80 Grados just published a beautiful tribute to Mara Negrón [see previous post Puerto Rican Scholar, Mara Negrón, Passes Away: May She Rest in Peace] by French feminist thinker Hélène Cixous. Here is my (rough) translation of her poignant words:
Very difficult to talk about Mara, since just yesterday and tomorrow I was speaking with her. I feel like Demeter, from whom Hades abducted Persephone. Mara, I considered a daughter when we were still very young. Young woman in bloom, H 48 – M 24. Coming from far away, from close by, in a field or in the 80s, I was trying, I was dreaming of planting roots, of cultivating a philosophical/literary plural reflection on differences, beginning with the SD, sexual differences.
There was something mythological in the air. It was established, naturally, that all these arrivals, these newcomers were fiery and beautiful. Beautiful? We were all beautiful. It was so joyful to address the challenge of the ages.
And among the various beauties, there was Beauty itself, Mara the mystery, the grace of a smiling nymph, but shy and slightly shrouded with a scientific veil. A thinking nymph.
Mara is our transcontinental divinity; she came and went from one shore to the other, tenderly phallic and mischievously virginal.
Natural, Mara always stood out among everyone by the refined sobriety of her sparkle. Neither small defects nor flirtatiousness; she never lent herself to these.
Delicately strong, well placed on the earth, she rises in a sort of radiant discretion. She does not push herself forward, she grows and flourishes.
She was more and more beautiful and more and more peaceful in recent years, and therefore, younger and younger. I attribute this to the good fortune of her union with Ernesto, with whom she could share a taste for life, the flavor of thought, of voyages through writing. With whom she formed a figure of love, such as we hope to see more frequently in the future: an ever changing and charming set of sd [sexual differences].
This gives strength to a human being.
The year that just went by in Paris, in research, in literature, in philosophy, was just a spring season, promises and projects. Several times I exchanged ideas with Mara about a next adventure, about the forthcoming years. To be honest, I thought of entrusting some precious secrets to her care. . .
Suddenly, Hades overwhelmed us. In an instant, Mara was stolen from us. We all feel hurt, stricken by what Jacques Derrida denounced and dreaded: the cruel brevity of life.
Yesterday, we all died a little. But Mara is still alive, she lives differently, she lives strongly. As the day, which owes her the day, will, I believe, attest to.
For full tribute in the Spanish translation and the French original, see http://www.80grados.net/tres-difficile-de-parler-de-mara/
Photo of Mara Negrón from http://graduados.uprrp.edu/inventio/vol6/mara-negron.html
Photo of Cixous from http://quarterlyconversation.com/on-helene-cixous-so-close