In 1941, a young José Lezama Lima, the Cuban poet, essayist, and novelist—who would go on to author the polemically erotic neobaroque masterwork Paradiso (1966) and essays on cultural expression in the Americas, such as “La expresión americana” (1957)—published an article in a Havana newspaper on the late-nineteenth-century queer Cuban modernista poet Julián del Casal that advocated for a decolonial poetics of reception and failure and a creative use of the artist’s archive. This is the first published English translation of Lezama Lima’s “Julián del Casal.”
Julián del Casal
José Lezama Lima (1910–1976) was a Cuban poet, novelist, and essayist, often considered one of the most influential figures in Latin American literature. His collections of poems include Muerte de Narciso (1937), Enemigo rumor (1941), Aventuras sigilosas (1945), La fijeza (1949), Dador (1960), and Fragmentos a su imán (1978), and among his novels are Paradiso (1966) and Oppiano Licario (1977).
Robin Myers is a Mexico City–based poet and translator. Her recent translations include Lyric Poetry Is Dead by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg (2018), Manca by Juana Adcock (2019), Empty Pool by Isabel Zapata (2019), Animals at the End of the World by Gloria Susana Esquivel (forthcoming), and Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos (forthcoming).
José Lezama Lima, Robin Myers; Julián del Casal. Small Axe 1 November 2019; 23 (3 (60)): 131–154. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-7912394
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