Music & Literature no. 6 champions the work of three artists poised to break through on the international stage: Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik, Ukrainian composer Victoria Polevá, and Croatian writer Dubravka Ugrešić.
An aura of almost legendary prestige surrounds the short life of Alejandra Pizarnik, who, though haunted by doubt and depression, left behind an oeuvre by turns searing, tragic, playful, and erotic. Her portfolio brings into English 100 pages of previously untranslated prose, diary entries, and letters, as well as appreciations from, among others, Enrique Vila-Matas and César Aira, who writes that Pizarnik “was not only a great poet, she was the greatest, and the last.”
Equally uncompromising in her artistry is Victoria Polevá, who has written music for the world’s leading soloists and ensembles while building a reputation as a major cultural figure in Eastern Europe. Though the majority of Polevá’s music has yet to reach Western audiences, a host of her illustrious contemporaries from around the world gather here to attest—in verse, in correspondence, and in oils—to her singular vision, while in her most extensive interview to appear in English and in her musical writings on mentors Arvo Pärt and Valentin Silvestrov, the maestro elaborates on her spiritual and aesthetic evolution.
The volume’s third portfolio celebrates the wry and sharply powerful voice of Dubravka Ugrešić. Since the break-up of her native Yugoslavia, Ugrešić’s fiction has revolved around questions of exile and identity, while her caustic, brilliantly insightful criticism has taken on literature, Yugostalgia, and contemporary hypocrisy in all its forms. Alongside an exclusive interview and a newly-translated work of fiction, appearing here for the first time in any language, this portfolio offers contributions by Ugrešić’s translators Michael Henry Heim and Damion Searls, as well as a critical overview of her prolific career.
Click here for the issue’s full table of contents.