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The Complete Poetry: A Bilingual Edition Bilingual Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520245525
ISBN-10: 0520245520
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Less famous than Neruda or Lorca, the Peruvian Vallejo (1892–1938) may stand as their equal among the great Spanish language modernists. At times more demanding than both—and just as devoted to "eternal love," "animal purity" and "the absolute Encounter"—Vallejo has inspired devotion and imitation across continents. The lyrical, quotable poems of The Black Heralds (1918) record an intense young man's struggle with his Andean and Catholic heritage. Dense in its beauty, packed with neologisms, Trilce (1922) shows Vallejo at his strangest and most original: determined to forge a new language for the New World, the volume weaves together pellucid laments for the lost loves of childhood with "thrips and thrums from lupine heaps." The posthumous Human Poems (1939) mingle nostalgia, eroticism and rage as they follow the poet's years in Paris; the more conventional Spain, Take This Cup from Me (1939) records Vallejo's devotion to the Loyalist (left-wing, and losing) side of the Spanish Civil War and memorably mourns the fallen. Decades in the making, this faithful and forceful complete text from poet and essayist Eshleman (see page 40 for a review of his newest book of verse) deserves as much notice as any poetic translation can get. (Dec.)
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“Conveys, in all its boldness and vigour, the unmistakable voice of Cesar Vallejo.”
(London Review Of Books 2012-08-01)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 732 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Bilingual edition (January 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520245520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520245525
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,497,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cesar Vallejo (March 16, 1892 - April 15, 1938), is the single most overlooked poet of the last century, a major injustice for such a titanic figure of 'modernism' -whatever that English Majors' myriad term means. Clayton Eshleman's translation is clear, accessible and a labour of love -one can be nearly as grateful for it as one is for the poet himself. It also avoids the sycophancies which a poetaster would otherwise be slave to in the task of translation, and to this end Eshleman is successful in rendering Vallejo into plain English. However: the hysteric critical adulation for the translation (see the backmatter), and the slavish praise lavished on it, culminating in the National Book Award nomination in 1989 is overdone and misplaced.

Which is to say: Eshelman is a good translator, but fails to present Vallejo in his hermeneutic entirety. Ron Padgett's comment, that Eshelman has "Gotten within and translated from the inside out" is a generous academic fatuity. The praise for which this edition is given is founded entirely on the weight of the poet himself -any lesser man's verse would leave Eshleman in a lower caste of translation efforts, and more unknown than Vallejo is himself today. Actual critique of this aside, Eshleman's judgment cannot be sullied here -the poet he chose to render fully deserved the effort, and for that he is to be commended. This is a *bi-lingual* edition, hence his translation is something more of a exegetical work for those whom Spanish is not their mother tongue.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a review of the Kindle edition.

I was overjoyed to see this great book available on Kindle. I am very encouraged with the release of this book and recent books of stories by Julio Cortázar and Gabriel Garcia Márquez in kindle format. Finally the books i want to read are being released on kindle.

Vallejo is to my mind the greatest Latin American poet, and Eshelman has devoted decades to making him accessible in English, a task almost as daunting as translating Finnegan's Wake into Spanish. Much of this work has appeared before in Eshelman's editions of the posthumous poetry, but it is great to have it here in the arrangement that makes most sense together with the work that Vallejo published while he was alive.

Vallejo's work ranges from the keening lyricism of his first book, The Black Heralds, to the dark (and often very funny) posthumous poems with their need to invent new words for new states of consciousness. Often the work is difficult to comprehend, but the human voice that forgoes any self deception or easy comforts is always clear.

So the book in itself rates 6 stars or more. The reason I give the Kindle edition 4 stars is because until they solve some of the problems for presenting poetry in this format it is always going to be a lesser experience. They have to figure out a way (or take the trouble) to make each poem begin at the top of a page instead of poems just running on after one another like so many shovels full of words. And the index of first lines in this edition is worthless: so small you can't read it and no links if you could. So there is virtually no way to find a poem you want to read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everyone who loves good poetry and speaks Spanish (first) and English (second) or vice versa will surely enjoy this bilingual edition. Vallejo is one of the greatest poets of 20th century, and the translation is result of a serious effort; so reading each poem face to face in both languages is a special pleasure.

Nevertheless, I have to say that in almost any of the translated poems I can find from two to three lines which don't convey the poet's feeling. Since English is not my first language, I can't say what would be the right English version of those lines, but I can feel clearly that they don't say what he Spanish version says.

FIRST EXAMPLE: from Los heraldos negros
Original version:

---... o los heraldos negros que NOS MANDA la Muerte. ----

with NOS MANDA (present tense), the poet tells us that Death KEEPS (likes) sending us the black heralds; it is not a single past act; instead, it is an act that is usually (or permanently) repeated.

Translated version:

-- ...or the black heralds SENT US by Death.----

I feel that SENT US does not express the idea that Death uses (or likes) to send us the black heralds permanently. It seems to me that SENT US cuts the permanency with which Death sends us her black heralds. I am not sure, but I think that a closer expression would be
---... or the black heralds that Death sends to us.

SECOND EXAMPLE: from Los heraldos negros
A: original version

--- "...Esos golpes sangrientos son las crepitaciones de ALGÚN PAN que en la puerta del horno SE NOS quema.
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