Myriam de Arteni

Language, writing, and our identity.
A talk given at Americas Society on April 2, 2014

SolInvictus Press 2014

Epsilon Kappa, St. John’s University Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, Celebrates its Fiftieth Anniversary Americas Society AMERICAS SOCIETY AND ST. JOHN‘S UNIVERSITY IN COLLABORATION WITH BICOA( IBEROAMERICAN BICENTENNIAL / COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAS) Present: 50th ANNIVERSARY OF EPSILON KAPA AT ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY: A LOVE AFFAIR BETWEEN HISPANIC WRITERS AND MARIE-LISE GAZARIAN April 02, 2014 7:00 p.m. Americas Society 680 Park Avenue, New York, NY

bi/Coa

Invited Speakers: Gerardo Piña Rosales, President, North American Academy of the Spanish Language and Honorary President of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Hispanic Honor Society Joseph Sciame, Vice President, Community Relations, St. John´s University Nicolas Toscano, Member, North American Academy of the Spanish Language and Professor of Literature at St. John´s University Issac Goldemberg, Poet, Director of Latinamerican Studies at Hostos Comunity College, CUNY Daniel Shapiro, Director, Departament of Literature, the Americas Society, New York Myriam de Arteni, Artist and Senior Exhibitions Conservator, New York Public Library Elizabeth Ilia Kostas, United States certified interpreter Marie-Lise Gazarian, Director, Graduate Program in Spanish, St. John´s University, Vice President of Sigma Delta Pi for the Northeast, the National Hispanic Honor Society Alex Lima, Poet and Professor Katerina Damskiy, Book Cover designer of Entre Rascacielos Monica Sarmiento Castillo, Artist and Director of bi/Coa

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527–1593), Librarian http://upload.wikime dia.org/wikipedia/co mmons/7/76/Arcimb oldo_Librarian_Stok holm.jpg

Myriam de Arteni Language, writing, and our identity. The human being lives in a symbolic universe. Language is part of this universe. It is one of the threads which weave the symbolic net, the tangled web of human experience. Language is a way of constructing reality, with its own internal standard of truth. The form of observation, which underlines all speech and language development, always expresses a peculiar spiritual character, a special way of conceiving and apprehending. “The difference between the several languages, therefore, is not a matter of different sounds and marks, but of different world conceptions (1)”.

Note (1) Ernst Cassirer.

We may speak of an ibero-american cultural contexture. The word contexture describes an interlaced structure which accommodates all local particularities, all borrowings and influences (2). To visualize it, please imagine a woven carpet or tapestry with its complex design and color. This unity in diversity must be preserved.

Note (2) Lucian Blaga speaks of cultural space, Roy Goodwin D'Andrade introduces the concept of cultural model, Yuri Lotman coins the term semiosphere.

Tapestry of the Creation, 11th – 12th centuries, Girona, Spain http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/93716236.jpg

Tapestry of the Creation, 11th – 12th centuries, Girona, Spain, details (survival of Roman iconography)

http://enroquedeciencia.blogspot.com/2013/03/de-dondeprovienen-los-nombres-de-los_23.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/57004829@N03/907 7942144/in/photolist-eQbPVS-eoK6qG-eoK7xde6wm3m-ePZoHT-eQbQYb-eQbPmA-9vi6wKkgTLU8-eHMXyb-dBvBNr-gr5spD#

Helios, mosaic in Italica, Spain (Italica was the birthplace of Roman emperor Trajan) https://www.flic kr.com/photos/ bmljenny/2500 978114/in/phot olist-4P1aEj8S9cWP7ghbgf-56Rb2

Culture and identity are alive in language and books. Se perdemos el idioma y la cultura perdemos nuestra identidad. “A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships,” remarked Jorge Luis Borges. It is important not only to collect and preserve or restore but also to provide access to and exhibit books and related materials. Let me give you an example. As I am senior exhibitions conservator for the New York Public Library, I had the opportunity to work on the Back Tomorrow: Federico García Lorca / Poet in New York show, April 5 through July 20, 2013.

Back Tomorrow: Federico García Lorca / Poet in New York, April 5 - July 20, 2013

Back Tomorrow: Federico García Lorca / Poet in New York, April 5 - July 20, 2013

http://almamaterliterata.blogspot.com/

Back Tomorrow: Federico García Lorca / Poet in New York, April 5 - July 20, 2013

One must be especially mindful of the fact that, as Borges observes, “poetry remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art”.

Jorge Luis Borges signs his Antología Poética 1923/1977 during the reception in his honor held at The New York Public Library on September 30, 1982 (photo Bob Serating)

Jorge Luis Borges, Antología Poética 1923/1977, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1981

Since 1991, when I and my husband founded SolInvictus Press, we have created limited edition artist books. One of our latest books, entitled Rebeldía, is based on a poem by Rafael Posada Franco, a Colombian writer well known for his poetry readings. The book is bilingual: Spanish and English. The project was conceived as a dialogue between a poet and a painter. Perhaps the motifs visible in the images created by my husband as illustrations, migrated from his paintings. They seem to be visual reminders of another Latin culture, located far away, in the shadow of the Carpathian Mountains.

Rebeldía (2013). Myriam de Arteni conceived and designed this artist’s book. Rafael Posada Franco’s poem was translated into English by Stefan Arteni. Covers and illustrations reproduce digital compositions created by Stefan Arteni.

Rebeldía (2013). Myriam de Arteni conceived and designed this artist’s book. Rafael Posada Franco’s poem was translated into English by Stefan Arteni. Covers and illustrations reproduce digital compositions created by Stefan Arteni.