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Ida Vitale

Garden of Silica

Garden of Silica


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Garden of Silica is the first poetry anthology of the Uruguayan Ida Vitale to appear in English, spanning eight books published from 1960 to the present. Vitale is one of the fundamental voices of Latin American literature, and her work also encompasses essays, short stories, journalism, and translation. She belongs to Uruguay's Critical Generation of the 1940s, whose mission was the construction of a participative intellectual subject. Vitale's poetry illustrates the incompatibility of the construction of that intellectual subject and realism. It is not the case of an idealist aesthetic that denies the existence of objective reality or offers only a testimony of individuality. Rather, these texts seek a balance between subjectivity and objectivity, and accordingly the private and the public. In addition, with a revealing gesture of feminist undertones, intellectual capacity is privileged above that of sentimentality. As a result, Vitale's message is implicit, requiring an active reader, one involved in the very process of creation. Placing the intellectual subject at the forefront, and thus relegating the national and the feminine to a second plane, Ida Vitale's poetry offers one of the most profound and provocative representations of women's subjectivity in the Spanish language.

Praise for this Book

‘An undeniable purpose of austerity... a sacred fear of the emphatic... an always contained impulse’ —Mario Benedetti (winner of the Reina Sofía Prize, 1999)

‘Ida Vitale lingers in words, scrutinizes them, peers at them, respects them. She knows what they are and they become matter of her art… She is capable of nurturing and making flower a garden of silica’ —Rafael Courtoisie, author of The Red Sea

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