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Rosario Castellanos (1925-1974) was a Mexican essayist, poet, and novelist sometimes associated with Spain’s generación de 50. Her writing rubbed its heel into social and aesthetic convention, and its mark can still be seen in contemporary Mexican poetry. Only a couple of books are widely available in English translation: Esther Allen’s fantastic The Book of Lamentation (from the original Oficio de tinieblas), a selected poems, and A Rosario Castellanos Reader (edited by Maureen Ahern), a book I’m not familiar with. These three from a writer who published over fifteen books of prose and about as many of poetry and plays. This is a writer whose influence can be compared to César Vallejo’s, but whose poems have only been translated sporadically.
Steve Dolph is an editor of Calque, a journal of literature in translation.
More from The Quarterly Conversation:
- Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya Senselessness, Horacio Castellanos Moya (Katherine Silver, trans.) New Directions. 160pp, $15.95. Senselessness is the first novel by Honduras-born Horacio Castellanos Moya to be translated into English, and though it’s quite slim, it’s a stunner. Hired by the Catholic church to copyedit an 1,100-page report which details (with gruesome exactitude) military...
- The Horacio Castellanos Moya Interview In Notes about the Political in the Latin American Novel, Horacio Castellanos Moya wrote: [I]f someone tells me that I write “political novels,” I immediately get on guard. My reaction is primal, but it has an explanation. First, I don’t like to attach labels to the fiction I write; to...
- Horacio Castellanos and the New Political Novel Something strange is happening to the political novel. In Latin America it's becoming just the novel, and never so clearly as in Horacio Castellanos Moya....
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