Rayanos y Dominicanyorks: la dominicanidad del siglo XXI

2014 | By Ramón Antonio Victoriano-Martinez 

Publisher: Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana

Through close readings of various texts that deal with issues of border, identity and the relationship between Haiti and Dominican Republic as well as with the flow of immigrants between Dominican Republic and the United States, this study introduces the trope of the “rayano” (the one that was born, lives or comes from the border) as an apt metaphor to explain the identity of Dominicans in the twenty-first century — an identity that should be viewed as one born out of movements, translations and interstices. The primary texts that this study will focus on will cover the Haitian-Dominican and Dominican-American experiences. In terms of the former, El Masacre se pasa a pie (1973) by Freddy Prestol Castillo and The Farming of Bones (1998) by Edwidge Danticat are useful for analyzing the defining moment of the relationship between Haiti and Dominican Republic in the twentieth century: the 1937 border massacre of Haitians and Dominican-Haitians ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael L. Trujillo.

In the case of the Dominican-American relationship, Dominicanish (2000) by Josefina Báez, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) by Junot Díaz will be the texts through which it will be analyzed the Dominican diaspora and its relationship with the two defining spaces of Dominicanness in the twenty-first century: Santo Domingo and New York City. In addition to these texts, this study also engages the theoretical production regarding the triangular relationship between Dominican Republic, Haiti and the United States through an analysis of the different metaphors used by Lucía M. Suárez in The Tears of Hispaniola: Haitian and Dominican Diaspora Memory, Eugenio Matibag in Haitian-Dominican Counterpoint: Nation, State and Race in Hispaniola, and Michele Wucker in Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola.