Scales (Kobo eBook)
First published in 1923, just before César Vallejo left Peru for France, Scales combines prose poems with short stories in a collection that exhibits all the exuberance of the author's early experimentalism. A follow-up to Vallejo's better-known work, Trilce, this radical collection shattered many aesthetic notions prevailing in Latin America and Europe. Intermingling romantic, symbolist, and avant-garde traditions, Scales is a poetic upending of prose narrative that blends Vallejo's intercontinental literary awareness with his commitment to political transformation. Written in part from Trujillo Central Jail, where Vallejo would endure some of the most terrifying moments of his life, Scales is also a testament of anguish and desperation, a series of meditations on justice and freedom, an exploration of the fantastic, and a confrontation with the threat of madness. Edited and translated from the Castilian by the scholar Joseph Mulligan, this first complete English translation, published here in bilingual format and accompanied by extensive archival documentation related to Vallejo's incarceration, this volume gives unprecedented access to one of the most inventive practitioners of Latin American literature in the twentieth century.