With My Dog Eyes
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
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Hilda Hilst (1930–2004) was one of the greatest Brazilian writers of the twentieth century, but her books have languished untranslated, in part because of their formally radical nature. This translation of With My Dog-Eyes brings a crucial work from her oeuvre into English for the first time.
With My Dog-Eyes is an account of an unraveling—of sanity, of language . . . After experiencing a vision of what he calls “a clear-cut unhoped-for,” college professor Amós Keres struggles to reconcile himself with his life as a father, a husband, and a member of the university with its “meetings, asskissers, pointless rivalries, gratuitous resentments, jealous talk, megalomanias.”
A stunning book by a master of the avant-garde.
Hilda Hilst was born in 1930 in Jaú, Brazil. She was a prolific author whose works span many different genres, including poetry, drama, fiction, and newspaper columns. Born the heiress to a coffee fortune, she abandoned São Paulo and a law career in the 1950s to devote herself to literature, moved to the countryside, and built herself a house, Casa do Sol, where she lived until the end of her life with a rotating cast of friends, lovers, aspiring artists, bohemian poets, and dozens of dogs. She received numerous major literary prizes over the course of her career, including Brazil’s highest honor, the Prêmio Jabuti. She died in 2004, at the age of seventy-three.
Adam Morris is a PhD candidate in Latin American literature at Stanford University. An excerpt from his translation of With My Dog-Eyes won the 2012 Susan Sontag Foundation Prize for Literary Translation.
Praise for Hilda Hilst and The Obscene Madame D
“Like her friend and admirer Clarice Lispector, Hilda Hilst was a passionate explorer of the sacred and the profane, the pure and the obscene.”
“This brief, lyrical and scalding account of a mind unhinged recalls the passionate urgency of Artaud and de Sade’s waking dreams in which sex and death are forever conjoined and love’s ‘vivid time’ irretrievably lost.”
“May just be the literary miracle of 2012 . . . The Obscene Madame D stands at only 57 pages and yet manages to offer the reader a truly immersive experience unlike any of the classic tomes that brim with words.”
—Alex Estes, Full Stop
“In the sense that language is a cultural and political construct, Hilst breaks that construct and, in doing so, asks us to hear life’s eventual silence.”
—Sarah Gerard, Los Angeles Review of Books