First published in 1923, just before Cesar 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.
C???SAR VALLEJO (1892-1938) was born in the Peruvian Andes and, after publishing some of the most radical Latin American poetry of the twentieth century, moved to Europe, where he diversified his writing practice to encompass theater, fiction, and reportage. As an outspoken alternative to the European avant-garde, Vallejo stands as one of the most authentic and multifaceted creators to write in the Castilian language. JOSEPH MULLIGAN is a translator and scholar whose work has focused primarily on twentieth-century Latin American vanguardismo. He is the translator of Against Professional Secrets by C???sar Vallejo (2001) and Gustavo Faver???n's novel The Antiquarian (2014), and his translations of Jorge Eduardo Eielson's poems appeared in Asymmetries: Anthology of Peruvian Poetry (2015). His translations of Sahrawi poetry appeared in Poems for the Millennium, vol. 4: The University of California Book of North African Poetry (2013). He is editor and principal translator of Selected Writings of C???sar Vallejo (2015). Currently, he is a PhD candidate in the Romance Studies Department of Duke University.