YOU CAN JOIN YOUR HANDS The people say: Dust, Celestial, Sepulchral, and are left calm, mollified, satisfied. But listen to this cricket, to the soft rain of night, of a lunatic existence. Now is the time for it to sing. Now and not tomorrow. Right now. Here. At our side… as if there were nowhere … More readings: Oliverio Girondo
At the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur in Buenos Aires. Sunday sloth, street markets, children toddling like ducks. Bicycles. A heat so intense that the smell of these flowers took on a physical form.
It’s no secret that I’m terrible with directions. It takes me an inordinately long time to orient myself in a new city, particularly one not organized around a numbered grid, à la New York. But it was a surprise even to me that I managed to get lost inside a building on my way to … More the road not taken
The moon is full tonight And hurts the eyes, It is so definite and bright. What if it has drawn up All quietness and certitude of worth Wherewith to fill its cup, Or mint a second moon, a paradise? – For they are gone from earth. – Philip Larkin Melancholia, dir. Lars von Trier (2011, … More ’till death do us part
Chilean “antipoet” (and physicist, and mathematician) Nicanor Parra was awarded the Premio Cervantes yesterday. One of the most prestigious in the Spanish language, the prize recognizes an author’s lifelong contribution to letters; there can be little question that, in the course of his 97 years, Parra has had a profound effect on the way poetry … More where credit is due.
Scott Esposito (editor of The Quarterly Conversation and all-around superstar advocate of literary translation) recently wrote a very insightful piece on Sergio Chejfec’s meandering and meditative jewel, My Two Worlds (Open Letter, 2011) for The Critical Flame. In it, he likens Chejfec’s narrative sensibility to that of W.G. Sebald, particularly for the way in which … More A keen eye for Chejfec
TV Utopía, dir. Sebastián Deus (Argentina 2011, 92′) Since the dawn of time, or at least the invention of cable, the lament has remained unchanged: so many channels, and nothing’s ever on. For a moment, though, in one neighborhood in Buenos Aires, something was: a pirate television station that aired programming of and by the … More The media is the message
Oliverio Girondo holds a special place in my heart. It’s been almost ten years since I first leafed through the translucent pages of his ample collected works, yet I find myself going back to them time and again – not only for the poems themselves, but also for a certain generosity of spirit that can … More The merry nomad
Last Wednesday would have been Oliverio Girondo’s 120th birthday, and while most of the world (myself included) was clamoring to wish Jorge Luis Borges a feliz cumpleaños, many of the major cultural papers in Argentina were also paying homage to – as one article puts it – “the man who wrote the manifesto that marked … More A Fresh Pair of Eyes
It’s no secret that I can’t resist a good interview with César Aira – and I’ve found that most of them offer at least a few moments of brilliance. He has a way of answering even rote questions in unexpected, incisive ways. Today’s piece from Kill Your Darlings is no exception. Here’s a taste: Due … More Aira: “the novel is an anachronistic genre”