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My Broken Language


A Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright tells her lyrical coming of age story in a ...
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Quiara’s mother tells her, "If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist." What do you think she meant? Do you agree?

Created: 01/06/22

Replies: 12

Posted Jan. 06, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2913

Quiara’s mother tells her, "If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist." What do you think she meant? Do you agree?

Quiara’s mother tells her, "If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist." What do you think she meant? Do you agree?


Posted Jan. 06, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 123

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

Maybe if it's not written down you can ignore that it is real. I don't agree. We live by many unwritten rules that guide how we live. Or maybe they are written somewhere and I just missed the writing.


Posted Jan. 07, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 265

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

I think she meant if you can’t reference the source and see it in black and white with your own eyes then you struggle for validation or to be taken seriously. I think she’s right as it pertains to American culture.


Posted Jan. 08, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bettiet

Join Date: 03/11/20

Posts: 7

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

I think she means that if the stories are not recorded, they may have actually happened, but they cease to exist for the next generations. The lessons learned, the challenges faced and overcome, they all have to be learned and/or faced all over again. Quiana's mother knows that the stories of her family are valuable and need to be treasured and saved.


Posted Jan. 08, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 231

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

Quiara's s mother fears their heritage is being lost as they assimilate to a new culture. We also witnessed the demise or disappearance of various family members and Quiara's mother fears this family erosion will leave few if any survivors to pass along the family legacy. We saw how important books were to Quiara's mother as she metered rare, valuable books as part of Quiara's knowledge about their culture and she wishes a similar recording of all those rituals and concepts she holds dear.


Posted Jan. 09, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 90

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

I don't agree with that statement, but I do understand the importance of memorializing experiences in writing so that they can be preserved over time.


Posted Jan. 09, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 172

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

Oral stories handed down from one generation to another are important. Still, writing them down records them for a wider audience and validates them. Oral stories are also changed from one storyteller to another, not out of menace, but simply because people remember different things as important or the emphasis on one item may differ from person to person which also alters the story. Writing the stories down seals them.


Posted Jan. 09, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 603

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

I think Quiara's mother was aware of how their culture and family were gradually disappearing and wanted to make sure as much of her heritage was passed on as possible. When you think about all the people in their lives who died young, you can see her point. Memories of them might persist for a generation or two, but eventually no one will remember them. Writing about them may help ensure their memory lives on. So, while I agree oral histories are important and they can be passed down, having something in writing does make it more real.


Posted Jan. 09, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 154

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

I think sometimes our memories of an event become distorted with time, and although it doesn't mean they didn't happen if they weren't written down, I think documenting an event at the time it happened, is more likely to be the truth of what really happened, rather than relying on our memories to remember events and how they played out.


Posted Jan. 11, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 137

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

I agree with a number of people - writing down the story preserves the memory, gives it validation, and keeps the story accurate for future generations.


Posted Jan. 11, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 399

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

If stories aren't recorded in writing, they eventually are lost— thus no longer exist.


Posted Feb. 11, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joannej

Join Date: 09/02/21

Posts: 6

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

Quiara's mother probably did want her to write about her family but, at the same time, certain aspects she considered scandalous and unmentionable. If there was no proof of an event it didn't happen.


Posted Feb. 13, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 249

RE: Quiara’s mother tells her, &...

I think she meant that the oral history was destined to "die with Abuela" but if Quiara wrote it down, the history would be preserved. Future generations of Perezes and Sanchezes and even Hudeses could read it and understand from whence they came.


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