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Spanish Practices

Edwin Williamson, 18 May 1989

Collected Poems 1957-1987 
by Octavio Paz, edited by Eliot Weinberger.
Carcanet, 669 pp., £25, October 1988, 0 85635 787 1
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Sor Juana: Her Life and her World 
by Octavio Paz, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.
Faber, 547 pp., £27.50, November 1988, 0 571 15399 2
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ASor Juana Anthology 
translated by Alan Trueblood, with a foreword by Octavio Paz.
Harvard, 248 pp., £23.95, September 1988, 0 674 82120 3
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... A Sor Juana Anthology presents a selection of the Mexican nun’s work in excellent versions by Alan Trueblood. It successfully reflects the versatility of Sor Juana, whose styles range from spirited popular lyrics, some incorporating snatches of Nahuatl or Afro-Spanish refrains, to the learned conceits of her full-blown Gongorist manner. Particularly ...

Other Ways to Leave the Room

Michael Wood: Antonio Machado, 25 November 1999

The Eyes: A Version of Antonio Machado 
by Don Paterson.
Faber, 60 pp., £7.99, October 1999, 0 571 20055 9
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... leaning. ‘For an accurate translation of Machado’s words’, Paterson refers us to Alan Trueblood’s selection, which gives, he says, ‘a more reliable reflection of the surface life of Machado’s verse’. I assume Paterson is not asking us not to read Machado, only to refrain from petty comparisons, and to treat his own versions as ...

The Unreachable Real

Michael Wood: Borges, 8 July 2010

The Sonnets 
by Jorge Luis Borges, edited by Stephen Kessler.
Penguin, 311 pp., $18, March 2010, 978 0 14 310601 2
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Poems of the Night 
by Jorge Luis Borges, edited by Efraín Kristal.
Penguin, 200 pp., $17, March 2010, 978 0 14 310600 5
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... a prison sentence, as in the following lines from a poem called ‘La Luna’ (translated here by Alan Trueblood): Siempre se pierde lo esencial. Es una Ley de toda palabra sobre el numen. No la sabrá eludir este resumen De mi largo commercio con la luna. The essential thing is what we always miss. From this law no one will be immune nor will this ...

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