Title Pick: The Complete Perfectionist by Juan Ramón Jiménez

Few have written more memorably about the work of poetry and the poetics of work than Juan Ramón Jiménez, winner of a Nobel Prize and discerning teacher of an entire generation of Spanish poets. In this series of aphorisms, Jiménez brings together the elements of perfect work, both in writing and in other realms. Among these elements—the wellsprings of any kind of creation—are instinct and inspiration, memory and forgetting, silence and noise, love and regret.

A treasure for poets and writers, The Complete Perfectionist includes helpful commentary by noted translator Christopher Maurer and shows perfection as a process of “becoming” rather than an end product. In these insightful pages, a poet haunted by perfection reveals his methods of writing and revision, and measures the social and ethical dimensions of el trabajo gustoso, or pleasurable work. This revised and expanded edition includes many aphorisms recently published in Spanish and not previously included.

The Complete Perfectionist
Juan Ramón Jiménez
Translated from the Spanish by Christopher Maurer
2011, Swan Isle Press
ISBN: 0983322007

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