Galáxias by Haroldo de Campos
Begun in 1963 and only published in its final form in 1984, Galáxias is a sui generis work. As Haroldo de Campos himself wrote: "An audiovideotext, a videotextgame, the Galáxias situate themselves on the border between prose and poetry. In this kaleidoscopic book, there’s an epic, narrative gesture—mini-stories that come together and dissolve like the 'suspense' of a detective novel … but the image remains, the vision or calling of the epiphanic." A series of 50 “galactic cantos”—in homage to both Dante and Pound— de Campos likewise follows James Joyce’s cue in conceiving of Galáxias as a “defense and illustration” of the Portuguese language and its poetic possibilities. The text incorporates literary allusion, citation, and words and phrases in at least a dozen languages, making Galáxias a formidable experiment in polyglot poetry. Galáxias charts the literal and literary journeys de Campos undertook from the early 1950s on. Arguably his chief poetic accomplishment, Galáxias is also a landmark in world avant-garde poetics.