Charles Bernstein

Molly Weigel: Introduction to The Shock of the Lenders & Other Poems by Jorge Santiago Perednik

from Action Books (2012)

Weigel reading at the book launch in New York, May 12, 2012
Weigel reading at the book launch in New York, May 12, 2012

Jorge Santiago Perednik's long poem The Shock of the Lenders has been published in sections in English over a period of years, starting with "The Main Fragment," which first appeared in Sulfur in 1992, and was subsequently reprinted in The XUL Reader (Roof Books, 1997) and The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry (2009).  The other sections, or fragments, of the poem, meanwhile, appeared only recently, in S/N:  New World Poetics in 2010.  In the present volume the poem in English appears for the first time in its entirety.  This new wholeness, presented with a generous sampling of other Perednik poems from different periods, provides a new context for the work in English, and an opportunity to explore some other contexts that can help to deepen a reading of these translations and to resist an easy consumption of them as "experimental" poetry independent of language or culture. 

The Shock of the Lenders & Other Poems by Jorge Santiago Perednik

tr. Molly Weigel, now out from Action books

Jorge Santiago Perednik, editor of the essential Xul magazine, from Buenos Aires, is a poet of transformations and intimacies, gestures and jests, epochal lyrics and lyric epics, lurid lines and luring stanzas. The sheer intelligence of his social critique brushes constantly against the shine of his poems' sounds and cuts. Molly Weigal offers a perfect introduction to this great poet of the Americas.

Gertrude Stein's war years: Setting the record straight

A dossier edited by Charles Bernstein

Over the past several years, Gertrude Stein’s war time record has been subjected to a stream of misinterpretations, distortions, and disinformation in the mainstream press. Most of these articles are written by authors who are hostile to Stein's literary works and who admit to their inability (and unwillingness) to read her work, including the works by Stein that directly address the issue at hand. In this Stein dossier, key documents are provided that refute the sensational tabloid accounts of Stein's activities, views, and affiliations during the war  years, when  she and Alice B. Toklas lived in Bilignin, France (near Lyon and Geneva). Stein's  connection to the Vichy government is complex and these complexities are fully explored in the essays and articles linked here. 

Edward Burns, in his essay published for the first time as part of this dossier, writes that “the translation of Pétain’s speeches has preoccupied Stein’s detractors in recent years; they have used it as the wedge (along with a clearly ironic remark about Hitler’s deserving the Nobel Peace Prize) to denounce her — the denunciation by extension extends to her literary works.

Gertrude Stein taunts Hitler in 1934 and 1945

(Sieg heil, sieg heil, right in der Fuehrer's face.)

On May 6, 1934, The New York Times published an interview by Lansing Warren, entitled "Gertrude Stein Views Life and Politics." The full piece is available on-line at the Times site.  A pdf of the article, as it appeared in the paper, in available here (useful given that the OCR version on the Times site has a few minor errors).