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Language Duel / Duel de lenguaje
     

Language Duel / Duel de lenguaje

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by Rosario Ferré
 

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"English and Spanish have been at war since Queen Elisabeth sank King Felipe's Spanish Armada in 1588," Rosario Ferré writes in the title poem of Language Duel; "Language carries with it all their fire and power." Ferré explores this tension throughout this explosive collection, which plays with the sensual differences between the

Overview

"English and Spanish have been at war since Queen Elisabeth sank King Felipe's Spanish Armada in 1588," Rosario Ferré writes in the title poem of Language Duel; "Language carries with it all their fire and power." Ferré explores this tension throughout this explosive collection, which plays with the sensual differences between the languages and lays bare many of the complications facing an increasingly bilingual America.
In these poems, Miami is celebrated as a modern Tower of Babel and a place where the layers of history are particularly palpable. Wave after wave of conquerors wash across the Americas. A well-dressed Latino businessman inadvertently reveals his roots at the Ritz when someone steps on his foot, eliciting a profanity--in Spanish. Intimate snapshots capture the nameless heroism of homeless men, the exuberance of a child's affection for her hometown, and memories of lovers.

“El español y el inglés han estado en guerra desde que la Reina Isabel hundió la Armada Invencible en el 1588”, escribe Rosario Feré en “Duelo del lenguaje”, el poema que da t’tulo a esta colección; “los lenguajes llevan con sigo todo su fuego y poderío”. Ferré explora las tensiones entre lenguas y culturas a través de esta colección de carácter controversial, que señala muchos de los dilemas a los que se enfrenta hoy una América cada vez más bilingüe.
Estos poemas celebran tanto la antiquísima ciudad San Juan como las metrópolis más modernas: Miami, Nueva York, WDC. Pasado y presente, historia y sociedad se mezclan con una inmediatez sorprendente. Ola tras ola de conquistadores estalla sobre Norte América; un hombre de negocios bien vestido inesperadamente revela sus raíces cuando alguien le da un pisotón en el elevador del Ritz y suelta una maldición. Fotos instantáneas de los deambulantes que se desplazan por las calles de la capital, el cariño exuberante que siente un niño por su ciudad natal, los amantes cuya memoria perdura en el recuerdo, el rumor de la lluvia en el patio de atrás, que lava el remordimiento: he aquí algunos de los temas a la vez poéticos y cotidianos que se recogen en este libro.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Criticas
Puerto Rico's leading woman of letters and the author of the National Book Award finalist La casa de la laguna (The House on the Lagoon, Vintage Espa ol, 1997), Ferr has written an homage to the two dominant languages of the Western hemisphere. In this bilingual collection of new and older poems, she explores the tension between English and Spanish, bringing to life the savory political and cultural implications of speaking Spanish, a language that has outlasted many threats of being vanquished or forgotten. But Ferr 's dynamic and rhythmic verses also acknowledge other languages that have survived what she calls the "English-speaking Conquistadors." In "Saguaro Countdown," which displays a keen sense of humor, a saguaro ("cactus") critiques those who proclaim that they were the first to march in the land of the native Hopi, Navajo, O'Odham, and Pueblo tribes by observing, "They have been here less than three centuries/ and have already forgotten/ what came before them." It takes quite a bit of courage to translate a collection of work that speaks so much to the texture, movement, intricacies, and depth of a language. Ferr and West Duran's translation is clear and grammatically correct, but the English poems lack the depth and texture of the originals. In many cases, the translators opt for the third person when the Spanish version uses the first, which creates a sense of distance and changes the tone of the poems. Nevertheless, this poetry collection stands out for giving a new perspective of the Hispanic experience in the United States, this time in terms of language. Recommended for all libraries. Ver"nica Reyes, Univ. of Arizona Lib., Tucson Copyright 2002 Cahners BusinessInformation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307536556
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/14/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

"English and Spanish have been at war since Queen Elisabeth sank King Felipe's Spanish Armada in 1588," Rosario Ferré writes in the title poem of Language Duel; "Language carries with it all their fire and power." Ferré explores this tension throughout this explosive collection, which plays with the sensual differences between the languages and lays bare many of the complications facing an increasingly bilingual America.
In these poems, Miami is celebrated as a modern Tower of Babel and a place where the layers of history are particularly palpable. Wave after wave of conquerors wash across the Americas. A well-dressed Latino businessman inadvertently reveals his roots at the Ritz when someone steps on his foot, eliciting a profanity—in Spanish. Intimate snapshots capture the nameless heroism of homeless men, the exuberance of a child's affection for her hometown, and memories of lovers.

“El español y el inglés han estado en guerra desde que la Reina Isabel hundió la Armada Invencible en el 1588”, escribe Rosario Feré en “Duelo del lenguaje”, el poema que da t’tulo a esta colección; “los lenguajes llevan con sigo todo su fuego y poderío”. Ferré explora las tensiones entre lenguas y culturas a través de esta colección de carácter controversial, que señala muchos de los dilemas a los que se enfrenta hoy una América cada vez más bilingüe.
Estos poemas celebran tanto la antiquísima ciudad San Juan como las metrópolis más modernas: Miami, Nueva York, WDC. Pasado y presente, historia y sociedad semezclan con una inmediatez sorprendente. Ola tras ola de conquistadores estalla sobre Norte América; un hombre de negocios bien vestido inesperadamente revela sus raíces cuando alguien le da un pisotón en el elevador del Ritz y suelta una maldición. Fotos instantáneas de los deambulantes que se desplazan por las calles de la capital, el cariño exuberante que siente un niño por su ciudad natal, los amantes cuya memoria perdura en el recuerdo, el rumor de la lluvia en el patio de atrás, que lava el remordimiento: he aquí algunos de los temas a la vez poéticos y cotidianos que se recogen en este libro.

Meet the Author

A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rosario Ferré is Puerto Rico's leading woman of letters. She has written novels, poetry, short fiction, children's books, biography, and literary criticism in Spanish and English. She received the Liberatur Prix in Germany for Sweet Diamond Dust in 1992, and was a Natoinal Book Award finalsit for The House on the Lagoon in 1995. Her novels have been published in many languages and she translates her own fiction into Spanish. Her most recent novel, Flight of the Swan, was published in 2001. She lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

A NOTE ABOUT THE CO-TRANSLATOR
Alan West Durán is a poet, translator, and writer. He won the 1996 Latino Literature Prize fro Poetry with Finding Voices in the Rain. He recently published El tejido de Asterió o las máscaras del logos (2000), a book-length poem, and translated Alejo Carpentier's Music in Cuba (2001).

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Language Duel / Duel de lenguaje 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knelt by Tom. "Are you okay, man? I mean, I know WarZone healed you, but..." I look after WarZone wondering if my friends okay. "VOX YOU COWARD!" I yell after him. "Just run away, like everyone else." I snarl. I spread my wings and take off. I try to concentrate. My vision is red with anger and I shoot through the air at like 200 miles per hour. Just a little ability I had been forced to get. "Concentrate..." I think forcefully. "Tom or WarZone could need help!" I swerve back and fly towards the battle place. I land beside Tom and fold my wings slightly, but not completely. I look up at the stormy sky. -Dylan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HamBURGERS!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt die. It is part of my secret. I a at my hiuse right nowbhealing)