PIXEL FLESHby Agustín Fernández Mallo
Translated from the Spanish by Zachary Rockwell Ludington
September 15, 2020
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“Fernández Mallo’s verse captures our 21st-century pixelated lives—full of brusque kaleidoscopic juxtaposition—and yet remains remarkably moving, poignant, even timeless. Pixel Flesh is a deep dive into love, loneliness, space, and time. In Ludington’s beautiful English translation, Fernández Mallo’s slim collection crackles with urgency. This is poetry for lovers, poetry for mathematicians and astronomers, poetry for your grandmother. Read it now.” — Lisa Dillman
“In Pixel Flesh, superbly translated by Zachary Rockwell Ludington, Agustín Fernández Mallo posits and then destabilizes hypotheses, unifying apparent opposites by revealing them as the poles of a single surface. With inexhaustible curiosity, bracing inversions of logic, and a refusal to hierarchize forms of knowledge, Fernández Mallo zooms in until what appears concrete is returned to abstraction, creating a self-reconfiguring system wherein a map is also an emptiness; algebra, a flame; heat from a circuit board, sweat; and the world, a form of disappearance. Pixel Flesh may begin as a project of postpoetic enumeration, but its poems are permeated with irrepressible feeling and lyricism, suggesting the inseparability of logic and intuition and drawing us to the place where ‘a human being is something more than a bit of saliva.’”—Lizzie Davis
“Fernández Mallo occupies something of a similar position in the Spanish literary sphere as David Foster Wallace in terms of their shared insistence on the naturalization of the screen as an interface for the reception of reality.” —Jorge Carrión
Agustín Fernández Mallo was born in La Coruña, Spain in 1967. He is a specialist in hospital radiophysics, and he has been working in this profession over the course of twenty years. In 2000, he formulated the term and theory, poesía postpoética (postpoetic poetry), which investigates the connections between art and science. This is a topic he has explored in his poetry collections, Creta Lateral Travelling (2004, Cafè Món Prize), Pixel Flesh (2008, Burgos City Poetry Prize), and Antibiótico (2012), among others. His essay, Postpoesía, hacia un nuevo paradigma, was shortlisted for the Anagrama Essay Prize in 2009, and his recent novel, Trilogía de la guerra, won the Biblioteca Breve Prize. He is the author of six novels, including his acclaimed Nocilla Trilogy, published in translation by Thomas Bunstead, by Fitzcarraldo Editions and FSG.
Zachary Rockwell Ludington is currently Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Maine. His research focuses on the poetry of Spain’s historical avant-garde. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His poetry and translations have appeared in LEVELER, Bateau, PEN America, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere. The present translation of Fernández Mallo’s Pixel Flesh won a grant from the PEN/Heim Translation Fund in 2014.