Border Bodies: Dagoberto Gilb’s Phenomenology of Race

Border Bodies: Dagoberto Gilb’s Phenomenology of Race ´ MARISSA LOPEZ Because something serious was going to happen. He knew it, knew it in his bones. Dagoberto Gilb, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna ~ n Dagoberto Gilb's short story "The Death Mask of Pancho Villa" (1993), an unnamed narrator is roused from bed in the middle of the night by his friend Gabe. The narrator, who has not seen Gabe for a while, is surprised by Gabe's visit and wonders at the mysterious stranger Gabe has with him. Roman ´ Ortiz, Gabe explains, possesses one of three existing death masks ´ of Pancho Villa, whose memorabilia the narrator collects.1 Ortiz ´ plans to take the mask to Moscow, where the journalist John Reed, who wrote Insurgent Mexico (1914) about his four months traveling with Villa, is buried. Gabe wants the narrator to come see the mask, but the narrator, who must work the next day, declines. Before leaving, Gabe and Ortiz drink some beers and smoke a joint with the ´ narrator, who, at the end of the story, is left wondering why Gabe really came to see him and why he, the narrator, refused to play along. Like much of Gilb's fiction, "The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

Border Bodies: Dagoberto Gilb’s Phenomenology of Race

Contemporary Literature, Volume 56 (4)

Border Bodies: Dagoberto Gilb’s Phenomenology of Race


´ MARISSA LOPEZ Because something serious was going to happen. He knew it, knew it in his bones. Dagoberto Gilb, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna ~ n Dagoberto Gilb's short story "The Death Mask of Pancho Villa" (1993), an unnamed narrator is roused from bed in the middle of the night by his friend Gabe. The narrator, who has not seen Gabe for a while, is surprised by Gabe's visit and wonders at the mysterious stranger Gabe has with him. Roman ´ Ortiz, Gabe explains, possesses one of three existing death masks ´ of Pancho Villa, whose memorabilia the narrator collects.1 Ortiz ´ plans to take the mask to Moscow, where the journalist John Reed, who wrote Insurgent Mexico (1914) about his four months traveling with Villa, is buried. Gabe wants the narrator to come see the mask, but the narrator, who must work the next day, declines. Before leaving, Gabe and Ortiz drink some beers and smoke a joint with the ´ narrator, who, at the end of the story, is left wondering why Gabe really came to see him and why he, the narrator, refused to play along. Like much of Gilb's fiction, "The Death Mask of Pancho Villa" is short on plot; it has no clear conflict and no resolution, circulating 1. Francisco "Pancho" Villa was born a peon on a hacienda in San Juan del Rio, in the ´ north of Mexico in 1878. He became a populist, revolutionary hero after aiding Francisco Madero's overthrow of Pofirio Diaz in 1910 and until his assassination in 1923 remained ´ a force to be reckoned with in Mexican politics, advocating for progressive land reform and indigenous rights. Contemporary Literature 56, 4 0010-7484; E-ISSN 1548-9949/15/0004-0601 2015 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System C O N T E M P O R A R Y L I T E R A T U R E instead around questions concerning the relationship between the human body and historical narrative. The painfully self-conscious narrator...
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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
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Copyright © 2008 the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
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1548-9949
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Abstract

´ MARISSA LOPEZ Because something serious was going to happen. He knew it, knew it in his bones. Dagoberto Gilb, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuna ~ n Dagoberto Gilb's short story "The Death Mask of Pancho Villa" (1993), an unnamed narrator is roused from bed in the middle of the night by his friend Gabe. The narrator, who has not seen Gabe for a while, is surprised by Gabe's visit and wonders at the mysterious stranger Gabe has with him. Roman ´ Ortiz, Gabe explains, possesses one of three existing death masks ´ of Pancho Villa, whose memorabilia the narrator collects.1 Ortiz ´ plans to take the mask to Moscow, where the journalist John Reed, who wrote Insurgent Mexico (1914) about his four months traveling with Villa, is buried. Gabe wants the narrator to come see the mask, but the narrator, who must work the next day, declines. Before leaving, Gabe and Ortiz drink some beers and smoke a joint with the ´ narrator, who, at the end of the story, is left wondering why Gabe really came to see him and why he, the narrator, refused to play along. Like much of Gilb's fiction, "The

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Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

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