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All Is Flesh collects in one volume Hugh Hazelton's English translations of Yannick Renaud's brilliant first two books of poems, Taxidermy and The Disappearance of Ideas, first published by Éditions Les Herbes rouges in Montreal.Taxidermy is a discourse on time consisting of prose poems stretched to the very limits of detachment. A completely objectified couple, alternately speaking as simply "he" or "she," strive to attain perfect control over their physical movements. Slowing them down, even stopping them, is equivalent in their minds to seizing and savouring the essence of the present and, by extension, to stopping time in their lives-an enactment of the romantic aesthetics of Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn." Their attempts at "holding the pose," as much for themselves as for each other, generate a tension in their voices-at once demanding, yearning and confessional-between the need for both static form and fluid movement in the choreography of their lives, which seeks to "occupy space unequivocally."The Disappearance of Ideas is a meditation on time that interrogates death and mourning, reminding us that "death remains the privilege of the living" and that "cathedrals tell us nothing more than the time on their stones." Unsentimental and intellectualized, the poems generate their radiant intensity by drawing our attention to the part of mourning that remains unresolved and inaccessible in our memories, reminding us of "what we don't know of stories." But this absence, what remains unknown of the past to us, also haunts our futures, where "actions taken only hinder what should have been," and "there is no second chance." As Baudrillard has said: "Things live only on the basis of their disappearance, and, if one wishes to interpret them with entire lucidity, one must do so as a function of their disappearance."
Cloudburst is a milestone in Canadian literature. For over a half-century, beginning with the Spanish Civil War and continuing through the coups d'état and military repression in South and Central America in the 1970s and 80s, Spanish-speaking writers have been arriving in Canada as exiles and immigrants and have been creating new works in their native language. Cloudburst is the first anthology of short stories by Hispanic Canadian writers from across Latin America and Spain to appear in English. Edited by Luis Molina Lora and Julio Torres-Recinos and first published in Spanish as Retrato de una nube in 2008, Cloudburst is a prodigious collective work, containing forty-two stories by twenty-two authors from nine different countries--Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Spain--and rendered into English by seven translators. The stories in Cloudburst reflect the enormous variety of Hispanic writing in Canada today. Each of the authors' native countries has its own artistic and literary tradition, yet all are bound together by the Spanish linguistic and cultural sphere. Moreover, the women and men in the anthology have settled in cities and towns across Canada, some of them entering into contact with the English-speaking literary world, others with the French. A number of them began writing before they left their homelands, while many of the younger contributors started their careers in Canada. Some of them prefer a traditional literary style, others a more surrealist, experimental, or colloquial approach. All of them are passionate about their writing, and all have gone through the common experience of leaving or being uprooted from the land of their birth and settling in Canada, where they face the challenges and difficulties involved in reestablishing their lives in a largely unknown environment. In Cloudburst, through the prism of translation, they share their latest fiction with English-speaking readers.
The exiles, immigrants, and travellers represented in Latinocanadá include Jorge Etcheverry (Chile), Margarita Feliciano (Argentina), Gilberto Flores Patiño (Mexico), Alfredo Lavergne (Chile), Alfonso Quijada Urías (El Salvador), Nela Rio (Argentina), Alejandro Saravia (Bolivia), Yvonne América Truque (Colombia), Pablo Urbanyi (Argentina), and Leandro Urbina (Chile). Their poetry and prose ranges from magic realism to tragedy to satire to science fiction and often depicts the experience of adapting and settling in Canada. Hugh Hazelton discusses the historical background, national literatures, and contemporary trends in the authors' countries of origin. He also includes a detailed analysis of each author's work, influences, and themes and their involvement with the Canadian and Quebec literary worlds.
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