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In the forceful, staggering poetry of César Vallejo, poet and photographer Gerard Malanga discovered a kindred spirit. Driven by a deep sense of spiritual kinship and with the encouragement of Vallejo's widow, Malanga's translations reveal a profound perspective on Vallejo's work that brings into focus the brutal desperation behind his genius. Malanga Chasing Vallejo gathers 82 of Vallejo's poems in a bilingual edition that is marked by the spiritual connection between poet and translator. A work of the heart, these poems are presented from the position of a fellow member of the underclass, providing a street-level entry point for readers who can relate to the hunger feeding every verse and the ache of loneliness that no amount of modern technology can obscure. In addition to the poems, Malanga's heartfelt introduction describes the process of his 45-year commitment to this project. The book also includes a poem about Vallejo by Malanga, rare photos of Vallejo, and transcriptions of several never-before-published letters to Malanga from Vallejo's widow, Georgette de Vallejo, which guided his translation efforts.
Three Rooms Press; November 2014
- ISBN: 9781941110102
- Read online
- Title: Malanga Chasing Vallejo: Selected Poems: César Vallejo
- Author: César Vallejo; Gerard Malanga (ed.)
Imprint: Three Rooms Press
In The Press
"Translating poetry is a terrifically difficult task, but the translator’s efforts have borne fruit: this handsome bilingual edition introduces a new generation of English speakers to the great Peruvian, whose impassioned voice against inequality we need now more than ever." The Antioch Review
Americans do not lack for versions of Vallejo, but this bilingual selection has three merits. It's a new and largely careful introduction to most of Vallejo's career. . . . it comes with letters and documents, in an appendix, from the poet's widow Georgette. And it comes from Malanga, who began as a player in Andy Warhol's Factory and has since become a prolific, successful poet, filmmaker, and portrait photographer on his own. Malanga has been translating Vallejo since 1969; he does well with the poet's sense of fatigue and with his strange blend of alienation and yearning." Publishers Weekly
"Born in 1892 in Peru and an expatriate in 1920s France and 1930s Spain, Vallejo remains one of the greats of 20th-century Latin American literature. His poems are aching and hungry but devoid of self-pity; it’s humanity for whom he aches. Poet Malanga has made a life of translating Vallejo, whose work has influenced him deeply, and in this freshly translated bilingual edition you can see his devotion in the faithfulness with which he renders these poems. Complete editions of Vallejo’s work exist, but this less pricey selected is a fine introduction." Library Journal
"The authority of these translations from the Spanish, its thrall, is in Gerard Malanga’s selection of the poems, a selection which at once gives us the essence of Malanga’s affinity with César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza (1982-1938) and Vallejo’s humble knack of addressing the world . . . Malanga himself lives and breathes in what he sees. . . . He misses nothing, not a tic, not a wince, not a quaver. I believe he sees in Vallejo a fellow undercover agent for a better world. But there’s more to this historic connection, as Malanga tells us in his preface. He and Vallejo were outsiders looking in, men who experienced dire poverty, experienced it in fact in cold, rainy, wind-blown Paris. Malanga, because of his early successes and relationship with The Factory, Andy Warhol’s artistic collider, is typically taken as an insider, but when you read his poems you recognize no insider could have viewed the inside so dispassionately. He may have been an insider, but his photographer’s empathy is always with the outsider." Djelloul Marbrook, Galatea Resurrects
"Now and again a poet is found who is a complex of so many capabilities and patterns, all relating but none so isolating in its practice that the one is lost to the other. I have marvelled for years at Gerard Malanga's articulate endurance as a poetand also as a photographer of singular power. He has moved with deftness and great authority in the various worlds of art and pop, and never lost his wits or his footing. In short, he reminds me as do few others of what poets might be in a common world if only they could or would." Robert Creeley
"Malanga is among the elite editors . . . who have long dazzled and propelled the New York avant grade." Fred McDarrah
"Malanga has that great essential virtue of the photographer: humility before the complex splendor of the real thing . . . Malanga is the photo-historian of this culture." Ben Maddow
"César Vallejo was one of the essential poets of the 20th century, a heartbreaking and groundbreaking writer." Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States
About The Author
César Vallejo (18921938) was a Peruvian poet, writer, playwright, and journalist. Although he published only three books of poetry during his lifetime, he is considered one of the great poetic innovators of the 20th century in any language. Gerard Malanga is an acclaimed as a poet, photographer, and filmmaker. Born in the Bronx in 1943, he is the author of a dozen poetry collections, the most recent being No Respect: New & Selected Poems, the four-volume fanzine set: AM: Archives Malanga, and Tomboy & Other Tales. His photography books include Resistance to Memory and Screen Tests Portraits Nudes. He was a founding editor of Interview magazine, alongside Andy Warhol. Malanga lives in upstate New York.