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César Vallejo is dead. They struck him, / All of them, though he did nothing to them,

They hit him hard with a stick and hard also / With the end of a rope.

 

 

 

César Vallejo

(1892 - 1938) 

 

César Vallejo was born in Santiago de Chuco, Perú, in 1892, the youngest of eleven children. His father wanted him to become a priest as were César's two grandfathers, but he expressed no interest in a religious vocation.

Vallejo began writing poetry in 1913; by 1918 he had his first book of poems published, Los heraldos negros. Two years later he was unjustly imprisoned for a period of four months. In 1922 he published Trilce, then a year later some prose pieces as well, and that he year he left Peru for Paris.

In 1928 he traveled to Russia because he believed that Communism could deliver social justice to the world. His writing from 1923 until his death strongly identifies with the plight of a suffering humanity. The next year he spent traveling back and forth between Paris and Spain.

In 1931 he published his novel Tugsteno, the same year he joined the Congress of Antifascist Writers in Madrid.

Vallejo died in Paris of an intestinal infection in 1938. His Poemas humanos was published a year after his death. Clayton Eshleman and José Rubia Barcia translated the Complete Posthumous Poetry of César Vallejo, which won the 1979 National Book Award.

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The Black Heralds

Book Description

Throughout his life, Cesar Vallejo (1892--1938) focused on human suffering and the isolation of people victimized by inexplicable forces. One of the great Spanish language poets, he merged radical politics and language consciousness, resulting in the first examples of a truly new world poetry.

The Black Heralds is Vallejo's first book and contains a wide range of poems, from love sonnets in which he struggles to free his erotic life from the bounds of Spanish Catholicism to the linguistically inventive sequence, "Imperial Nostalgias," where he parodies with considerable savagery the pastoral romanticism of Indian and rural life.

In this bilingual volume, translator Rebecca Seiferle attempts to undo the "colonization" of Vallejo in other translations. As Seiferle writes in her introduction: "Reading and translating Vallejo has been a long process of trying to meet him on his own terms, to discover what those terms were within the contexts of his particular time and, finally, taking his word for it."

from "Our Bread"

And in this frigid hour, when the earth
smells of human dust and is so sad,
I want to knock on every door
and beg forgiveness of I don't know whom,
and bake bits of fresh bread for him,
here, in the oven of my heart...!

Cesar Vallejo (1892--1938) was born in Peru to a family of mixed Spanish and native descent. He wrote two books of poetry, the second of which was partly composed during a short prison term. Disappointed by the reception of his poetry in his own country, Vallejo moved to Paris, where he became active in Marxist politics and the antifascist campaign in Spain, while publishing essays, political articles, a play, and short stories. Vallejo died in Paris, in utter poverty, on the day Franco's armies entered Madrid.

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Paris, October 1936

From all of this I am the only one who leaves.

From this bench I go away, from my pants,

from my great situation, from my actions,

from my number split side to side,

from all of this I am the only one who leaves.

 

From the Champs Elysées or as the strange

alley of the Moon makes a turn,

my death goes away, my cradle leaves,

and, surrounded by people, alone, cut loose,

my human resemblance turns around

and dispatches its shadows one by one.

 

And I move away from everything, since everything

remains to create my alibi:

my shoe, its eyelet, as well as its mud

and even the bend in the elbow

of my own buttoned shirt.

translated by Clayton Eshleman

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Black Stone on Top of a White Stone

I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,

On a day I already remember.

I shall die in Parisit does not bother me

Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in autumn.

 

It shall be a Thursday, because today, Thursday

As I put down these lines, I have set my shoulders

To the evil. Never like today have I turned,

And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.

 

César Vallejo is dead. They struck him,

All of them, though he did nothing to them,

They hit him hard with a stick and hard also

With the end of a rope. Witnesses are: the Thursdays,

The shoulder bones, the loneliness, the rain, and the roads...

translated by Thomas Merton

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Mockingbirds at Jerusalem (poetry Manuscript)

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The White Masters of the World

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By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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posted 3 April 2010 

 

 

 

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Related files: César Vallejo  C K Williams   John Crow Ransom   Randall Jarrell   Weldon Kees   Clarence Major