Purgatory

Purgatory

by Raul Zurita
     
 

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Raúl Zurita’s Purgatory, a landmark in contemporary Latin American poetry, records the physical, cultural, and spiritual violence perpetrated against the Chilean people under Pinochet’s military dictatorship (1973–1990) in the fiercely inventive voice of a postmodern master. This beautiful en face edition, superbly translated by

Overview

Raúl Zurita’s Purgatory, a landmark in contemporary Latin American poetry, records the physical, cultural, and spiritual violence perpetrated against the Chilean people under Pinochet’s military dictatorship (1973–1990) in the fiercely inventive voice of a postmodern master. This beautiful en face edition, superbly translated by Anna Deeny, brings to English-language readers an indispensable volume written by one of the most important living poets writing in Spanish today. Zurita was a 24-year-old student in Valparaíso when, on the morning of the coup, he was arrested, detained, and tortured. Conceived as the first text of a Dantean trilogy that includes Anteparaíso (Anteparadise) and La Vida Nueva (The New Life), Purgatory is his anguished response to Chile’s violent recent history.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An exciting literary event."--Publishers Weekly

"Important and dynamic. . . . Every young poet . . . needs to read and study this book. The lessons found here will redefine poetic commitment."--The Bloomsbury Review

"Zurita is seen by many to be the most important poet in Chile and the inheritor of Neruda's legacy. . . . An important book."--Poetry Foundation/ Harriet

"Beautifully produced, well translated, and as lyrically chilling as when it was first written in the shadow of Pinochet's . . . dictatorship."--Molossus

The Bloomsbury Review
“Important and dynamic. . . . Every young poet . . . needs to read and study this book. The lessons found here will redefine poetic commitment.”
Poetry Foundation/ Harriet
“Zurita is seen by many to be the most important poet in Chile and the inheritor of Neruda’s legacy. . . . An important book.”
Molossus
“Beautifully produced, well translated, and as lyrically chilling as when it was first written in the shadow of Pinochet’s . . . dictatorship.”
Publishers Weekly
In a voice highly attuned to paradox and instability, Zurita confronts the traumatic upheaval brought on by Augusto Pinochet's 1973–1990 U.S.-backed military dictatorship over the Chilean people. Zurita's electrifying poems recount a multitude of transformations and philosophical reorientations (“Today I moo with my head about to fall/ as the church bells' mournful clanging/ says that milk goes to market”) brought on by this terrifying chapter in Latin American history. A central section, “The Desert of Atacama,” offers an array of shifting perspectives on “the convergent and divergent landscapes” where the self, in a Whitmanesque turn, both disappears and contains multitudes: ”my form begins to touch your form and your form/ that other form like that until all of Chile is nothing but/ one form with open arms: a long form crowned with thorns.” Lucidly translated by Deeny (whose afterword insightfully contextualizes Zurita within the broader Latin American poetics), this bilingual edition of a politically and formally revolutionary text is an exciting literary event. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520259737
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
11/02/2009
Edition description:
Spanish-English Bilingual Edition
Pages:
136
Sales rank:
1,169,657
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"An exciting literary event."—Publishers Weekly

"Important and dynamic. . . . Every young poet . . . needs to read and study this book. The lessons found here will redefine poetic commitment."—The Bloomsbury Review

"Zurita is seen by many to be the most important poet in Chile and the inheritor of Neruda's legacy. . . . An important book."—Poetry Foundation/ Harriet

"Beautifully produced, well translated, and as lyrically chilling as when it was first written in the shadow of Pinochet's . . . dictatorship."—Molossus

Meet the Author

Raúl Zurita, considered by many to be the heir to Pablo Neruda, is one of Latin America's most radical, influential, and prominent poets. Anna Deeny is a doctoral candidate in Latin American Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

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