Textos del desalojo

Between 1973-1975 Antonia Palacios (Caracas, 1915-2001) wrote the astonishing collection of prose poems called Textos del desalojo (excerpted at Kalathos). I sometimes translate the title as Homeless Texts, even though it sounds wrong. Palacios writes after ghostly preoccupations in this book. A figure sitting alone for days in a house in the center of the valley, far inside from the city around her. Ancient city, slowest movement trees quantum. Another writer I'd call secret.


Prose as a travelling feature, influence of travel in the XVIII and XIX centuries on the novel. Part of my essay should address how Roque Dalton and Roberto Bolaño's final novels are centered on a journey motif, the destroyed Russian countryside of 2666, and the dawning, crowded country bus entering San Salvador from the rural outskirts (returned from the dead) in Pobrecito poeta que era yo.

Thinking of these novels as partly being written under the spell of Walter Benjamin, in Bolaño through the Baudelaire epigraph. Dalton's poets are Baudelairean, the first page in a bar in San Salvador. From those instants after the opening credits have faded begins the deliberate abandonment of a central, epic narrative. Dalton's poet in the final pages returns to the city alone and penniless, disguised as a poor campesino, en route to exile from where he writes the novel.


"This is an old song, these are old blues
And this is not my tune, but it's mine to use"
(Joanna Newsom)


Saludos a los lectores en Tampa.

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