LRL e-editions is pleased to announce the publication of Hugo García Manríquez’s Painting Is Finite and Sarah Mangold’s I Meant To Be Transparent – two books which, in taking their cues from other mediums, turn the language of the portrait inside out:
In Painting Is Finite, Hugo García Manríquez traces the edge of elemental life via elemental form. First published in Spanish under the title, Los Materiales (Mexico City: Fonda Editorial Tierra Adentro, 2008), this volume presents Manríquez’s first English-language collection. In these poems, memory is a verb: it “behaves in both directions / the result that it casts / the present, that is, mobility” so that “nothing that preceded you / has prepared you for the experience / ‘the return of painting.’” In such a return, we confront the incommensurable as a material surface, likened here to the written: “history is the only matter excreted by / that which dies,” and thus “Newspapers seek volunteers for the shadow on the front page.” This poetry inhabits the edges as a vocation, urging us into relation with the materials.
“It was more like an impressionist portrait than an identification photo” writes Sarah Mangold in I Meant To Be Transparent, a book woven through the writing of early 20th century literary innovator Dorthy Richardson and the contours of contemporary poetics. Taking her title from a line in Robert Duncan’s Ground Work, Mangold’s attempted transparency slips original language between filmic jump cuts that mirror Richardson’s own prose and a near pre-raphaelite interleaving of fore and backgound — bringing the silenced, the skirted, the sidelined into view. By troubling the implications of linguistic transparency, Mangold challenges the literary portrait in a world in which “men and women are taught from the beginning to speak “his”” and likewise suspending the space before “feeling fades into thought –” In this hovering between, Mangold brings into focus the woman at the edge of the party with “Lots of big big revolution behind my eyes” and the ways in which the failure to be see-through becomes it’s own revelation.