Publication Date: 28-Apr-09 | ISBN: 9781844714643 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 152pp | Format: Paperback
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This translation offers for the first time the splendid poems of Sidney West to English readers, supposedly their original addressees. West is among the best imaginary poets of America, allegedly his native land, and of all possible lands. His texts, although rich with exceptional life experience, will satisfy those who still believe in “the death of the author.” No less satisfied, in spite of his anti-romanticism, will be those captivated by “committed writing.” And in another paradox that West himself would have loved, if he had existed, what’s offered here constitutes a translation of a translation. An English version based on the prior version into Spanish completed in 1969 by Argentine writer Juan Gelman, one of the greatest living Latin American poets. He should be considered the genuine author of the author of these poems, and the poems themselves.
Gelman’s superb text poses a radical question: must human beings in modern society die in order to recuperate their human condition? Something happens after the passing of the book’s thirty-five characters, their absence causes unforeseen consequences, generates certain kinds of presence. This profound questioning of Western assumptions surrounding death requires an innovative form that challenges the traditional boundaries between poetry and narrative, privileges the magical as a vital aspect of reality, and ultimately seeks a redefinition of the lyric persona. In The Poems of Sidney West, writing, without lessening its essential condition of creative practice, is conceived as an instrument not only to interpret but to transform the world.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements; Juan Gelman: Translation as Fidelity; lamento por la muerte de parsifal hoolig; lament for the death of parsifal hoolig; lamento por el arbolito de philip; lament for philip’s tiny tree; lamento por gallagher bentham; lament for gallagher bentham; lamento por la tórtola de butch butchanam; lament for butch butchanam’s turtle-dove; lamento por el pájaro de chester carmichael; lament for chester carmichael’s bird; lamento por el sapo de stanley hook; lament for stanley hook’s toad; lamento por los ojos de vernon vries; lament for vernon vries’ eyes; lamento por el ciruelo de cab cunningham; lament for cab cunningham’s plum tree; lamento por los que envidiaron a david cassidy; lament for those who envied david cassidy; lamento por el día español de raf maloney; lament for raf maloney’s spanish day; lamento por el uteró de mecha vaugham; lament for mecha vaugham’s uterus; lamento por la nuca de tom steward; lament for tom steward’s nape; lamento por los alelíes de ost maloney; lament for ost maloney’s wallflowers; lamento por las aguas de bigart sample; lament for bigart sample’s waters; lamento por los pies de andrew sinclair; lament for andrew sinclair’s feet; lamento por las flores de david burnham; lament for david burnham’s flowers; lamento por el vuelo de bob chambers; lament for bob chamber’s flight; lamento por los pies de carmichael o’shaughnessy; lament for carmichael o’shaughnessy’s feet; lamento por la tripa de helen carmody; lament for helen carmody’s gut; lamento por el pelo de bright morgan; lament for bright morgan’s hair; lamento por la camisa de sam dale; lament for sam dale’s shirt; lamento por la historia de cab calloway; lament for cab calloway’s story; lamento por la niña blanca de johnny petsum; lament for johnny petsum’s white girl; lamento por el llanto de sim simmons; lament for sim simmon’s weeping; lamento por las yerbas de jack hammerstein; lament for jack hammerstein’s grasses; lamento por la gente de raf salinger; lament for raf salinger’s people; lamento por la mano de arthur donovan; lament for arthur donovan’s hand; lamento por la llama de roy joseph gally; lament for roy joseph gally’s flame; lamento por el furor de roy hennigan; lament for roy hennigan’s rage; lamento por los idiotas de warren s. w. cormoran; lament for warren s. w. cormoran’s idiots; lamento por las manos de astor frederick; lament for astor frederick’s hands; lamento por el sicomoro de tommy derk; lament for tommy derk’s sycamore; lamento por george bentham; lament for george bentham; lamento por la cucharita de sammy mccoy; lament for sammy mccoy’s tiny spoon; Fe de erratas; Errata
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“One of the greatest poets the world has today.” —
“Juan Gelman’s poems bring us to a state of mind, at once thoughtful and instinctive, forcing us to search for what we really are…This state of mind has no need for cries, proclamations, or insults. The ultimate force of Juan Gelman’s words is born from abandoning the surface of pain and anger to penetrate their roots.” —
Juan Gelman (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1930) is one of the most read and influential poets in the Spanish language. He has published more than twenty books of poetry since 1956 and has been translated into fourteen languages. A political activist and critical journalist since his youth, Gelman has not only been a literary paradigm but also a moral one, within and outside of Argentina. Among his most recent awards are the National Poetry Prize (Argentina, 1997), the Juan Rulfo Prize in Latin American and Caribbean Literature (Mexico, 2000), the Pablo Neruda Prize (Chile, 2005), the Queen Sofia Prize in Ibero-American Poetry (Spain, 2005), and the Cervantes Prize (the most important award given to a Hispanic writer, Spain, 2007).