EntertainmentPaperweights: an experimental collection of poems and a book...

Paperweights: an experimental collection of poems and a book of semiotic essays


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“Sisma: documentary poem”

Author: Paul Guillen.


Pages: 92.

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Publisher: Featherweight.

Like an urban-contemporary and at the same time historical sponge, Guillén absorbs multiple and varied references to build this collection of poems in which there is room for sensational news, philosophical studies, political manifestos and even jokes close to the Internet meme. But throughout this apparently chaotic dispersion, the idea of ​​the earthquake appears as a latent misfortune and also as a fracture, a dislocation.

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That is why the initial images correspond to the traumatic earthquake of August 2007, with its deaths and its mysterious flashes in the sky, but soon they are diverted towards other national tragedies such as the insane violence of the 80s and 90s or the most recent caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is also a fracture translated into ideas of identity, such as the poem that repeats that of “All garcilacistas disagree on something, they disagree among themselves…” or the one that explores the strange theory of the Inca empire founded by a Japanese. And as it approaches its end, the book begins to shed its rhetoric of images and other visual resources to channel itself towards a purer poetry, where it finds its best passages in pieces such as “Cathedral Landslides” or the beautiful “Peces del Mar del North”, which serves as a serene and remarkable closure.

“Semiotic Essays”

Author: Oscar Quezada.

Pages: 294.

Publisher: University of Lima.

Although the essays that make up Quezada Macchiavello’s book may give the impression of a thematic arbitrariness, their grouping is justified as a way of constructing the author’s own gaze from his semiotic baggage. One that successfully combines scientific rigor with “passionate vibrations” –as Fernando Iriarte points out in the prologue–, and that reveals his ability to deal with different social, artistic and cultural expressions with good judgment.

It is for this reason that it is divided into three well-defined blocks: the first examines the well-remembered and controversial Luchetti Case, which attracted great journalistic attention in the 1990s, and which anticipated the political tensions linked to caring for the environment (today much more media than before).

The second part is dedicated to some dimensions of the myth, from its theoretical genesis to its special manifestation in the “Manuscript of Huarochirí”. While the third part, perhaps the most attractive, delves into the literary studies of works by Borges, Vallejo or Arguedas.


Beyond his specialization –which will surely interest some more than others–, Quezada’s essays reveal his own reading and method for dealing with the world of meaning that we inhabit.

Source: Elcomercio

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