My favorite bookstore in Puerto Rico, Librería La Tertulia, recently featured the latest book by Puerto Rican author Eduardo Lalo, Necrópolis (2014), opening with a quote by the author: “La literatura es arqueología: la imposibilidad del silencio absolute” [Literature is archeology: the impossibility of absolute silence]. Also see Puerto Rico’s Lalo wins Rómulo Gallegos lit award, Eduardo Lalo Receives Rómulo Gallegos Literature Award Today, and Eduardo Lalo on Literature and Visual Culture: A Discussion.
About his work, Lalo, winner of the Rómulo Gallegos Prize (one of the Spanish speaking world’s top literary awards) says, “Necropolis gathers poetic texts from the past 15 years. I discarded much of what I wrote during this period with the goal of creating a unified and organic book and not merely a collection of poems. In my previous books of poetry, there has been a surreptitious force behind the writing. It was expected that, sooner or later, I would arrive here: to the space of the poem, to the exploration of what a page can shelter without compromising, without knowing its limits.”
In her blog, Bodegón con teclado, Lilliana Ramos-Collado writes: In this “mortal” collection of poems, there is a “Gothic” atmosphere, albeit a philosophical one. The thematic features are: ruins, including those of language; darkness, even in expression; claustrophobia, even outdoors; undecidability, even in known spaces; the “ominous,” even in the very act of writing; defamiliarization, including of what is already defamiliarized; the return of what is repressed, even of what has always been present.
There is a time lag between the “I that writes” and “you who reads.” The temporality of these poems mark the breakdown of communication, as if the writer’s voice always belonged to those others that lie, since long ago, in ruins. The paper on which the ink is spilled is a “now” of the reading that has been collected from a “then.” The reader becomes an archaeologist: he/she detects the symptom of that past and must decipher it in order to (in)comprehend it.
For a full review by Lilliana Ramos-Collado, in Spanish, see http://bodegonconteclado.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/necropolis-la-negra-tinta-de-eduardo-lalo/