Document/Undocumented by Mr. Guillermo Gomez-Peña (Summary and Reflection)

Document/Undocumented an essay that unfolds the state of confusion as a cultural topographer of Mr. Guillermo Gomez-Peña, a Native Mexican writer who came to El Norte as an immigrant. The author confessed that he lives in northernmost point of Latin America where many artists in Europe and US have opted internationalism. He said that his cup of tea is only to integrate himself to otherness without the intention of losing his own identity as a Chilango. His departure from Mexico after eight years brought him to multiple repertoires depending on his environment and people who look at his identity. Just to name a few, he is a Mexican but also a Chicano, and Chilango or Mexiquillo at his boarder, Pocho or Norteño in Mexico City, Sudaca in Europe, Hispanic or Latino according to Anglos, etc. As a result, Guillermo himself became a border-crosser because of many cultures around him. But no matter what, he believes that it doesn’t matter where he finds himself. It may be ambiguous but he has a conviction that at the end of the day, he still belongs to the same species.

The essay was a bit hard to comprehend. It encompasses several issues about his vague identity using metaphorical statements like fissure between two worlds that means splitting crack of falling into the mainstream, and infected wound that speaks to the idea of assimilation spreading and occurring to immigrants. I find it hard to read between the lines why the title is Document/Undocumented. Moreover, his multiple repertoires are literally difficult to remember since it varies depending on places and persons. It was challenging to read because the text requires full concentration, wide vocabularies and imagination in order to discern what is being implied. In spite of his complex life as an immigrant, his enthusiasm and humor never faded. I believe the author’s personality always long for cool and exciting venture from his multiple identities. It’s no big deal where you really came from, what matters more is you are happy for who you are right now and you never forget the people from your past.


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