What is the purpose of travel in an age when millions are displaced against their will or have no home to speak of in the first place? How can we travel without being tourists, without erasing the stories of those who live where we visit? These are some of the questions addressed in Cristian Aliaga’s compelling collection of prose poems, Music for Unknown Journeys.
This collection contains Aliaga’s “travelling sketches,” in the tradition of Matsuo Bashō, John Berger, or W.G. Sebald. Each prose poem is geographically situated in his travels across Patagonia or his more recent journeys around the edge-lands of Europe. His work is politically acute, exploring struggles over territory, resources, and culture, in the places he visits. There is an intense emotional charge as he records the stories of those who globalization and contemporary capitalism have used and left behind.
This volume brings together a generous selection of Aliaga’s prose poems, the majority previously unseen in English, as well as a substantial introduction to the author’s work and its context, both literary and political, by the editor and translator.
Cristian Aliaga (b. 1962, Tres Cuervos, Province of Buenos Aires) is one of Argentina’s foremost contemporary poets. His work has been highly praised in the TLS and elsewhere.
'Music for Unknown Journeys by Christian Aliaga is the Argentinian poet's first collection to be translated into English. [The poems] are highly evocative and full of wonderful, sometimes meticulous, details. [...] Ben Bollig has done an effective job of capturing Aliaga's voice in English. Bollig has also written an illuminating introduction.'Leo Boix, Resistance and Defiance