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Vicente Huidobro; Eliot Weinberger, trans.

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2004 • 176 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / Literary Criticism - Spanish & Portuguese

$19.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6678-2

Trans. from the Spanish

Revised edition of a Latin American classic in a tour-de-force translation.

Often compared with Apollinaire as the first and liveliest avant-garde poet in his language, Vicente Huidobro was a one-man movement ("Creationism") in the modernist swirl of Paris and Barcelona between the two World Wars. His masterpiece was the 1931 book-length epic Altazor, a Machine Age paean to flight that sends its hero (Altazor, the "antipoet") hurtling through Einsteinian space at light speed. Perhaps the fastest-reading long poem of the century, and certainly the wildest, Altazor rushes through the universe in a lyrical babble of bird-languages, rose-languages, puns, neologisms, and pages of identical rhymes, finally ending in the pure sound of the language of the future. Universally considered untranslatable until the appearance of Eliot Weinberger's celebrated version in 1988, Altazor appears again in an extensively revised translation with an expanded introduction.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Huidobro’s great poem is the most radical experiment in the modern era. It is an epic that tells the adventures, not of a hero, but of a poet in the changing skies of language. Throughout the seven cantos we see Altazor subject language to violent or erotic acts: mutilations and divisions, copulations and juxtapositions. The English translation of this poem that bristles with complexities is another epic feat, and its hero is Eliot Weinberger."—Octavio Paz

From the Book:

Mill of the chill of the wind
That weaves the mornings into nights
That spins the mists beyond the grave
Mill of ill-wind and wind in the sills
The landscape fills with your madness

VICENTE HUIDOBRO (1893-1948), a Chilean who lived mainly in Europe, was a trilingual poet, painter, war correspondent, founder of newspapers and literary magazines, Hollywood screenwriter, and candidate for president of Chile. ELIOT WEINBERGER's recent books are Karmic Traces, 9/12 and The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry. His edition of Jorge Luis Borges' Selected Non-Fictions received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:02:50 -0500