César Vallejo: Wikis


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César Vallejo
Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo
Birth name César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza
Born March 16, 1892
Santiago de Chuco, La Libertad -  Peru
Died April 15, 1938 (age 46)
Paris -  France
Nationality Peruvian
Field Poet, writer, journalist
Works Los Heraldos Negros, Trilce

César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza (March 16, 1892 – April 15, 1938) was a Peruvian poet. Although he published only three books of poetry during his lifetime, he is considered one of the great poetic innovators of the 20th century in any language. Always a step ahead of the literary currents, each of his books was distinct from the others and, in its own sense, revolutionary.

Clayton Eshleman and José Rubia Barcia's translation of The Complete Posthumous Poetry of César Vallejo won the National Book Award for translation in 1979.




Los Heraldos Negros (1919)

Los Heraldos Negros was completed in 1918, but not published until 1919. Robert Bly, in the 1993 edited volume Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems, describes it as "a staggering book, sensual, prophetic, affectionate, wild," and as "the greatest single collection of poems I have ever read." The title is likely suggestive of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, as the book itself touches on topics of religiosity, life and death.

Trilce (1922)

Trilce, published in 1922, anticipated much of the avant-garde movement that would develop in the 1920s and 30s. Vallejo's book takes language to a radical extreme, inventing words, stretching syntax, using automatic writing and other techniques now known as "surrealist" (though he did this before the Surrealist movement began). The book put Latin America at the center of the Avant-garde. Like James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, Trilce borders on inaccessibility.

Monument to César Vallejo in the Jesus Maria District of Lima, Peru.

España, Aparta de Mí Este Cáliz (1937)

In España, aparta de mí este cáliz (Spain, Take This Chalice from Me), Vallejo takes the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) as a living representation of a struggle between good and evil forces, where he advocates for the triumph of mankind symbolised in the salvation of the Second Spanish Republic (1931 – 1939) that was being attacked by fascist allied forces led by General Franco. In 1994 Harold Bloom included España, Aparta de Mí Este Cáliz in his list of influential works of the Western Canon.

Poemas Humanos (1939)

Poemas Humanos (Human Poems), published by the poet's wife after his death, is a leftist work of political, socially oriented poetry. Although a few of these poems appeared in magazines during Vallejo's lifetime, almost all of them were published posthumously. The poet never specified a title for this grouping, but while reading his body of work his widow found that he had planned a book of "human poems", which is why his editors decided on this title.


Vallejo wrote five plays, none of which were staged or published during his lifetime.

Mampar is the subject of a critical letter from producer Louis Jouvet which says, in summary, "Interesting, but terminally flawed". The text itself is lost, assumed to have been destroyed by Vallejo.

Lock-Out (1930, written in French; a Spanish translation by Vallejo himself is lost) deals with a labour struggle in a foundry.

Entre las dos orillas corre el río (1930s) was the product of a long and difficult birth. Titles of earlier versions include Varona Polianova, Moscú contra Moscú, El juego del amor, del odio y de la muerte and several variations on this latter title.

Colacho hermanos o Presidentes de América (1934). Satire displaying Peruvian democracy as a bourgeois farce under pressure from international companies and diplomacy.

La piedra cansada (1937).

Monument to César Vallejo in Lima, Peru. The engraving in Spanish quotes Vallejo "There is, brothers, much to do."


El tungsteno (1931). A social realist novel depicting the oppression of native Peruvian miners and their communities by a foreign-owned tungsten mine.

Towards the kingdom of the Sciris (1928) is a historic short story dealing with the Incan theme.

Habla Salvaje(1924) Literally 'Wild Language', is a short novel which follows the insanity of a character who lives in the Andes.

The children's book, Paco Yunque, was rejected in Spain in 1930 for being too violent for children. But since it was published in Peru in the 1960s, it became mandatory reading in the elementary schools in Peru.

Non Fiction

Rusia en 1931, reflexiones al pie del Kremlin (1931) is a journalistic work describing Vallejo's impressions of the new socialist society that he saw being built in Soviet Russia.

Rusia ante el II Plan Quinquenal is a second work of Vallejo's chronicles of his travels in Soviet Russia focusing on Stalin's second Five Year Plan. The book, originally written in 1931, was not published until 1965.

