” Making Face, Making Soul: Haciendo caras. Ed. Gloria Anzaldua. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1990. 356-69. Alegrfa, Claribel y D. J. Flakoll. Cenizas de Izalco. San Jose, Costa Rica: Universitaria Centroamericana, 1993. Brinson Curiel, Barbara. “Lucha Corpi.” Chicano Writers First Series. Ann Arbor: Gale, 1989. 91-97. Cervantes, Loma Dee. “Para un revolucionario.” The Third Woman: Minority Women Writers of the United States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980. 381-82. Chabram-Demersesian, Angie. “I Throw Punches for My Race, but I Don’t Want to Be a Man: Writing Us— Chica-nos (Girl-Us)/Chicanas—into the Movement Script.” Cultural Studies. Ed. Laurence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula Teichler. New York: Routledge, 1992. 81-95. Corpi, Lucha. Delia’s Song. Houston: Arte Publico, 1989. -. “Tres mujeres.” De colores 3 (1977): 74-89. Cota Cardenas, Margarita. Marchitas de mayo (Sones pa 7 pueblo). Austin: Relampago, 1989. -. Puppet. Austin: Relampago, 1985. Gonzalez, LaVeme. “Lucha Corpi: Delia’s Song.” Ex¬ plorations in Sights and Sounds 9 (1989): 14-16. Kaminsky, Amy. Reading the Body Politic: Feminist Crit¬ icism and Latin American Women Writers. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993. La Chrisx. “La Loca de la Raza Cosmica.” Comadre 2 (1978): 5-9. Mastretta, Angeles. Arrdncame la vida. Mexico: Cal y Arena, 1993. Perez-Erdelyi, Mireya. “Entrevista con Lucha Corpi: Poeta chicana ’’ Americas Review 17 (1989): 72-82. Rebolledo, Tey Diana. Women Singing in the Snow: A Cultural Analysis of Chicana Literature. Tucson: U of Arizona P, 1995.