June 28, 2022

César Moro [Alfredo Quíspez Asín] (Peru) 1903-1956

César Moro [Alfredo Quíspez Asín] (Peru)



Moro was born as Alfredo Quíspez Asín on August 19, 1903, in Lima, Peru.

      In 1925, the young man traveled to Paris, where came under the spell of André Breton, joining the Surrealist movement and participating in the publication Surréalísme au Service de Révolution.

      Moro's avant-garde spirit would align him to many French poets, and allowed him to be an forceful speaker, upon his return to Lima in 1933, for Hispanic surrealism.

      Only four years later, in 1939, Moro moved to Mexico, where he spent most of his career. There he co-founded, with the poet Emilio A. Westphalen, the magazine El uso de la palabra (The use of the word).


   Also a visual artist, Moro co-organized with Breton the International Surrealist Exhibition of Mexico.

      In 1944, Moro left orthodox Surrealism, returning to Lima in 1948, where he became a close friend with French writer André Coyne, who, when Moro died, became his executor, publishing what he know of Moro's output, including The Scandalous Life of César Moro, in His Own Words. He also wrote a book of essays, Versiones del surrealismo (1974).

      As scholar Mauro Marino Jimenez has written of Moro:


The poetry of César Moro has far exceeded the simple idea of a rebellion against any kind of historical tradition, social or "realistic." Every relationship-be it radical, its opposite or inner-is a continuous process and religious in the broadest sense. In the texts of the Peruvian poet, the roots are deeper still, dating back to a mythical approach to our thinking and magic (magic understood as the primal relationship between man and the universe, the dark in our times). Each poem includes constant inputs and outputs, with Moro mixing, melting, demystifying. We ae not offered transcendence, but a representation of how the contradictions are diluted and a recognition the "other" as a part of us.





La Château de grisou (1943); Lettre d'amour (1944); Trafalgar Square (1954); Amour à mort (1957); La tortuga ecuestre y others poemas: 1929-1949 (Lima, Peru: Ediciones Tigrondine, 1957); Los Anteojos deazufre (1958); La tortuga ecuestre y otros textos (1976); Obra poética (Lima: Casa de la Cultura del Perú, 1980); Viajie hacia la noche (Madrid: Huerga y Fierro Editores, 1999)




Amour à mort (Love till death), trans. by Frances LeFevre (New York: Vanishing Rotating Triangle Press, 1973); The Scandalous Life of César Moro, In His Own Words, trans. by Philip Ward (New York: Oleander Press, 1976); selections in Ludwig Zeller, ed. The Invisible Presence: Sixteen Poets of Spanish America 1925-1995, trans. by Beatriz Zeller (Oakville, Ontario and Buffalo, New York: Mosaic Press, 1996)


For a translation of Moro's "Fire and Poetry," click below:


1 comment:

Guillermo Parra said...

Thanks for mentioning my translation of Moro's "Fire and Poetry." If you're interested, you can read more of my translations of Moro here:


(Or just click on the "César Moro" label at the bottom of "Fire and Poetry.")