Night Journey available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Princeton University Press
One of South America's most celebrated contemporary poets takes us on a fantastic voyage to mysterious lands and seas, into the psyche, and to the heart of the poem itself. Night Journey is the English-language debut of the work that won María Negroni an Argentine National Book Award. It is a book of dreams--dreams she renders with surreal beauty that recalls the work of her compatriot Alejandra Pizarnik, with the penetrating subtlety of Borges and Calvino.
In sixty-two tightly woven prose poems, Negroni deftly infuses haunting imagery with an ironic, personal spirituality. Effortlessly she navigates the nameless subject to the slopes of the Himalayas, to a bar in Buenos Aires, through war, from icy Scandinavian landscapes to the tropics, across seas, toward a cemetery in the wake of Napoleon's hearse, by train, by taxis headed in unrequested directions, past mirrors and birds, between life and death.
Night Journey reflects a mastery of a traditional form while brilliantly expressing a modern condition: the multicultural, multifaceted individual, ever in motion. Displacement abounds: a "medieval tabard" where a pelvis should be, a "lipless grin," a "beach severed from the ocean." In one poem "nomadic cities" whisk past. In another, smiling cockroaches loom in a visiting mother's eyes.
Anne Twitty, whose elegant translations are accompanied by the Spanish originals, remarks in her preface that the book's "indomitable literary intelligence" subdues an unspoken terror--helplessness. Yet, as observed by the angel Gabriel, the consoling voice of wisdom, only by accepting the journey for what it is can one discover its "hidden splendor," the "invisible center of the poem." As readers of this magnificent work will discover, this is a journey that, because its every fleeting image conjures a thousand words of fertile silence, can be savored again and again.
About the Author
María Negroni was born in Argentina in 1951. Recipient of the 2000-2001 Octavio Paz Fellowship for Poetry, she has published a novel, two books of essays, and six books of poetry in her native Spanish, one of which has previously appeared in bilingual editions in the United States. Night Journey is the English-language debut of El viaje de la noche (1994), which received an Argentine National Book Award in 1997. Her translations from French and English have been widely published. She teaches Latin American Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. Anne Twitty has translated books and numerous shorter works into English by Negroni, the Cuban poet Magali Alabau, and others. She was formerly editor of the Epicycle section of Parabola, in which she published essays on myth, creation, and memory.
Table of Contents
ix Kidnapped by the Inexorable - TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION2Esqueletos bajo el cielo - 3 Skeletons under the Sky4La jaula en flor - 5 Cage in Bloom6Catástrofe - 7 Catastrophe8Ecuyère y militar - 9 Equestrienne and Officer10Los bosques de marmol - 11 The Marble Forests12La pérdida - 13 Loss14Gabriel - 15 Gabriel16Heráldica - 17 Heraldry18Van Gogh - 19 Van Gogh20The Great Watcher - 21 The Great Watcher22El espejo del alma - 23 Mirror of the Soul24La ciudad nómade - 25 Nomadic City26El padre - 27 The Father28Diálogo con Gabriel I - 29 Dialogue with Gabriel I30Lido - 31 Lido32La visita - 33 The Visit34La guía telefónica - 35 The Telephone Book36El mapa del Tiempo - 37 The Map of Time38Napoleón II - 39 Napoleon II40Los amantes - 41 The Lovers42Los ojos de Dios - 43 The Eyes of God44El caballo blanco - 45 The White Horse46El bebé - 47 The Baby48Las tres madonas - 49 The Three Madonnas50Tout cherche tout - 51 Tout cherche tout52Carta a Sèvres - 53 Letter to Sèvres54El diccionario infinito - 55 The Infinite Dictionary56Las ventanas del siglo - 57 Windows on the Century58Diálogo