Poetry. Latinx Studies. Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Isolde, Vicente Huidobro's SKY-QUAKE: TREMOR OF HEAVEN is a stunning prose poem driven by a relentless seismic energy that takes metaphor-making and image-building to unimaginable heights. Originally published in Madrid in 1931 under the title Temblor de cielo and in Paris in 1932 as Tremblement de ciel, this groundbreaking text stands as one of the most significant bilingual poems of twentieth-century letters. Part love poem, part surrealist narrative, and part philosophical treatise, SKY-QUAKE: TREMOR OF HEAVEN is intimately connected to Huidobro's better-known masterwork Altazor (1931) and stands as a major achievement in Latin American avant-garde poetry, again proving Huidobro's stature among the four giants of Chilean poetry, where he stands shoulder to shoulder with Nobel laureates Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, as well as his contemporary avant-gardist Pablo de Rokha. Released here for the first time in a trilingual edition with a translation that takes into account both the Spanish and French originals in its Englishing, SKY-QUAKE: TREMOR OF HEAVEN allows translators Ignacio Infante and Michael Leong to bring Huidobro's dynamic and wildly inventive poetic flights to new readers with verve and savvy. Not for the faint of heart and not to be missed!
"Mystical, cosmic, exuberant, boisterous, otherworldly, operatic, epic, outlandish. These are just some of the adjectives that apply to this multilingual masterwork of one of the most important poets of the twentieth century. The Gods and wars and ghosts inside Huidobro's language explode off the page, creating an affective experience that is vertiginous, that makes the body and mind quake along with the sky, the word, the image. Huidobro is a singular writer, a legend of the global avant-garde. This sumptuous new translation is a tremendous service to contemporary poetry and to literary history."—Daniel Borzutzky
"Vicente Huidobro, the 'citizen of oblivion:' he contemplates from such heights that everything turns to air. He is everywhere and nowhere: he is the invisible oxygen of our poetry."—Octavio Paz
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
Ignacio Infante is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of After Translation: The Transfer and Circulation of Modern Poetics across the Atlantic (Fordham University Press, 2013). He has also translated into Spanish the US poet John Ashbery, A Wave / Una Ola (Lumen/Penguin Random House, 2003); and the British novelist Will Self, How the Dead Live / Co'mo viven los muertos (Random House Mondadori, 2003). His research in the fields of comparative literature, translation studies, modern and avant-garde poetics, and Hispanic studies has been published in numerous scholarly journals, such as Variaciones Borges, Revista Hispaánica Moderna, Modern Philology, Comparative Literature, Translation Review, and Modernism/modernity, among others.Author City: USA
Michael Leong is the author of several books of poetry, including e.s.p. (Silenced Press, 2009), CUTTING TIME WITH A KNIFE (Black Square Editions, 2012), Who Unfolded My Origami Brain? (Fence Digital, 2017), and WORDS ON EDGE (Black Square Editions, 2018), as well as a translation of the contemporary Chilean poet Estela Lamat, I, THE WORST OF ALL (BlazeVOX [books], 2009). He was a FY 2016 NEA Literature Translation Fellow and has won a Face Out grant from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. His study Extending the Document in Contemporary North American Poetry is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts.Author City: USA