“El milk del translate”: Poetic Undifference in Cecilia Vicuña’s Instan

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This essay will focus attention on the ways in which language works in Instan (2002), and elsewhere in Vicuña’s practice, in order to examine how Vicuña challenges existing paradigms for understanding what counts as language, what counts as translation, and how apparently distinct modes of expression can be productively undifferentiated. Instan, with its multilingual and multimedia approach, does not require transparency or fluency. It builds from obstacles and opacities, and it offers a rich set of possibilities for understanding linguistic encounters without an assumption of linguistic differentiation (either among so-called “national” languages or between text and other kinds of matter). Instan, instead, underscores the connectedness of various kinds of knowledge and the modes of communication in which this knowledge is recorded, materialized, and expressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-499
Number of pages28
JournalMLN Hispanic Issue
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2020

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Poetry Institute
  • Centre for Material Texts


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