From the Forbidden Garden: Letters from Alejandra Pizarnik to Antonio Beneyto

From the Forbidden Garden: Letters from Alejandra Pizarnik to Antonio Beneyto

From the Forbidden Garden: Letters from Alejandra Pizarnik to Antonio Beneyto

From the Forbidden Garden: Letters from Alejandra Pizarnik to Antonio Beneyto

Synopsis

From the Forbidden Garden: Letters from Alejandra Pizarnik to Antonio Beneyto offers an intimate self-portrait of Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972), one of the greatest Latin American poets of the twentieth century. The letters, written to this Spanish writer, editor, and artist between September 2, 1969 and September 12, 1972 display her insight, the forcefulness of her language, and her humorous use of wordplay and puns. her literary life, as well as the development of her work in progress. These letters introduce us to Pizarnik's literary friends, the artists, poets, and writers she preferred and her reactions to them. She collaborated on various projects and cultivated many close literary and personal ties with writers of the stature of Julio Cortazar, Olga Orozco, Octavio Paz, Silvina Ocampo, Luisa Sofovich, and Pieyre de Mandiargues, among others. Carlota Caulfield is Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at Mills College. Translator Angela McEwan holds an M.A. in Spanish from the University of California at Irvine.

Excerpt

Alejandra Pizarnik and Antonio Beneyto

Alejandra pizarnik was an exceptional correspondent, whatever the subject, whatever the mood. She wrote letters full of lively perception, offering fascinating insights not only into her own personality but also into the process of her creativity. Her correspondence with the Spanish writer-editor-painter Antonio Beneyto proves it. She knew the pleasures and value of written correspondence in a world in which letters had the power to create strong links between people.

In Beneyto, Pizarnik found a special correspondent who, like herself, rejoiced at a familiar return address and who faithfully answered her letters. He remembers with great emotion the feeling of recognizing her unique handwriting on the envelope, seeing her sometimes feverish, irregular blocks, the abrupt breaks of her thoughts and some of her artistic scrawls on the page. Pizarnik’s letters are sometimes like paintings, not only because of the paper she chose, but also because of the way her handwriting changed and her struggle to embody live thought, almost to paint it.

Alejandra Pizarnik and Antonio Beneyto are one of the most remarkable pairs of epistolary friends in the history of Hispanic literature, and their friendship keeps attracting the attention of readers, at times acquiring the status of myth. As Beneyto tells us in his “How I Met Alejandra Pizarnik,” the essay that follows this introduction, the literary friendship between the two writers began in Palma de Mallorca around the summer of 1967. the friendship began there not because it was where they first met, but because it was the location where Beneyto read her poems for the first time. Even though for years she had mentioned the possibility of visiting him in Barcelona and had invited him to go to Buenos Aires, they never met.

What we have here is a powerful epistolary. the letters in this collection enable us to meet one of the most interesting Argentinian poets of the twentieth century and become part of her world. We find in many of these letters the poet’s self-portrait. Reading these letters . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.