[José] Martí's writing operates on the other side of such a rationalization, postulating the value of the exceptional word that veers from the linguistic and social norm. If technologization (from the perspective of the emergent literary field) presupposes the massification of language, literature would fold back on the notion of style, by authorizing itself to be precisely the critique of massification. We return again to literature, as Martí conceived it, as a strategy of legitimation that takes into account the "destylized" and "mechanical" languages of modernity as obliterated matter for the supposed "exceptionality" of style.
Hence, Martí would privilege another way of seeing:
Seeing them conglomerate to swarm quickly over the aerial serpent, squeezed together, the vast, clean, ever-growing crowd---one imagines seeing seated in the middle of the sky, with her radiant head appearing over the summit, and with white hands, as large as eagles, open, in a sign of peace over the land---Liberty.
Martí reworks the concept of sight into a hallucination. His discourse departs from a descriptive empirical instance ("Seeing them conglomerate"), which immediately undergoes a metaphoric transformation. The referential moment of the gaze is minimal. The "swarm[ing]" crowd and the bridge are erased behind the "aerial serpent." Martí's illumination begins with this brief moment when the common word (bridge) is obliterated, but not its essential trace. Bridge is assumed as the provision that opens up the possibility for a writerly transformation; the contrast between the referential and the literary dramatizes the literary task. Beginning with this instant, writing ascends toward apotheosis, thematized in the cited passage above as follows:
one imagines seeing
middle of the sky
over the land
The statement articulates a spatial hierarchization. The point of departure is the bestial low (where creatures swarm). The space below is crowded, full of people squeezed together. Starting with "one imagines seeing," the space opens up and expands: "in the middle of the sky," "white hands...open." The bestial is elevated (eagles) and the perspective closes with the moment of highest abstraction, "over the land---Liberty."