Kornblith / Jameson

Eileen Tabios has released her webzine Galatea Resurrects, which will focus on reviews of poetry. I was happy to edit a feature on the Venezuelan poet Martha Kornblith for this inaugural issue. The Kornblith portfolio includes an introductory essay, my English versions of 14 of her poems, along with translations of an interview with Kornblith from the early 1990s and a newspaper article written days after her death in 1997.

The poems I translated are mainly taken from her magnificent sequence Oraciones para un dios ausente (Monte Ávila Editores, 1995), the only book she published while she was alive. Versions of most of these translations have been posted here or at Antología during the past 3 years. I hope to eventually find copies of her two posthumous books, both released in 1997. I'm aware that by translating and writing about her I'm in danger of mythologizing her as another tragic poet who died much too young. Hopefully her work will convince readers that she's a writer who had no time for nostalgia or illusions about the sacred nature of poetry. I admire the surface cruelty of her poems, their harsh & precise language.


In the new LRB, Terry Eagleton reviews Fredric Jameson's Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (Verso, 2005). I've only just begun to wade through this massive book, so I can't speak to Eagleton's review. Unfortunately, the essay isn't available online. But I do want to excerpt this fragment from the essay, which aligns with my own reading of Jameson's writing as having such a distinct style:

"He is, as Perry Anderson has observed, one of the great writers of our time, not just one of our most formidably gifted critics and social theorists. Like Barthes or Foucault, he is a case of the theorist as poet or novelist. There are plenty of passages in this densely figurative book in which the superbly talented literary artist lurking inside the critic emerges in a deliciously tantalising flash, only to efface himself almost immediately."

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