A Language of Grief and Body in Translation

Maria Negroni’s The Annunciation


  • Michelle Gil-Montero Saint Vincent College





Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship was, in the words of scholar Marguerite Feitlowitz, "an intensely verbal takeover" (Feitlowitz 22). The language of the military junta was one that spun an illusion of reality out of abstractions and absolutes, while in fact, it cloaked real events to produce a culture of denial. I discuss my translation of María Negroni’s lyric novel about The Dirty War, The Annunciation, which enters the dysfunctional language of dictatorship as a site of poetic play. Negroni dramatizes how this language prohibits, above all else, grief. Specifically, it deploys a language of melancholy as a radical gesture in a linguistic-political context where the body, and the embodied, have disappeared. Drawing from passages in my translation I highlight translation as it participates in problems of loss, silence, and absence, and ultimately, as it performs the recuperative work of mourning.



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