In this Book

Scales
summary
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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title, Frontispiece, Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. ix-xx
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  1. This Edition
  2. pp. xxi-xxii
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  1. Scales
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. Cuneiforms
  1. Northwestern Wall
  2. pp. 5-6
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  1. Antarctic Wall
  2. pp. 7-8
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  1. East Wall
  2. p. 9
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  1. Doublewide Wall
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. Windowsill
  2. p. 12
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  1. Western Wall
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. Wind Choir
  1. Beyond Life and Death
  2. pp. 17-22
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  1. The Release
  2. pp. 23-31
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  1. The Only Child
  2. pp. 32-36
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  1. The Caynas
  2. pp. 37-44
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  1. Mirtho
  2. pp. 45-49
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  1. Wax
  2. pp. 50-60
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  1. Escalas
  2. pp. 61-62
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  1. Cuneiformes
  1. Muro noroeste
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. Muro antártico
  2. pp. 67-68
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  1. Muro este
  2. p. 69
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  1. Muro dobleancho
  2. pp. 70-71
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  1. Alféizar
  2. p. 72
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  1. Muro occidental
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. Coro de vientos
  1. Más allá de la vida y la muerte
  2. pp. 77-82
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  1. Liberación
  2. pp. 83-91
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  1. El unigénito
  2. pp. 92-96
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  1. Los caynas
  2. pp. 97-104
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  1. Mirtho
  2. pp. 105-109
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  1. Cera
  2. pp. 110-120
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  1. Appendix
  1. “The Gravest Moment of My Life,”
  2. pp. 123-131
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  1. From Trilce
  1. II. “Time Time”
  2. p. 132
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  1. XVIII. “Oh the four walls of the cell”
  2. p. 133
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  1. XX. “Flush with the beaten froth bulwarked”
  2. p. 134
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  1. XLI. “Death on its knees is spilling”
  2. p. 135
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  1. L. “Cerberus four times”
  2. p. 136
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  1. LVIII. “In the cell, in the solid”
  2. pp. 137-138
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  1. LXI. “Tonight I get down from my horse”
  2. pp. 139-140
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  1. Letter to La Reforma [August 12, 1920]
  2. p. 141
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  1. Letter to Óscar Imaña [October 26, 1920]
  2. p. 142
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  1. “Poet Vallejo Jailed in Trujillo”: Gastón Roger
  2. p. 143
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  1. Letter to Gastón Roger [December 29, 1920]
  2. p. 144
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  1. “Poet Vallejo Imprisoned”: Víctor Raúl Haya de La Torre
  2. p. 145
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  1. Petition of Universidad de Trujillo Students
  2. pp. 146-147
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  1. Petition of Trujillo Journalists
  2. pp. 148-149
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  1. Letter to Óscar Imaña [February 12, 1921]
  2. p. 150
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  1. “Imprisonment of César Vallejo in Trujillo Jail”
  2. pp. 151-152
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 153-160
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 161-164
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 165-169
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  1. About the Authors
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