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Translations from Memory
10% off all versions
Categories: 21st Century, American, British, Caribbean
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (112 pages)
(Pub. Jul 2018)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Jul 2018)
(Pub. Jul 2018)
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The memories from which Fred D’Aguiar translates these poems are cultural and personal, from the anciencies of the Gilgamesh epic to the modern world, from classical philosophy to C.L.R. James and Aimé Césaire, from Asia and Europe to the new world in which their destinies are unpredictably worked out.
D’Aguiar’s concluding translations are of Derek Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite, masters and remakers of language and form, from whom (among a multitude of others) he takes his bearings. This unusual integration of tributes and the ironies they provoke give Translations a radical colouring: D’Aguiar is learned; he is also wry, alert to the false notes in history and what follows from them. ‘The world map / Turned from red to brown to black / And blue, drained of empire.’ And he is passionate, responding always to the deep feelings of others, from desire to love, elegy to celebration.
'An array of sublime poems that unfold unsettling accounts of 'black' identity and the horrors of slavery...written with refreshing candour.'
Mohammad Fahran, Wasafiri
'Translations from Memory everywhere suggests the vital necessity of continually revisiting and revising our cultural past... It asserts the presence of those who have been written out of it and shows how the complex legacies of slavery and colonialism remain under-explored and undigested.'
Sarala Estruch, The Times Literary Supplement
'D'Aguiar manages to weave together memoir, history and critical race theory in ways that deepen our understanding of his poetics...Translations from Memory [...] will no doubt cement his standing as one of the most important Guyanese writers of the twentieth century.'
Leo Boix, Poetry London
'D'Aguiar is not generally concerned with textual translation in this collection: he applies the word in a broader sense... abbreviations seem part of the serious trans-cultural game, inviting recognition, but also making the outsider notice the limits and exclusions their own education has entailed. Whether the planet's human creatures might coexist without radically mistranslating each other is one of the vigorously posed questions.'
'Reformation' was The Guardian's Poem of the Week, September 24th 2018
Praise for Fred D'Aguiar 'In parts of Letters to America, Fred D'Aguiar comes to seem like Walcott's true twenty-first-century heir ... Fred D'Aguiar has written 'a canticle of water', a book for the individual bowed, imperilled, under the wave of history - monarchical and imperial - and crying out for collective action to stop it from consuming further shores. Letters to America is emphatically worth reading.'
Camille Ralphs, Ambit
'There are some exceptional poems, including the title poem Letters to America (An Abecedary) [...] The poetry is vibrant and musical''D'Aguiar interrogates and reassesses whatever he sees in a poetry that is flexible and fast paced, every action, every relationship thrown into fierce relief by a sense of threat and insecurity...'
Adrian B. Earle, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal
Charles Bainbridge, The Guardian
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