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Multicultural History: Ethnic Histories

Ethnic History of the United States of America

Immigrants as Artists: A Consideration

It's Not Love, It's Just Paris by Patricia Engel, pp. 34-35.

"I thought of my father. Once, before my graduation, I’d mentioned the possibility of changing direction and not studying diplomacy as I’d been planning. Papi thought I meant I’d join him and Santi at the family business, but when I said I was considering something more creative, he shook his head as if I’d been terribly mistaken and said there was no need for that; I was already an artist by blood; all immigrants are artists because they create a life, a future, from nothing but a dream. The immigrant’s life is art in its purest form. That’s why God has special sympathy for immigrants, because Diosito was the first artist, and Jesus, un pobre desplazado. 
'It’s not the same, Papi,' I’d tried, but he shook his head.
'Pero of course it is, mijita. All your life is a work of art. A painting is not a painting but the way you live each day. A song is not a song but the words you share with the people you love. A book is not a book but the choices you make every day trying to be a decent person.'"


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