con Gabriel II - 59 Dialogue with Gabriel II60Los dos cielos - 61 The Two Heavens62Fata Morgana - 63 Fata Morgana64New Jersey - 65 New Jersey66Rosamundi - 67 Rosamundi68Encrucijada - 69 Crossroads70La ceguera - 71 Blindness72Midgard - 73 Midgard74La ropa - 75 Clothes76El diluvio - 77 The Deluge78Sleeping Beauty - 79 Sleeping Beauty80El viaje - 81 The Journey82Die Zeit - 83 Die Zeit84Diálogo con Gabriel III - 85 Dialogue with Gabriel III86Teoría de la luz - 87 Theory of Light88Los hilos del ser - 89 Threads of Being90Over Exposure - 91 Over Exposure92Eternidad - 93 Eternity94Los osos - 95 The Bears96El mundo no termina - 97 The World Doesn't End98Cuento de hadas - 99 Fairytale100 Terra Incognita - 101 Terra Incognita102Peridural y despojo - 103 Epidural and Plunder104Hieros gamos - 105 Hieros gamos106Diálogo con Gabriel IV - 107 Dialogue with Gabriel IV108Simurgh - 109 Simurgh110El libro de los seres - 111 The Book of Being112El techo del mundo - 113 The Roof of the World114El juego sin nombre - 115 The Anonymous Game116Hurgãlyã, ciudad peregrina - 117 Hurgãlyã, Peregrine city118Los cielos del otoño - 119 Autumn Skies122Teoría del buen morir - 123 Theory of a Good Death124Casandra - 125 Cassandra126Carta a mí misma - 127 Letter to Myself
What People are Saying About This
A mysterious configuration of presence and absence, Night Journey is an intricate symbolic mapping of identity. María Negroni has written a book in which each poem is an open window allowing us to observe the dangerous clash of unreality and reality. For as she writes: 'I began to name things, that is, to conceal them.' And so the reader enters the fascinating universe of a woman traveling amid and beyond fear, mirrors, and shadows. Night Journey: a book where existence is a daring language of dreams.
Nicole Brossard, author of "Mauve Desert"
Calvino's prose (as in Invisible Cities) is the only predecessor I can cite for María Negroni's sophisticated texts, and Anne Twitty's remarkable translations are quite as striking and idiomatic as William Weaver's celebrated versions of the Italian master. These prose poems have all the glamour of narrative fables and all the lyric density of odes. One reads through Night Journey with the rare certainty that this is literature, a sequence of passionate, sorrowing renunciations; and the singular elegance of the utterance, in English as in Spanish, brings these illuminations precisely to the level where Rimbaud had left that word.
In El viaje de la noche, a sense of the uncanny is presented with a precise eloquence that preserves its hermetic nature. . . . Here we have an exceptional book, one that transforms its dark, serene, and fearsome music into a desire to read and reread.
Jorge Monteleone, "Pagina/12", Buenos Aires
A great book . . .
Jordi Villalonga, "El Pais", Madrid
Chapter 1. On Disappointment 9
The Role of Disappointment in Preference Change 9
Taking Disappointment Seriously 14
Chapter 2. Varieties of Consumer Disappointment 25
The Privileged Position of Truly Nondurable Goods 27
Consumer Durables 32
Chapter 3. The General Hostility Toward New Wealth 46
Historical Evidence from the Eighteenth Century in England and France 46
The Manifold Case against New Goods 53
Chapter 4. From Private Concerns into the Public Arena-I 62
Exit and Voice Reactions to Consumer Disappointment 62
Explaining Changes in Life-Styles: Ideology and Second-Order Volitions 66
Chapter 5. From Private Concerns into the Public Arena-II 77
Collective Action and the Rebound Effect 77
Why Free Rides Are Spurned 82
Chapter 6. The Frustrations of Participation in Public Life-1 92
The Poverty of Our Imagination 93
Overcommitment and Addiction 96
Chapter 7. The Frustrations of Participation in Public Life-II 103
The Underinvolvement of Voting 103
A Historical Digression on the Origins of Universal Suffrage 112
Chapter 8. Privatization 121
Public Virtue Debunked 125
Attractions of the Private Sphere 128