> Read the whole enchilada here.
As Mexico City Lit says of Cadena, "since the early 90s, his eerie, brilliant stories have been a major reference point in Mexican literature; Juan Domingo Arguelles has called him one of the best writers of his generation." I most enthusiastically concur.
(See my posts apropos of that conference: "Translating Across the Border" and "Translating Contemporary Latin America Poets and Writers: Embracing, Resisting, Escaping the Magnetic Pull of the Capital". For that conference's Cafe Latino series I also read Cadena's poem "Café San Martín" together with my translation that appears in the anthology edited by Sarah Cortez, Goodbye Mexico. >> Listen in here. )
More Cadena links to surf:
>Visit Cadena's blog El vino y al hiel
> You can find one of Cadena's stories, the haunting "Lady of the Seas" in my collection of 24 Mexican writers, Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion.
> Listen to my interview about translating Mexican literature for NPR here.
> Read Cadena's "Lady of the Seas."
> More Translating Beyond Borders: Cadena's "Blind Woman" in BorderSenses
Finally, here's a photo of me and Patricia Dubrava from ALTA-- Pat is pointing to Carne verde, piel negra / An Avocado from Michoacán, the Tameme chapbook of Cadena's story together with my translation. Viva!
|[C.M. MAYO AND PATRICIA DUBRAVA,|
CELEBRATING MEXICAN WRITER AND POET AGUSTIN CADENA,
AT THE AMERICAN LITERARY TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
TUCSON, ARIZONA, 2015]
|[YOURS TRULY, EDITOR OF TAMEME.|
AND VISITING AMIGA PHOTOGRAPHER
MIRIAM BERKELEY AT THE
AWP BOOK FAIR, NEW YORK CITY, 2008]
Notice that I didn't mention fulfillment because-- bring out the Kleenex-- almost no one buys these things. It may appear that people do: there's the splendiferous assortment of litmags at your local Barnes & Noble and also at many independent bookstores, and for US poets, short story writers and creative nonfictioneers, the ever more mega annual AWP Book Fair with its dozens upon dozens of tables of litmags-- many sponsored by MFA programs in creative writing. But alas, with the singular exception of Cenizo Journal, as far as I've been able to ascertain in my two decades of hithering & thithering in this particular village, as far as commercial viability goes, its name is Potemkin. But beyond the merely cosmetic, a Potemkin Village does have its purposes, rarified, noodathipious, and impractical as they may be. (What is noodathipious? Oh, I made that up.)
But here's the thing: Market for it or not, there is no getting around the immense delight in writing, in reading, and in doing the good work of bringing authors and readers together by curating, packaging, and presenting the wickedly wondrous little package known as a literary magazine.
(As the Whopper is to the amuse gueule, so is the commercial paperback thriller to the litmag. Is it a scrumptious amuse gueule? You decide. Hmm, I'll take the one with the lobster clawlet on the dab of pesto. Some people will eat mousse des intestins d'anguille. OK, enough with the food analogies.)
|[THE THIRD AND FINAL ISSUE OF TAMEME|
MAGAZINE. THE COVER PAINTING IS
'THE VISITORS II"
BY DEREK BUCKNER]
The first issue of Tameme, made possible by, among many other things and many other people, my dad and his experience in the printing industry, came off the presses-- these were traditional presses-- in 1999. Boxes upon boxes ended up in the garage. We did metaphorical mud wrestling with New Jersey-based distributors. We mailed out piles and piles and piles of review copies. We mailed out press releases. We attended book fairs. We did all sorts of things that me exhaust me now just to think of them. Oh, and one of them was, we maintained one of the very first websites, www.tameme.org. As of about a decade ago, the software to make that site is no longer even available.
Alas, apart from its memorial website, Tameme is no more. I didn't want to continue publishing it without my dad. As his health failed, the project retreated into a chapbook series-- we did bring out two excellent chapbooks, one by Agustín Cadena and the other a collection of poems by Jorge Fernández Granados translated by John Oliver Simon-- and then finally folded.
All of which is to say, these days I sometimes feel like a Comanche gazing up at an airplane.
If I were to start a litmag today, it would look something like Mexico City Lit-- electronic, edgy, and rich with visual art. I love-love-LOVE that Cadena's stories are accompanied by the selection of photographs by Livia Radwanski. A cyber shower of jpeg lotus petals upon y'all! It is an honor to have had my translation of "The Vampire" included-- and, dear reader, do check out the short stories by Cadena, they are both rare and delectable. And free! Such is the future of the labor of love in the white-hot cauldron of culture that is a literary magazine.
Your comments are ever and always welcome.
My bananalicious podcast-packed newsletter goes out maybe
in another month. Should the planetoids align noodathipiously.
I invite you to opt in.