Posthumization

The writer Luis Rafael S├ínchez, of whom I know nothing else, apparently coined the term “posthumization” — in Puerto Rican (a presumed variant of Spanish). But I would rather credit Ana Lydia Vega, who pronounced it during her “honoris causa” doctoral address in some university auditorium somewhere. She mentioned that the academic gown she was wearing, which she likened to a “burqa,” gave her a zombitic appearance — that of a gothic angel — so that she might float among the dead in the local cemetery. Around there she would find the men all in undertaker black, but the women wearing “revolutionary red” lipstick. Her fellow writers would be carrying protest signs, for one progressive cause or another, and even those arguably alive may be “posthumized” in official tributes, such as the one she was now enduring.

While I might not knowingly agree with any cause that Ms Vega supports — for I maintain complete innocence about developments in Puerto Rico — I do agree to the use of this novel expression. I am in favour of “posthumizing” all writer-activists, to which end, I would propose that we found a Society for the Posthumization of Activists, with the acronym, S.P.A. Its function would be to treat activists everywhere as if they were dead.