Noontimes Won

Noontimes Won

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Author: Tristan Tzara

Translator: Heather Green

Publisher: Octopus Books (2018)

In Noontimes Won, Tristan Tzara floods the pages with a torrent of images. In Heather Green's translation of Tzara's 1939 collection, in cosmic imagery beside communist imagery, we see Tzara's peripatetic mind haunted by the death and destruction he'd witnessed in Madrid and elsewhere in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Unpunctuated lines move like gears, one phrase turning into the next in a relentless forward motion. By contrast, the voice, at times halting and desolate, is made of a profoundly human doubt: "I sang I bit the hook / of what I know."