Enemy Whisper

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Illustrated rustic ISBN: 9788411267571
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411262392

Enemy Whisper (Enemigo rumor) was published by José Lezama Lima in 1941. It is a book inspired by the Spanish classics of the Golden Age, the French symbolists and Surrealism. Enemy Whisper reveals Lezama’s belief that poetry is a religious and metaphysical act.
And, among other poems already legendary, here it is worth mentioning:

  • Ah, that you escape
  • Saint John of Patmos before the Latin door
  • Island night: invisible gardens
  • A bridge, a great bridge

The very title of the book is already quite significant. Lezama himself explains in a letter to Cintio Vitier:

“It turns itself, poetry, into a real substance, and so devouring that we find it in all presences. And it is not the floating, it is not that poetry in the impressionistic light, but the realization of a body that constitutes an enemy and from there looks at us. But every step in that enmity provokes ineffable wake or communication.”

In this book the poem Ah, que tú escapes, can be considered as the first sign of literary maturity of the author.
Water is one of the central elements in Enemy Whisper as it is also in Death of Narcissus. This, taken to a metaphysical plane, can be interpreted as a possessive desire for 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 Enemigo rumor Lezama’s religious, identity and metaphysical concerns are manifested. It is also perceived how his poetry is positioned in a fascinating middle point, between the literary avant-garde of the twentieth century, the Bible and the authors of the Golden Age.


Ah, that you escape

Ah, that you escape in the instant
in which you had already reached your best definition.
Ah, my friend, that you don’t want to believe
the questions of that freshly cut star,
that is dipping its tips in another enemy star.
Ah, if it could be true that at bath time,
when in the same discursive water
The motionless landscape and the finest animals are bathed:
antelopes, snakes of short steps, of evaporated steps,
They seem between dreams, without desire to lift
the most extensive hair and the most remembered water.
Ah, my friend, if in the pure marble of goodbyes
you would have left the statue that could accompany us,
for the wind, the graceful wind,
It spreads like a cat to let itself be defined.

First poem of Enemy Rumor

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AltoAncho
Rústica tipográfica148 mm210 mm
Rústica ilustrada149 mm210 mm
Tapa dura152 mm228 mm


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