Set against the cultural and political backdrop of interwar Europe and the Americas, Poetry in Pieces is the first major study of the Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo (1892-1938) to appear in English in more than thirty years. Vallejo lived and wrote in two distinct settings-Peru and Paris-which were continually crisscrossed by new developments in aesthetics, politics, and practices of everyday life; his poetry and prose therefore need to be read in connection with modernity in all its forms and spaces. Michelle Clayton combines close readings of Vallejo's writings with cultural, historical, and theoretical analysis, connecting Vallejo-and Latin American poetry-to the broader panorama of international modernism and the avant-garde, and to writers and artists such as Rainer Maria Rilke, James Joyce, Georges Bataille, and Charlie Chaplin. Poetry in Pieces sheds new light on one of the key figures in twentieth-century Latin American literature, while exploring ways of rethinking the parameters of international lyric modernity.
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