The Shock of the Lenders and Other Poems / El shock de los Lender y otras poemas
by Jorge Santiago Perednik
Translated by Molly Weigel.
Poetry. Latino/Latino Studies. Bilingual Edition.
15 May 2012
Is it ‘shocking’ that Sergio and Pablo Shoklender, two teenage sons of privilege in 80’s Argentina, should murder their parents, stuff them in a car trunk, and ride off in different directions on horseback? Or is it consistent with the violence with which capitalism and privilege direct and protect themselves, through oppression, theft and the dirtiest of wars? As the late Argentine poet Jorge Santiago Perednik has written, “Terror settles in people and affects them in unforeseen ways; in the case of Argentine poets, whatever they wrote about, even if they didn’t intend to, they wrote about terror.” His long poem, The Shock of the Lenders, is a tour de force in the truest sense of that term, going blow for blow, spectacle for spectacle with the implacable, immoral Power that maimed and split society during Argentina’s Dirty War and continues to make and split the world today. Perednik meets language at the end of its tether and makes it speak the unspeakable.
Molly Weigel’s translation is a vivid, capacious response to the stubbornness and complexity of Perednik’s Spanish. This landmark poem appears here alongside other works by Perednik, with a comprehensive, insightful translator’s introduction.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jorge Santiago Perednik (1952-2011) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An influential poet and literary critic, he was also a publisher and a translator of English and American poetry. He founded several literary journals, two of the most influential being XUL and Deriva. The former was an important poetry journal that started publishing during Argentina’s last military dictatorship in 1980; it continued until 1997 with the printing of its 12th issue. As a journal, XUL provided regular compilations of some the most innovative poetry of its time. The journal was also one of Argentina’s best sources of new critical writing. It was dedicated to publishing the most diverse poetics within the experimental tradition. Perednik’s work as a poet and editor reflected his interest in many of the poetics included in the journal: visual poetry; John Cage’s mesostics; sound and performative texts–along with the most serious experimental works in Spanish American poetry. Perednik’s writing was primarily associated with his always expanding interest in exploring language and its relation to poetry rather than with any particular literary school.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Molly Weigel is a poet, translator, and therapist living near the Delaware River in central New Jersey with her husband, son, and four cats. She has published poems in Verse Wisconsin and MiPoesias and has published two books of poetry translation with Action Books: The Shock of the Lenders, by Jorge Santiago Perednik, which appeared in 2012, and In the Moremarrow, by Oliverio Girondo, for which she received a 2008 NEA fellowship.