Juan Luis Martinez's Philosophical Poetics is the first English-language mograph on this Chilean visual artist and poet (1942-1993). It has two principal aims: first, to introduce Martinez's poetry and radical aesthetics to English-speaking audiences, and second, to carefully analyze key aspects of his literary production. The readings undertaken in this book explore Martinez's intricate textual formalisms, the self-effacement that characterizes his poetry, and the tension between his local (Latin American, Chilean) aspect and the cosmopolitanism or transnationalism that insists on the global relevance of his work. Through his artistic engagement with a number of esoteric concepts-for example, his recuperation of pataphysical logic and Oulipian combinatorics, mathematical reasoning, Eastern thought, and the historical avant-gardes-Martinez creates a rigorous quasi-system of citation and erasure that is a philosophical poetics as well as a poetic philosophy. Juan Luis Martinez's Philosophical Poetics thus addresses all major publications by this groundbreaking Chilean artist and poet in order to read his difficult, experimental texts by focusing on the tension he creates between philosophical, political, literary, and scientific discourses.
Scott Weintraub is assistant professor of Spanish at the University of New Hampshire.