Jesus Christ: A Self Reflection to this Semester

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Over the course of this class I’ve managed to learn a lot about translation and managed to succeed in this class with about 90% at the moment. Where’s the other 10%? At the moment I’m typing this I still yet to work on my 2nd paper and when that happens I can safely say that I’ve managed to accomplish about 100% of this class.

Before I took this class I watched and read foreign films and books without ever taking in any consideration of the translation. Then again could be I just want to watch or read not analyze analyze analyze because I already got enough of that in school. Now I know that translation isn’t just about interpreting one language to another rather it’s more about creating or recreating what was originally written by the author. Although many try to do this it will not remain the same as time passes with each new translation having  its own interpretation to the original text.

How do I feel about myself in this class? I feel as I did very well here in this class worked on all of the blog posts and pay a lot of attention to the courses. Basically I fought on til the very, well not technically the end but near the end since class isn’t over until all assignments are all done for and I make something for myself. the only bumpy moments were the times that I needed to speak to the class about my blog post because I really did seem to stutter. Reason could be that I haven’t given a presentation or talked in front of a class in a very long time or maybe it could be of the fear of being chewed out by the professor so for the next time I need to do something like this I’m gonna have to breath in and exhale.

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Tram 83 Leftovers: Ambiguity of Tram 83

 

There seems to be many signs of ambiguity when it comes to Tram 83 such as the locations of the Tram 83 and the city state, what exactly is the Tram 83 and entire setting of novel. Even the Dissident General character identity is never revealed. This only raises the question of why? Why did Mujila decide to keep things ambiguous.

First is the Tram 83 and what exactly is the Tram? according to the beginning of the second chapter of the novel where it briefly explains “First night at Tram 83: night of debauchery, night of premature ejaculation, night of syphilis…night of dancing and dancing” (Mujila, 6) which tells us that Tram may be some night club of sorts. however in the next page it states “Tram 83 was one of the most popular restaurants and hooker bars, its renown stretching beyond the city border” (Mujila, 7) which further reinforces the fact of the Tram 83 being a club with its location being a stretch away from the city state.

Although the Tram may a restaurant and bar another question which is only minor is the Tram 83 there’s still some minor ambiguity when it comes to the club is the club actually built from a tram (a trolley looking kind of train) or is it a kind of building like any other. Also another question is if the club is based on a real life club.

Mujila never gives an explanation to why anything was left ambiguous. However, there might an answer to why everything was left ambiguous. The reason could be that Mujila isn’t trying to offend anybody, since the novel is supposed to be set in the Congo post colonial era and the country being run by some dictator its obvious that he isn’t trying to get into trouble with the authorities. considering how writers and artist nowadays can get into a lot of trouble for writing and drawing the wrong books. Or could just be that Mujila doesn’t want to pay royalties to the real life Tram 83.

Africa: The Depiction of Africa Through The Eyes of Westerners and Africans

Over the years the depiction of the African continent and Culture in western society has always been fairly insensitive. From the beginning of western European colonization in the 1800’s to the more current times. Africa is usually depicted as being an uncivilized culture, full of evil witchcraft, child armies, evil dictators, blood diamonds, the white man’s burden and white savior complex, and absolutely dangerous. practically all the negatives aspects to come out of Africa rather than any of the positives.

One example comes from an Episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in the third episode of the the first season of the show titled: Code of Honor. Although not exactly taking place in Africa since Star Trek takes place in space in the far distant future the episode introduces an extraterrestrial humanoid race called the Ligonians. which resemble African and African culture. In the episode the crew of the Enterprise-D are sent to acquire a vaccine from the planet Ligon 2, the  Ligonian leader takes an attraction to Lieutenant Natasha Yar and abducts her. The issue is not with Lieutenant Yar’s abduction rather the depiction of Ligonians being depicted as tribal African with violent mating rituals and following a misogynistic code of honor. The episode received negative reviews and is regarded as the worst episode in the entire Star Trek franchise to even which TNG cast member Jonathan Frakes referring it as a “racist piece of shit.”

Another Example comes from the TinTin comic TinTin In The Congo by Belgian cartoonist Georges ‘Herge’ Remi. The comic follows TinTin and his beloved dog Snowy on a trip to the Congo and meet a bunch of stereotypes and save the day. Aside of that, TinTin in the comic is seen upsetting the African wildlife such as shooting 15 Antelopes on accident, shooting a Chimpanzee and skinning it, shooting a snake, cutting open a snake, ; he even drills into a Rhino planting a stick of dynamite killing it. TinTin even harasses some carnivorous Felines. Although how are the people like? The Congo natives in the comic are portrayed the same way other late 19th century and early 20th century black people are represented: pitch black dark skin with enlarged lips, uncivilized, and subservient to the white man, and unintelligent. Then again this comic was a product of its time and Colonialism were more acceptable in those times.

Tram 83 however, unlike most other works of fiction regarding Africa as its main setting isn’t written by westerner instead its written by an African born Writer (Fiston Mwanza Mujila) meaning readers can have a much better perspective of Africa. Tram 83 depicts a more accurate representation of the continent than previous works mentioned. Although one of the previous title Utopia read in class, written by another African writer; Utopia was set in a more fictitious setting with it being set in the then near distant future. While with Tram 83 is set in a more contemporary setting.

In Tram 83, Mujila features real problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo such as corruption, Prostitution, poverty, and a bleak state of Africa. For example in (182) a quote in the novel states that “poverty is hereditary just like power, stupidity, hemorrhoids.”  meaning that poverty passes to on generation to generation. In the novel when it comes to leadership, the novel seems to refer the novel’s leader as the dissident General who in (115) didn’t allow for running water for the past two weeks and seems not to be good at his job. Overall everything is meant be be bleak while having some rhythm.

The Border Crossing: A Discussion On Signs Preceding The End Of The World

USA : Border between Mexico and the USA: US border guards (r) checking entering Mexicans - May 1920 - Photographer: Philipp Kester - Vintage property of ullstein bild

(GERMANY OUT) USA : Border between Mexico and the USA: US border guards (r) checking entering Mexicans – May 1920 – Photographer: Philipp Kester – Vintage property of ullstein bild (Photo by Philipp Kester/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Yuri Herrera’s novel Signs preceding the end of the world is one of best novels that I’ve read so far in class. Not saying the previous novel wasn’t good, I thought the previous novel was good in its own right however, this one wasn’t scary at all. Anyways the novel’s synopsis is about a young woman named Makina who is sent by her mother to cross to the US-Mexican border to deliver a message to her brother. Or at least that’s the basics, the rest of novel gets a whole lot more interesting.

The best way I can describe this novel is that this is an immigrant’s story if one can see it that way, which is fairly interesting. The reason why is because Makina’s journey to find her brother is reminiscent to that of many other Latin immigrants who’ve come here to the United States and in way herself she’s an immigrant. First she is escorted by coyote named Chucho (though he claims he’s not) in chapters 2-3, second she runs from border patrol, third she reaches the city without any sense of direction. overall the mere basics when it comes to crossing here to the states. though she is going through all of this she does this with sheer determination.

As for the theme of the novel, one theme would be determination. The reason why to determination being a theme in the novel is because as I stated earlier, she’s out looking for her brother. She does this by crossing the border alone and searching high and low for him when she arrives. Considering that Makina is risking her own life she still does it anyways. Then again that is how she is written.