Javier Petit de Meurville


There is something like an elementary confidence in language, the ability to say: what I put in words exists, and what exists can be put in words. Such confidence - that generated the classics - excludes the moments of specular promiscuity wherein language turns upon itself, devouring its tail. Its snake's eyes.

Carlos Barbarito has the grace (the gift?) of believing in language. Through such belief, the experiences that wound or seduce him are transformed into the poised music of language.

'Exodios y trenes' contains twenty unexplainable moments that are converted in effort, right and proper words, and then accede to the poem. It is this faith or this slow exercise that has been awarded by the National Funds of Arts through financing the present edition. To the author, 'Exodos y Trenes' marks a retrospective between two dates: 1976-1985.

He says to César Vallejo
I will step out of your gigantic shadow
like the already grown up son out of the shadow of his father
I feel I can stand on my own feet
cut my own wood from the tree of the word, and the image teaches
the instrumentality of language.

In the distribution and collection (speaking of customs) we hear an echo of the preferred Borges. Other echoes are explicitly acknowledged: Pound, Byron, Raúl Gustavo Aguirre. Also the friendship with José Kozer and the encompassing vision of Alberto Luis Ponzo in an introduction that sets the lecture of the book within a framework of passion. Why write, wherefore?

..in order that, when the most terrible of all hours arrives
and in me everything will be sieved and dissolved,
before the eyes of my eyes beauty may remain intact.

The confidence in language, its continued and proper instrumental use, infrequent in the new generation on this side of the river, distances the author from still other characteristics of his generation, as they appear in his portraits:

It is so terrible to feel like being a kind of god
and, at the same time, an orphan with no bread and wine on the table.

And, by moments, estrangement lets hem say from speaking:

Metaphors, philos
ophies, Pythagorean equations,
and not to be able to even solve the dawn.

Tired as we are of the clamour, the mutilations and the violence of dogmas, we welcome the word that glides along with the precision of a feline: the exact image, the tranquil appearance of a communication without filters. Pleasant, but precisely through such comfort it often seems as if the text murmurs, without deciding between echoes and a definite voice.

Such doubt, such appearing or suffering of the reader, is the domain of subjectivity.
Nontransferable. Doxa (Is there something that would not be such?)

Carlos Barbarito is a poet who is young in the way Argentine poets and writers are young: they have to cross the border of thirty years in order to be born (to literature).
He has
received many awards and distinctions from the periphery, from the noise of the fair: the institution Literature. Its definitive voice is somehow already there and waits...
© Javier Petit de Meurville, 1987

Exodos y trenes, Buenos Aires, Ediciones Ultimo Reino, 1987.
Prologue by Alberto Luis Ponzo.
Illustrations by
Rafael Landea.

Reactions: guest book or mail to Carlos Barbarito.