The Centaur Tree - Ilarie Voronca

Sublunary Editions

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The Centaur Tree by Ilarie Voronca, translated by Christina Tudor-Sideri / small 160-page paperback, 5 x 7 inches / ISBN 9781955190411 / published by Sublunary Editions

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"But in carriages the snakes intertwine like garlic strings, and the city surrounds me, it floods my house like a burst water pipe behind a wall. These metal bridges, these women in pools like huge crystal cups, these convoys of detainees, this hunger like a showcase of exotic fruits. Roads furrowed by the cough of some hedges, peas falling from the pod at the same time as bright skulls. Remnants of snow, more obscure than shards of glass after a feast. If you were to twirl with your beloved here, this debris of winter would cut your palms and thousands of rust ants would gush out of your veins."

Ilarie Voronca stands as the preeminent Romanian avant-garde poet of the 20th century, a writer whose texts treat images like a particle accelerator treats hydrogen atoms without ever losing clarity. The Centaur Tree is a selection from Voronca's Romanian prose poems and essays, drawing from the poet's formative years in which latent symbolism had not yet fully succumbed to the roiling undercurrents of modernism that would carry Voronca to France.

Ilarie Voronca was the pen name of Eduard Marcus (1903-1946), a Romanian-Jewish avant-garde poet. He settled in Paris as an adult, where he took part in the French Resistance.

Christina Tudor-Sideri is a writer and translator. She is the author of the book-length essay Under the Sign of the Labyrinth and the novel Disembodied. Her translations include works by Max Blecher, Magda Isanos, Anna de Noailles, Mihail Sebastian, and Ilarie Voronca.

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