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Against the Current

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By Tedi López Mills

Translated from the Spanish by Wendy Burk

The poems in Against the Current expose a mind moving fast as water. Tedi López Mills renders a river as a cool but contaminated space, propelling its detritus through a hybrid rural/urban zone that is inhabited by allegory and rife with collision.

Published: May 10, 2016

Paperback: 9781939419781

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The poems in Against the Current expose a mind moving fast as water. Tedi López Mills renders a river as a cool but contaminated space, propelling its detritus through a hybrid rural/urban zone that is inhabited by allegory and rife with collision. As the poems swim upstream, they accrue the impurities and complicities of memory, embodied in the central figure of the brother who is also the other. Wendy Burk reproduces the baroque, occasionally frenetic rhythms of the abecedarian original with lucidity, in these poems that underscore that Mexico is defined by physical and philosophical contrast.

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Reviews

“Tedi López Mills is the most interesting Mexican poet working today.” -Mario Bellatin

“Tedi López Mills ingeniously overlays ordinary subject-verb-object sentences with familiar narrative structural elements—“And so,” “The first time,” “Little by little…” to limn a contemporary suburban domestic relationship. But the familiar patterns of romantic gifts, songs, winks, shared dinners, and lists of things to do are horribly irrupted by paranoia, sadomasochistic games, the voices of a psyche named Anonymous, and formulas for controlling the body and its words and deeds. Any erotic dimension is upended; cleavage is perceived as a wound. As the constraints of grammatical regularity and understatement are repeatedly broken and re-established, the poem grows more terrifying…Tedi López Mills expands family drama into critical conceptual questions as she drives home what Rimbaud meant when he wrote ‘Domesticity leads too far.'” -Forrest Gander

“In Death on Rua Augusta Tedi López Mills eviscerates and devours a decaying emotional interior. This meticulously crafted diary, beautifully rendered into English by David Shook, of the unassuming and deeply possessed Gordon who has been shattered by obsessive love, is filled with sensual music and erotic perversion. Black and white magic has been exquisitely draped over his plastic California Eden. This is a gorgeous and fiendish gem of a book.” -Donald Breckenridge