The Virgin Mountain, Roberto Echavarren, trans. Don Wellman and Roberto Echavarren. Diálogos 2017.
In The Virgin Mountain, the great Uruguayan poet, novelist and essayist, Roberto Echavarren, continues his investigation of twenty-first century modernity, this time in the context of desire and the natural world. Drawing from theorists and philosophers like Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, as well as from his Latin American poetic forebears like Vallejo and Neruda, in this long poem Echavarren mines the depths of a mountain both natural and symbolic, following veins of desire which reside in basic human (and animal) impulses, sex and waste material fused into an erotic materiality from which the language arises. The Virgin Mountain represents the highest level of Echavarren’s accomplishment, as he continues the explorations of his art and its limits, always subject to violation and experiment. Echavarren, for many years Professor of Comparative Literature at New York University, is the author of more than twenty books of poetry and literary criticism on subjects including Latin American Literature, Surrealism, Neo-Baroque poetry, Russian and other European literatures, poetic and gender theory. He is a co-editor of Medusario: Muestra de Poesía Latinoamericana.