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Cover for The Complete Perfectionist

The Complete Perfectionist

A Poetics of Work

Juan Ramón Jiménez, Christopher Maurer (Translated by)


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Few have written more memorably about the work of poetry and the poetics of work than Juan Ramón Jiménez, winner of a Nobel Prize and discerning teacher of an entire generation of Spanish poets. In this series of aphorisms, Jiménez brings together the elements of perfect work, both in writing and in other realms. Among these elements—the wellsprings of any kind of creation—are instinct and inspiration, memory and forgetting, silence and noise, love and regret.

A treasure for poets and writers, The Complete Perfectionist includes helpful commentary by noted translator Christopher Maurer and shows perfection as a process of “becoming” rather than an end product. In these insightful pages, a poet haunted by perfection reveals his methods of writing and revision, and measures the social and ethical dimensions of el trabajo gustoso, or pleasurable work. This revised and expanded edition includes many aphorisms recently published in Spanish and not previously included.

Praise For The Complete Perfectionist: A Poetics of Work

“This is a gorgeous little book.”
— Robert Bly

“Maurer provides ample context for Jiménez's maxims, so that we begin to know Jiménez as a person and a poet as well as a philosopher. The aphorisms are marvelous nuggets of wisdom.”
— Booklist

"Maurer has fashioned a gem of a book, a fertile source of insights for perfection-seekers in many fields."

— Publishers Weekly

Swan Isle Press, 9780983322009, 161pp.

Publication Date: February 15, 2012

About the Author

Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881–1958) was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1956. Christopher Maurer is professor of Spanish at Boston University and the author of numerous books on Spanish poetry.

Christopher Maurer is professor of Spanish at Boston University. He is editor and translator of Sebastian’s Arrows: Letters and Mementos of Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca, New Letters to a Young Poet by Joan Margarit, and The Complete Perfectionist by Juan Ramón Jiménez, all published by Swan Isle Press.