Selected works available in English

The Complete Poetry of César Vallejo (Edited and Translated by Clayton Eshleman. With a Foreword by Mario Vargas Llosa, an Introduction by Efrain Kristal, and a Chronology by Stephen M. Hart) University of California Press. ISBN 0520245520 (shortlisted for the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize)

The Complete Posthumous Poetry of César Vallejo (Translators: Clayton Eshleman and José Rubia Barcia), University of California Press ISBN 0-520-04099-6

Trilce (Translators: Michael Smith, Valentino Gianuzzi). Shearsman Books. ISBN 0907562728

The Complete Later Poems 1923-1938 (Translators: Michael Smith, Valentino Gianuzzi). Shearsman Books. ISBN 0907562736

The Black Heralds (Translator: Rebecca Seiferle) Copper Canyon Press ISBN 1556591993

Trilce (Translator: Rebecca Seiferle) Sheep Meadow Press. ISBN 1-878818-12-0

The Black Heralds (Translator: Barry Fogden) Allardyce, Barnett Publishers. ISBN 0907954235

The Black Heralds (Translators: Richard Schaaf and Kathleen Ross) Latin American Literary Review Press. ISBN 0935480439

Trilce (Translator: Dave Smith) Mishima Books. ISBN 0670730602

Autopsy on Surrealism (Translator: Richard Schaaf) Curbstone Press. ISBN 0915306328

Cesar Vallejo (Translators: Gordon Brotherstone and Edward Dorn) Penguin. ISBN 0140421890

Neruda and Vallejo: Selected Poems (Translators: Robert Bly and James Wright) Beacon Press. ISBN 0807064890

I'm going to speak of hope (Translator: Peter Boyle) Peruvian Consulate Publication.

Cesar Vallejo: An Anthology of His Poetry (Introduction by James Higgins) The Commonwealth and International Library. ISBN 0080157610

Selected Poems of Cesar Vallejo (Translator: H. R. Hays) Sachem Press. ISBN 0937584010

The Mayakovsky Case (Translator: Richard Schaaf) Curbstone Press. ISBN 091530631X

Tungsten (Translator: Robert Mezey) Syracuse University Press. ISBN 081560226X

Songs of Home (Translators: Kathleen Ross and Richard Schaaf) Ziesing Brothers Book Emporium. ISBN 0917488059

Spain Take This Cup from Me (Translator: Mary Sarko ) Azul. ISBN 1885214030

Spain, Let This Cup Pass from Me (Translator: Alvaro Cardona-Hine) Azul. ISBN 1885214421

Trilce (Selections from the 1922 Edition), Vols. 38/39 and 40/41 (Translator: Prospero Saiz) Abraxas Press. ISBN 093286807X

Further reading


  • César Vallejo: A Critical Bibliography of Research, Stephen M Hart, 2002
  • César Vallejo: The Dialectics of Poetry and Silence, Jean Franco, 1976
  • The Catastrophe of Modernity: Tragedy and the Nation in Latin American Literature, Patrick Dove, 2004
  • The Poem on the Edge of the Word: the Limits of Language and the Uses of Silence, D.C. Niebylski, 1993
  • Vallejo, Xavier Abril, 1958
  • The Poetry and Poetics of Cesar Vallejo: the Fourth Angle of the Circle, Adam Sharman, 1997
  • Wounded Fiction: Modern Poetry and Deconstruction, Joseph Adamson, 1988
  • Homage to Vallejo, Christopher Buckley, 2006
  • Trilce I: a Second Look, George Gordon Wing, 1972
  • Neruda and Vallejo in Contemporary United States Poetry, Mark Jonathan Cramer, 1976
  • “Vallejo on Language and Politics,” Letras hispanas: Revista de literatura y cultura, Rolando Pérez, 2008.
  • http://letrashispanas.unlv.edu/vol5iss2/perez.htm; http://letrashispanas.unlv.edu/vol5iss2/perez.pdf
  • “César Vallejo’s Ars Poética of Nonsense: A Deleuzean Reading of Trilce.” Dissidences: Hispanic Journal of Theory and Criticism, Rolando Pérez, 2008. www.dissidences/4PerezVallejo.html


  • Ensayos vallejianos / William Rowe., 2006
  • César Vallejo al pie del orbe / Iván Rodríguez Chávez., 2006
  • Alcance filosófico en Cesar Vallejo y Antonio Machado / Antonio Belaunde Moreyra., 2005
  • César Vallejo : estudios de poética / Jesús Humberto Florencia., 2005
  • Poéticas y utopías en la poesía de César Vallejo / Pedro José Granados., 2004
  • César Vallejo : muerte y resurrección / Max Silva Tuesta., 2003
  • César Vallejo, arquitecto de la palabra, caminante de la gloria / Idelfonso Niño Albán., 2003
  • Algunos críticos de Vallejo y otros ensayos vallejianos / César Augusto Angeles Caballero., 2002
  • César Vallejo en la crítica internacional / Wilfredo Kapsoli Escudero., 2001
  • César Vallejo y el surrealismo / Juan Larrea., 2001
  • César Vallejo y la muerte de Dios / Rafael Gutiérrez Girardot., 2000
  • César Vallejo / Víctor de Lama., 2000
  • Recopilación de textos sobre César Vallejo / Raúl Hernández Novás., 2000


  • The American Dramatist, actor, and short story writer Sam Shepard writes that Cesar Vallejo is his favorite poet in "Cruising Paradise." His previous book of stories "Motel Chronicles," also begins with an inscription from a Vallejo poem.
  • "César Vallejo - Xxviii", Folkways Records, ASIN B000UXU4ZI, January 1, 1960

External links


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