A Tradition of Rupture
by: Alejandra Pizarnik
A Tradition of Rupture: Selected Critical Writings by Alejandra Pizarnik / ISBN 9781946433268 / 160-page paperback from Ugly Duckling Presse
Translated from the Spanish by Cole Heinowitz. Since the publication of her 1955 debut poetry collection, La tierra más ajena (THE MOST FOREIGN COUNTRY), Alejandra Pizarnik has captivated the imaginations of many of Latin America's most celebrated twentieth-century writers, from Octavio Paz and Julio Cortázar to Roberto Bolaño and Raúl Zurita. Over the last several years, the majority of Pizarnik's poetry has been translated into English, garnering enormous acclaim in the U.S. and abroad, yet her extraordinary critical writings--including commentaries on figures such as Artaud, Borges, Breton, Michaux, and Pessoa, as well as intimate accounts of her own working methods--remain almost entirely unknown outside the Spanish-speaking world. A TRADITION OF RUPTURE makes these writings available to English-speaking readers for the first time, offering indispensable insight into the range of Pizarnik's reading and the principle influences on her poetics. The works collected in this volume also provide a rare glimpse of the famously introverted poet in her capacity as public intellectual and critic, revealing a voracious intelligence turned outward toward the world in vital dialogue with the words of others.
"For many years now we have known Alejandra Pizarnik as a poet who explored the mysteries of pain & mental suffering in a mode & at a level like that, say, of Kafka, & still more that of Artaud. What her translator Cole Heinowitz now brings us so forcefully is a sampling of Pizarnik's poetics & critical writings, as a further & necessary record of what it means to claim a life through poetry. Simultaneously subversive & tragic, hers is a full-blown work that cries for our attention."--Jerome Rothenberg
Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972) was a leading voice in twentieth-century Latin American poetry. Born in the port city of Avellaneda, in the province of Buenos Aires, to Russian- Jewish immigrants, Pizarnik studied literature and painting at the University of Buenos Aires and spent most of her life in Argentina. From 1960-1964 she lived in Paris, where she was influenced by the work of the Surrealists (many of whom she translated into Spanish) and participated in a vibrant community of writers including Simone de Beauvoir and fellow expatriates Julio Cortázar and Octavio Paz. Known primarily for her poetry, Pizarnik also wrote works of criticism and journalism, experimental fiction, plays, and a literary diary. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968 and a Fulbright Scholarship in 1971. Her complete works in Spanish have been published by Editorial Lumen. A book of her critical writings, A TRADITION OF RUPTURE (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019), was translated into English by Cole Heinowitz. Five books of her poetry have been translated into English: THE LAST INNOCENCE / THE LOST ADVENTURES (Ugly Duckling Presse 2019), THE MOST FOREIGN COUNTRY (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017), DIANA'S TREE (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014), A Musical Hell and Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962-1972 (New Directions, 2016) and The Galloping Hour: French Poems (New Directions, 2018). She died in Buenos Aires, of an apparent drug overdose, at the age of 36.