T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land / La tierra baldía, El Tucán de Virginia, 2018

In T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, the dead sprout and bear fruit, as the polyphonic echo of human desolation caused by the barbarism of the Great War. One breathes in the solitude that flows from the poem, even during sex or in a crowd, as in a landscape by Baudelaire, with whom certain “correspondences” are woven; poetic relations by which senses and sensations overlap.

Just as in Eliot’s poem, the voices of great poets of the past resonate in this beautiful and ambitious edition, one of the most notable published in Spanish for its intentions, format (two volumes) and collaborators (Víctor Manuel Mendiola, Emiliano Gironella, Gabriel Bernal Granados, Guillermo Fadanelli, Armando González Torres and Edward Hirsch). The edition includes the earliest translation of The Waste Land made in Mexico by Enrique Munguía, which appeared in the magazine Contemporáneos in 1930; and the first reviews by Virginia Woolf.

Is it possible to apprehend that which is condemned to disappear, that which dies? Emiliano Gironella’s images do not “illustrate” Eliot’s poem The Waste Land; rather, the 34 fiber cement images (illuminations) are like portraits of ghosts, echoes of a voice just before taking its final breath, which represent fragments of the era emanating from the poem.

¿Se puede aprehender lo que está condenado a desaparecer, lo que muere? Se afirma que las imágenes de Emiliano Gironella no “ilustran” el poema de Eliot. En este sentido, las 34 imágenes en fibrocemento (iluminaciones) son como retratos de fantasmas, resonancias de una voz antes de su último aliento, pero que fijan retazos de ese tiempo en fuga del poema.