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Selected Writings of César Vallejo
César Vallejo; Joseph Mulligan, ed.



Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan
2015 • 679 pp. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Spanish & Portuguese Literary Collections / Caribbean & Latin Amer. Literary Collections


$40.00 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7484-8

$31.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7525-8

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



With his ferocious radicalism and bridge-burning experimentalism, Peruvian César Vallejo played avant-garde to the avant-garde. This wonderful selection of his poems, letters... [continued in Reviews below]”—Gustavo Faverón Patriau,

Essential writings from the catalyst of the Latin American experimental tradition

For the first time in English, readers can now evaluate the extraordinary breadth of César Vallejo’s diverse oeuvre that, in addition to poetry, includes magazine and newspaper articles, chronicles, political reports, fictions, plays, letters, and notebooks. Edited by the translator Joseph Mulligan, Selected Writings follows Vallejo down his many winding roads, from Santiago de Chuco in highland Peru, to the coastal cities of Trujillo and Lima, on to Paris, Madrid, Moscow, and Leningrad. This repeated border-crossing also plays out on the textual level, as Vallejo wrote prolifically across genres and, in many cases, created poetic space in extra-literary modes. Informed by a vast body of scholarly research, this compendium synthesizes a restored literary corpus and—in bold translations that embrace the idiosyncratic spirit of the author’s writing—puts forth a new representation of this essential figure of twentieth-century Latin American literature as an indispensable alternative to the European avant-garde. Compiling well known versions with over eighty percent of the text presented in English translation for the first time, Selected Writings is both a trove of and tribute to Vallejo’s multifaceted work. Includes translations by the editor and Clayton Eshleman, Pierre Joris, Suzanne Jill Levine, Nicole Peyrafitte, Michael Lee Rattigan, William Rowe, Eliot Weinberger, and Jason Weiss.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“With his ferocious radicalism and bridge-burning experimentalism, Peruvian César Vallejo played avant-garde to the avant-garde. This wonderful selection of his poems, letters, essays, plats, and journalistic writings, with erudite and thoughtful commentary by Joseph Mulligan, gives us a brilliant and inviting open door to access the inner workings of the convulsive, dark, agonistic, and magically creative mind of one of the most radical innovators of twentieth-century literature. This book will change the rules of the Vallejo game forever.”—Gustavo Faverón Patriau

“This generous volume of Selected Writings a helps us to fill the gaps and get a fuller sense of Vallejo as an author and actor on the intellectual stage.”Times Literary Supplement

“Vallejo’s writing, in the end, simply mesmerizes. He writes from a state of constant self-recognition and revelation … Again and again, Vallejo’s focus hovers over his awareness within the immediate activity of writing, drawing attention to the vital importance of the ongoing present.”—Patrick James Dunagan, Jacket 2

“Vallejo’s prose has so far gone largely untranslated into English. Joseph Mulligan’s excellent new Selected Writings of César Vallejo, just coming out from Wesleyan, should transform Vallejo’s reception, with its huge variety of poetry, drama, fiction, journalism, reviews, aesthetic theory, chronicles, and correspondence.”—David Lau, Lana Turner Journal

“Apart from his poetry, the great Peruvian writer wrote a thesis on Spanish Romantic poetry, a novel, short stories, children’s fiction, plays, two travelogues, journalism, political essays, philosophical notebooks, and a plethora of letters to family members, friends and literary colleagues which are eloquent, persuasive, sometimes heartbreaking. ... This edition is superb.”—Stephen M. Hart, UCL Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies

Selected Writings is extraordinary in its choice of texts and the quality of translations. Mulligan brings scholarship on Vallejo to a new level of expertise while making that knowledge accessible to a wider audience.”—Ernesto Livon-Grosman, Boston College

“César Vallejo is rightly known as a major twentieth century poet. Thanks to Joseph Mulligan’s impressive edition, English readers will appreciate Vallejo's poetry in the context of his essays, journalism, letters, and explorations of other literary genres.”Efrain Kristal, UCLA

From the Book:

“All political catechism, even the best of the best, is a record, a cliché, a dead object, when compared to the creative sensibility of the artist. This political action is fine in the second-rate hands of a look-alike or knock-off artist, but not in the hands of a creator. It would be good [. . .] to locate the moxie, but history offers no examples of an artist who has successfully created a great work based on polls or political parties that he supports or opposes. In general, theories hamper and hinder creation.

Before shouting on the streets or getting locked in jail, in a tacit and silent heroic act the artist must create the great deep political aqueducts of humankind that become visible and flourish only over centuries, precisely, in those ideologies and social phenomena that later echo in the mouths of the men of action, apostles, and opinion leaders we mentioned earlier.

If the artist refuses to create what we might call political clouds in the human wilderness, reducing his work to the secondary role of propaganda or the barricade itself, to whom might that great spiritual thaumaturgy fall?”

From “Artists Facing Politics” [Mundial (Lima), no. 394, December 31, 1927]



CÉSAR VALLEJO (1892–1938) was born in the Peruvian Andes and, after publishing some of the most radical Latin American poetry of the twentieth century, moved to Europe, where he diversified his writing practice to encompass theater, fiction, and reportage. As an outspoken alternative to the European avant-garde, Vallejo stands as one of the most authentic and multifaceted creators to write in the Castilian language. JOSEPH MULLIGAN is a professional translator and scholar. He has translated Against Professional Secrets by César Vallejo, The Antiquarian by Gustavo Faverón Patriau, and a selection of Sahrawi poetry included in Poems for the Millennium Volume IV: The University of California Book of North African Poetry. He lives in Rochester, New York.

Click here for author's website.


Publication of this book is funded by the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.


Fri, 1 Sep 2017 16:31:20 -0500