Subscribers will receive the first three titles on Tenement's list prior to the listed publication date:
1. Joan Brossa, translated by Cameron Griffiths,
El saltamartí / The Tumbler (Spring, '21)
This first-time English translation of The Tumbler [El saltamartí]—a collection of poems written by Joan Brossa in 1963 (and first published in Catalan in 1969)—presents a convergence of Brossa’s critical and cultural concerns. With his growing sense of social commitment and support of Catalan independence, freedom stands as both Brossa’s primary subject and conceptual framework in this collection. The Tumbler is an anti-clerical and anti-authoritarian work that brings together verse vignettes and visual poems to revivify the proverbial, often with comic and subversive effect. Brossa plays with image, iconography and intimation as both verbal and visual elements vie for our attentions throughout these pages.
Joan Brossa creates distilled excitement. He is both wise and wild. His poems are surreal and matter-of-fact, playful and minimalist and utterly original. In his ability to make it new, Brossa is an essential modern poet.
2. Stanley Schtinter, et al,
The Liberated Film Club (Summer, '21)
The Liberated Film Club—running from its birth to its death, 2016 to 2020—would guarantee a wide wing-span for critical conversation. Screening “LIBERATED FILM” (a loose category designed to scaffold the show), a guest would be invited to introduce a film; an audience seated to watch it through; but there’d be an interruption to that typical format. Neither the audience nor the guest would have any idea what film would be shown, and this anonymized format would invite broad and antagonistic perambulation on the what, the why and the how of film. An interrogation of what we do when we sit in a cinema; a reckoning with the kind of posture we should assume when we frame a film for further talk. Playing with the various ways we should consider and reproach the institutions built around all of our cultures of making and the manners and methods of all of our cultures of consumption, The Liberated Film Club was a rare reflection on the act of reflection itself.
Starting out as a pirate DVD/USB company, issuing irregular mail-order catalogues of films otherwise unobtainable (an activity which it maintains), the club ran as a regular event series at the Close-Up Film Centre, London, curated by Schtinter. This anthology is a complete and unabridged collation of these introductions, and includes contributions from Shezad Dawood; Chris Petit; Andrea Luka Zimmerman; William Fowler; John Rogers; Ben Rivers; Gideon Koppel; Gareth Evans; Adam Roberts; John Akomfrah; Shama Khanna; Damien Sanville; Mania Akbari; Xiaolu Guo; Sean Price Williams; Chloe Aridjis; Athina Tsangari; Juliet Jacques; Anna Thew; Adam Christensen; Laura Mulvey; Astra Taylor; Dennis Cooper; Stewart Home; Dan Fox; Miranda Pennell; Elena Gorfinkel; & Tai Shani.
3. Robin Moger & Yasmine Seale,
Agitated Air: Poems After Ibn Arabi (Winter, '21)
Born in Murcia in 1165, Ibn Arabi was a prolific Muslim philosopher and poet. He travelled extensively before settling in Damascus, where he died in 1240. Tarjuman Al Ashwaq, or The Interpreter of Desires, is a cycle of sixty-one Arabic poems. They speak of loss and bewilderment, a spiritual and sensual yearning for the divine, and a hunger for communion in which near and far collapse.
Agitated Air is a correspondence in poems between Istanbul and Cape Town, following the wake of The Interpreter of Desires. Collaborating at a distance, Yasmine Seale and Robin Moger work in close counterpoint, making separate translations of each poem, exchanging them, then writing new poems in response to what they receive. The process continues until they are exhausted, and then a new chain begins.
Translated and retranslated, these poems fray and eddy and, their themes of intimacy across distance made various, sing back and forth, circling and never landing. Absence and approach, knowing and unknowing, failure and repetition: Ibn Arabi’s cycle of ecstatic love shimmers with turbulence. Seale and Moger move into and against these contending drifts, finding in the play of dissatisfaction and endurance a prompt for new poetry.
This is translation as intrepid and inspired re-visioning, a form of poetry of its own, as forged by Edward FitzGerald, Ezra Pound and Anne Carson.
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