Repetition Nineteen


Product Details

$18.95  $17.43
Nightboat Books
Publish Date
March 31, 2020
5.98 X 8.9 X 0.79 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

M贸nica de la Torre works with and between languages. Her latest book, The Happy End/All Welcome, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse, which also put out her translation of Defense of the Idol by Chilean modernist Omar C谩ceres in 2018. Born and raised in Mexico City, she is a contributing editor to BOMB Magazine. Recent writing appears in Artforum, A Public Space, and The Literary Review. She has taught at Columbia and Brown University and now teaches poetry at Brooklyn College.


"'Heads up, false friends!' This is the carnival of (mis)translation. Mark the clues 1-5 and merrily go round and round a Spanish poem that is not there. You don't care. You're having too much fun. Then time for revelation and analysis: the original poem and the mechanics of the carrousel. Notes on method, on translation in general, the bias of machines, a delightful aside on Cervantes. So many ways of exploring the space between two languages! Lastly, 'Replay' documents a playful workshop, i.e. invites you to join in. Don't hesitate!"--Rosmarie Waldrop
"When received genres of living and imagining are no longer sufficient, one can begin to imagine new ways of relating that are as ethically driven as they are delightful. Enter M贸nica de la Torre's Repetition Nineteen, which allows the many-chambered heart of translatory practice to reroute the detritus of techno-nationalism, monolingualism, fixed origins, and originals. Conceptual, comical, deeply personal, moving somewhere between borders, between the serial and the multiple, the paratextual and the metatextual, this book constellates languages to show us how they touch us every day, in every media, in each mode of writing--translation, mistranslation, critical inquiry, autobiography, public performance. Like Eva Hesse's Repetition 19 III, where an array of translucent forms, each a subtle variation of a form and thereby slightly irregular as each of us, we are invited to form as a way of feeling in all its forms. We are reminded that 'different types of love are possible.'" --Christian Hawkey
"To begin, M贸nica de la Torre is dope. In this latest work, de la Torre deviates from all - and I mean all - straightforward readings that glamour translation, theory, political commentary and what she details as words pushing "the real." Prose, poetry and the annals of workshop as installation cohabit here as an evolving unit of systems that unearth not only the absurd but just how much popular songs might share space with soccer tournaments. de la Torre is just as concerned with the precision of recounting events, the rendering and extraction of new texts informed by Vicu帽a and Y茅pez, adventures into Google Translate, the global impact of Siri and other marvelous wonders via Emojiland as she is with where Spanish has embedded itself in the North American mind. Out of order or from front to back, the discourse is evident, right on the money and right on time. There is no one way to read Repetition Nineteen. Granted, this wonder may finally be the book I need to finish my book."--LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
Repetition Nineteen is an interactive book of opportunity and possibility, a spirited exploration of the cultural differences of the use of language. How much is too much or too little to speak or write, or is this unquantifiable and more dependent on what is said? Which parts of a work should we illuminate or eliminate to convey a certain effect? Language in any form is a versatile gift, and de la Torre presents it to us, wraps and unwraps it, each time with a new balance and resonance.--Bethany Mary, Vagabond City
"Conceived as an extended meditation on labor and artistic practice, M贸nica de la Torre's newest work of poetry opens like a flyer pinned to a board or an email alert beaming at you from your inbox. 'Anyone who wants to become an artist should contact us! [...] We can make use of everyone, each in their place!' As an address and a call to artistic mobilization, this opening flirts with and cruises its readers, cheekily zeroing in on their bodies: 'Sitting erect, pelvis curved out, cross-legged or with legs parallel.' The Happy End / All Welcome gathers closely connected poems that examine the oscillation between submission and dominance that permeates, in de la Torre's eyes, contemporary office environments. The workplace as she imagines it is a receptacle in which the body grows. It is forced to fill a position, and the worker pushes herself into the mold that structures her day-to-day existence"--Michael Valinsky, BOMB
"In this delightful collection, poet and translator de la Torre (Public Domain) literarily extends artist Martin Kippenberger's installation 'The Happy End of Franz Kafka's Amerika, ' which she describes as "an assortment of numbered tables and office desks with pairs of mismatched chairs within a soccer field flanked by grandstands." These formally inventive poems feature job notices, briefs, interview transcripts, and an office furniture inventory; readers will feel like they have stumbled into a job fair in some alternate universe. For example, a manager explains to a consultant that 'We don't really have a CEO. We have an Artistic Director. The office chairs surrounding us are ghosts of obsolete hierarchies. We keep them as reminders of what can go wrong.' De la Torre presents everything with a straight face, even a hilariously jargon-riddled posting for someone to give a presentation on the value of humor in the workplace. She warps and exaggerates the more ridiculous elements of professional etiquette, start-up culture, and corporate language in ways that encourage readers to look deeper into our work spaces to see how strange they really are. Perhaps, as de la Torre suggests in 'Ad Copy, ' 'The mantra of The Happy End / All Welcome might be that slapstick speaks louder than words, the work imploding with what it implies.'--Publishers Weekly