Chintungo: La historia de alguien más / The Story of Someone Else

Chintungo: La historia de alguien más / The Story of Someone Else

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Author: Soledad Marambio 

Translator: K.T. Billey

Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2017)

Chintungo: La historia de alguien más is a paradox from the outset. Over layers of history and story, “Alguien más” translates both to “someone more” and “someone else”—Chintungo is the story of a boy turned man turned father, refracted through the poems of his daughter. Soledad Marambio’s second book of poetry examines the facts, photos, and unknowable gaps in memory and history, tracing one family’s movement from the coast of Chile to Pinochet’s Santiago. Social and political change fold into mule-drawn trains and honeymoons in Europe, barefoot boys and VHS novelties. Marambio uses her father’s photographs as occasions to investigate the act of record-making and the evidence itself, knowing all the while that what is not seen is at least as vital as the images we’re left with. Hints and scenes are circled with careful resolve, resulting in a timeline both intimate and collective, sensitive to the switches that make the lights turn on, the screen get fuzzy, and the heart beat.

"Chintungo, the magnificent selection of poems from Soledad Marambio´s second book, shines with episodes of a father´s life before it’s over. In this elegy of sorts, rules are inverted: the poet honors the pangs of poverty and illegitimacy as well as the illness that still runs through the family. The book assembles memory, history and the shared act of writing as an echo chamber one cannot stop listening to, returning to, remembering."

–Lina Meruane