University of California Press, 2009
This powerful book is the work of one of the important poets writing
in Spanish today. Chilean poet Raúl Zurita was arrested and tortured
the day of Pinochet's coup. The poems in Purgatory stem from the violence
of that day and of Pinochet's military dictatorship. The poems are
strange and experimental and speak from many identities. Equations,
images, and sometimes a title may appear before and after a poem. The
works are interspersed with documents: a photograph, a letter, an EEG.
Yet, rather than reading as fragmented, the book strikes at the unique
pain, fear, and anger of oppression. The poems' equations, landscapes,
and plainspoken moments reflect on how to live within the memory of
a place and life that has been destroyed. Anna Deeny's translations bring
into English leaps in language and sonic play that make the poems
palpable. C. D. Wright's foreword shines light on the importance and
history of the poet.