Los cuadernos del destierro

Reading Rafael Cadenas Los cuadernos del destierro, a series of prose poems published in 1960, the Monte Ávila edition of 2001. The first question is how to translate the word 'destierro,' without using 'exile.' In that first major book, parts of which were written or conceived in Trinidad, the prose is used as a purposeful technique, blocks of disengagement from the nation, a self aligned with words about the continent for whose pages in music form. Destierro might be a form of estrangement and surely an alignment with certain Rimbaud texts, as Juan Sánchez Peláez did in some of his poems.

In an interview in 2000 in Verbigracia Rafael Cadenas commented on revolution (see English fragment below).

"Es asunto interior; tiene que ver con ese vivir del cual te hablaba, ese vivir en el ahora, ese vivir sin el lastre de tantas ideas recibidas que no han sido examinadas. La palabra "awareness", darse cuenta, resume bastante lo que trato de decir. Tal vez esto suene raro, pero creo que el mundo actual no es terreno propicio para revoluciones. El hombre de este siglo ha visto varias y se necesita ser ciego para no darse cuenta de que han fracasado y que es mejor buscar otra cosa que yo no sabría decir qué es. Las revoluciones además tienen la mala costumbre de terminar en dictaduras."

(It's an inner matter; it has to do with that living I was talking about, that living in the now, that living without the luster of so many ideas received that haven't been examined. The word "awareness," to realize, sums up what I want to say. Maybe that sounds strange, but I don't think the world is right for revolutions today. Humans in this century have seen several of them and one has to be blind to not realize they've failed and that it's better to look for something else that I wouldn't know how to name. Besides, revolutions have the bad habit of turning into dictatorships.)

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