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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Poking at Memory: A Conversation with Rocío Cerón and Anna Rosenwong | World Literature Today

During the month of June and trickling into July of this year, I had the opportunity to interview Rocío Cerón author of Diorama, and translator Anna Rosenwong. Fortunately, World Literature Today was gracious enough to run it for their column Translation Tuesday this past week. The link above will take you to the interview.

I have now read through the book of poems 4 times. Over the months I have been browsing it's pages from time to time in search of the stubborn melodies and rhythms that will not leave me and contrarily have nestled into my mind hoping to find them again amongst the stanzas and lines. Diorama seems like a hallucinogenic journey with no end. It has not ended for me despite putting it down. The pauses, the imagery, and the allusions are palpable and visionary to the happening of daily life here in Buenos Aires. My notion is that this could be said for other places in Latin America and possibly in regard to other metropolitan cities where migration is constant and growing; not to exclude the spaces where the transitory individual is commonplace (That is if all spaces are not so). Honing in on the liminality of the book's landscape, both political and social, it is important that the reader notice the rich language and potent call to listen. This is enhanced when Cerón invites the Paraguayan writer, and friend, Cristino Bogado to translate a repeated refrain into the Guaraní, extending the book deeper into a frontal reality of Latin American that is so often boxed in as anamorphic due to generalizations and misinformed interpretations. Confusing and hard to capture its coherence at times, the modern urban setting of Latin America is difficult to sketch, interpret, or process, much like the first couple readings of Diorama. However, Cerón exercises her style to corral the elements of such a world by transposing it all to paper by virtue of her visual and symphonic poetics. To the readers' excitement, they will notice that Anna Rosenwong's translation is peerless and nothing short of honest, careful, and symphonic in and of itself.

 As Rocío says, "[Diorama]is a listening book; that´s to say, a book that is influenced by the voices, images, and truths of a nation, a continent. Thus the voices, like in a symphony concert, mix; they meet in a polyphonic composition."