Luis Cernuda: One River, One Love

Philip G. Johnston

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ISBN: 9781910572221

Publication: December 31, 2015

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Philip G Johnston's new translation of Un rio, un amor (One River, One Love) by Luis Cernuda (1902-1963) is faithful to the author's quasi-Surrealist intentions. Written in France and Spain in 1928-1929, this collection reflects the influences, conflicts and impulses that governed the poet's life then. It speaks of the alienation of a marginalised, disaffected individual in a Spain which he described as "decrepit and decomposing", of a shy homosexual gradually and painfully coming to terms with his orientation in a rigid, hostile society, of a passion for American popular culture (Jazz, Blues and cinema), filtered through a Hispanic sensitivity, and eventually somewhat tempered by the disappointments of daily life. The collection's later poems see Cernuda finding an admirable and resonant voice of protest. Very much a part of the broad European Modernist ethos (Cernuda can justifiably be compared to, say, T S Eliot), One River, One Love is furthermore written in the spirit of Spain's famous Generation of 1927 (spearheaded by figures such as Dali, Lorca and Bunuel) which set about reacting to "what had already been said", seeking the radical reform of the Spanish aesthetic and, in doing so, created a second Spanish Golden Age. Intriguingly balanced between what Cernuda himself would later term "Reality and Desire", this collection also involves a significant flirtation with the conventions of Surrealism. Lautreamont's famous formula involving the sewing machine, the umbrella and the dissection table is most certainly nodded to here in the characteristic Cernudian harnessing of shocking, incongruous and unexpected elements in imagery. That flirtation, however, stops short of full consummation of the relationship (Cernuda never, for example, gives himself completely over to unfettered, automatic writing, or, "dictee de la pensee") -which fact in itself speaks of a peculiarly Spanish twist to the European avant-garde.

Philip G. Johnston is Senior Lecturer in Spanish in the School of Languages and Literatures at University College Dublin. He is the author of an edition of In the Burning Darkness by Antonio Buero-Vallejo in this series, and also a major study of the poet Antonio Machado.

Translator’s Note
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Un río, un amor / One River, One Love
Remordimiento en traje de noche / Remorse in a Dinner Jacket
Quisiera estar solo en el sur / I Want to be Alone in the South
Sombras blancas / White Shadows
Cuerpo en pena / Body in Pain
Destierro / Exile
Nevada / Nevada
Como el viento / Like the Wind
Decidme anoche / Tell Me Last Night
Oscuridad completa / Total Darkness
Habitación de al lado / The Room Next Door
Estoy cansado / I Am Tired
El caso del pájaro asesinado / The Case of the Murdered Bird
Durango / Durango
Daytona / Daytona
Desdicha / Misery
No intentemos el amor nunca / Let’s Not Ever Try Love Again
Linterna roja / Red Lantern
Mares escarlata / Scarlet Seas
Razón de las lágrimas / Reason for Tears
Todo esto por amor / All This for Love
No sé qué nombre darle en mis sueños / I Do Not Know What to Call Him in My Dreams
Duerme, muchacho / Sleep, Sonny
Drama o puerta cerrada / Drama or Closed Door
Dejadme solo / Leave Me Alone
Carne de mar / Sea Flesh
Vieja ribera / Old Riverbank
La canción del oeste / The Song of the West
¿Son todos felices? / Are They All Happy?
Nocturno entre las musarañas / Nocturne of the Shrews
Como la piel / Like Skin


Format: Hardback

Size: 210 x 148 mm

160 Pages

ISBN: 9781910572221

Publication: December 31, 2015

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