Complete Poetry of José Lezama Lima

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ISBN NFT: 9788411269186
Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788411267625
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411267618

This first volume of the Complete Poetry of José Lezama Lima contains the works of his first stage. In them Lezama builds his conception of poetry. Lezama’s poetic career began very early, when he was barely twenty-seven years old. In 1937 he published an extensive poem, which he had composed years before, and which is entitled Death of Narcissus.
Death of Narcissus, in its particular universe, expresses and contains its aesthetic proposal. In it the author dialogues with the literary heritage that inspires him in the search for new horizons of expression. Lezama manifests through the image of Narciso the construction of a poetic lineage and an authentic and proper expression.
This poem makes equivalences between the aesthetic conception of Góngora and that of Valéry, centered on poetic language. It also claims the figure of Garcilaso De la Vega as an emblem of the poet’s attitude and takes up the denial of the narcissistic attitude, as do the classical sources of myth.
Narcissus, the young man in love with his image, the poet, goes through the mirror to build his own ascent, his own conception of literature.
Then will come the rest of the poetry books gathered here:

  • Enemy Rumor (1941)
  • Stealth Adventures (1945)
  • and La fijeza (1949).

Water is one of the central elements in Enemy Rumor as it is in Death of Narcissus. This, taken to a metaphysical plane, can be interpreted as a possessive desire for poetic knowledge. However, this is a desire that is born frustrated, because poetry, like water, does not allow itself to be trapped, it is

It escapes the instant it reaches its best definition.

In Stealth Adventures Lezama remains within the coordinates of the poetic reality of his previous works. However, in this book the first signs of the Lezamian poetic system are already appreciated. The text has a kind of introduction, entitled “El Puerto”, in which the central elements that will later be poetized are reflected:

  • the mother,
  • the wife,
  • the son
  • and women.

Fixity is a step further on the path that Lezama travels. He advances in his attempt to make poetry a system that reveals to us a new world, whose causality is that of poetic connections.

We want to finish by commenting that we did not want to prolong our editions of Lezama Lima. We believe that the work of an author like ours does not obey a single perspective. In any case, we will publish a bibliography suggesting to readers the best interpretation essays that have been written about Lezama.
The Complete Poetry of José Lezama Lima should one day be accompanied by a biography of Lezama, a necessary and currently non-existent book.

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