Jorge Luis Borges has been reincarnated as a radical poet from Taipei, and Salsa invites you to her personal hell. In Hsia Yü’s most recently translated book of poems, we come face-to-face with an inferno of identity crises.
Translators typically present Borges’s most famous prose-poem “Borges y Yo” in English as “Borges and I.” If Hsia Yü wrote a version of this poem, the title might be “Hsia Yü and I.” This sounds altogether more intimate than “Borges and I” because of the homophone, in English, of “you.” At the same time, the duality of “Yü,” both as the poet’s name, who is not you, and as “you,” who might be you, reveals the frightening fracture of identity Salsa endlessly probes. “But,” as a line of Hsia Yü’s poem “And You’ll Never Want to Travel There Again” rightly notes, “I do leave a memorable fracture.”
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