Heriberto Yépez

Modernists and feminists

The 'poem including history' and the 'autohistoria'

This Bridge Called My Back
This Bridge Called My Back

Multilingualism has long been a key characteristic, even a central tenet of literary experimentation. So maybe it seems a bit weird that after all these commentaries I still haven’t found anything to say about the various streams of modernist literature that drew upon other languages. Why haven't I addressed T.S. Eliot's attempted reconstitution of the “mind of Europe”? What about Ezra Pound's (also attempted) translation of Chinese written characters? Or what about the less well known but no less multilingual Zurich Dada “nonsense” poems that drew upon anthropological works, using fragments and phrases from world Indigenous languages to inform their experiments in non-meaning?

Analyses of avant-garde or experimental poetry typically understand multilingualism as a part of the modernist dream of breaking with the past in order to prefigure an unforeseen but possible future.

Ni uno más

Siempre hay más

Teresa Margolles, Bandera (Flag), Fabric dyed with blood from executions
Teresa Margolles, Bandera (Flag), Fabric dyed with blood from executions


Hay que hablar de cobardía que es la manera en que se entiende aquí el aire.
Hay que hablar de miedo.
Es decir,
hay que hablar de historia.

We must speak of cowardice which is the way to understand the air here.
We must speak of fear.
That is,
we must speak of history.
Juan Carlos Bautista, “Cabezas” (“Heads”)

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