Poetry. Latinx Studies. Translated by Eliot Weinberger. This volume presents the four chapbooks published by Huidobro in 1917-18 and offers, at first glance, an odd mixture. Chronologically, we have El espejo de agua, written in Spanish in 1914-16, first published in 1916, but, to all intents and purposes not distributed until 1918; Ecuatorial (written in Spanish, although the author also made a French version, Equatoriale, which is believed to be later), Hallali and Tour Eiffel. These last two publications, composed in French, were both marked by textual experimentation and were important influences on the nascent wave of the Spanish avant-garde. The four chapbooks were bookended, so to speak, by the French-language volume HORIZON CARRÉ (2017) and the Spanish-language collection, POEMAS ÁRTICOS (2018), both of which have already appeared in translation in this series of Huidobro volumes from Shearsman Books. This is a vital collection for understanding the early 20th century Latin-American and Spanish avant-gardes in poetry.
The Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro (1893-1948) is one of the most important figures in 20th-century Hispanic poetry and, with César Vallejo, one of the pioneering avant- gardists in Spanish. Originally from an upper-class Santiago family, Huidobro was fortunate to have the means to support himself and his family while he found his artistic way. After an early phase writing in a quasi-symbolist style in his native city, he moved to Paris and threw himself into the local artistic milieu with a passion, quickly becoming a notable figure, publishing a large number of books in the period 1917-1925. Influenced initially by Apollinaire, Huidobro quickly befriended both forward-looking French writers such as Reverdy, Cocteau and Radiguet, and the Spanish expatriate artists, including Picasso and Juan Gris. He reached his poetic maturity in 1931 with the publication of two master-pieces: the long poem, Altazor, and the book-length prose-poem Temblor de cielo (Skyquake). Two further collections would follow during his lifetime, both published in Santiago in 1941. While he also published successful novels and plays, it is for his poetry that he is best remembered today.Author City: Santiago CHL