The Resistance of the Book Against the Gun: Reflections on Hamilton

Reading an English translation of an 1890s essay titled “Our America” by José Martí, one day after watching Hamilton for the first time

Is an interesting morning journey.

Many lines from the work have given me reasons to pause, today, perhaps more than they otherwise would have…because I just saw the play (on TV) during a quarantine during a time of unprecedented tyranny (or so I thought)…this is a time of evolution within revolution…

This line “the resistance of the book against the lance” speaks of the metaphors used to describe the normalcy of war and violence and cutting (away) and pain and liberation and conquest and conflict and colorism and classism and fighting (among other references) during the Spanish-American War.

All of the systems are there: the invention of race, politics, economics, aesthetics, education, crime and punishment, associations, intimate life…so normalized in their tie to domination that any illusion of progress is impossible to see.

From 1894 to 2020, the narrative is the same: the harrowing dysfunction of tyranny by incompetent leaders is resisted by the people. There is fire this time. No duel. No lance. Just shots…fired.

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