Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bilingual reading - Argentina, Saturday afternoon

The readings were introduced by Don Bogan.

Lila Zembrorain, who teaches at NYU, read her work, and the translator, Rosa Alcalá, read her translations (co-translator with Monica de la Torre, who also co-edited Reversible Monuments). Both poet and translator spoke on the body in water and moving through water, connecting with the space around it through movement. Malva orquidias del mar, Mauve sea-orchids. A beautiful name for jellyfishes.

"The edge of the horizon with its impressive cleanness.... as if health and illness were there in ... the depth of the genes... in the infinite confusion that forms us... where bodies like yours and mine in the passing hours disintegrate to form the sand's golden surface... one's own absurd cubicle..." --- So beautiful... I enjoyed this reading very much. I've got to see both of their work together on the page, as it is dense and complicated poetic language, good to hear aloud but the sort of thing to meditate on & re-read for better understanding.

Lila's readings impressed me with the swimming feel of the rhythm of words (like body motion) and her long deep breaths exactly like coming up for air. Usually in poetry you don't necessarily pay attention to hearing the breath, but in these poems, read out loud, the audible breath is crucial especially in this poem - I did not catch the name of the poem - but this one:

"who would dare in their heated course crawl .... without oxygen... parpadeando.... blood that drags itself through the body.... only movement admits distance... an insect in the disturbed current... "

Really, I can't wait to read this!

*I missed the middle two readings, unfortunately*

Then, Andrea Labinger talked about Edgar Brau, an amazing poet and fiction writer, an autodidact, very erudite but with no formal education. (Poverty. Ambivalent relationship with the U.S. and its inhabitants.) Excerpt from Casablanca. Everything is black and white and grey, and the story gets stranger and stranger until it's getting my mind into a wonderful atmosphere of mindblowing, hip, surreal science fiction. The "speculative fiction" or slipstream or literary science fiction readers and writers would like this book very much.



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2 comments:

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