finished the thesis, not the project

Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

Turned it in yesterday to the bindery. It’s done! And yet it’s not done, because I had to cut about 100 pages of extra poets and their poem in order to get it done in a “finished” version on time. The *real* anthology will take me several more years for it to be good enough for me to be happy with its breadth of vision and depth of scholarship. For now, I will take the translations in here that are … by my standards almost-done… and send more of them out to journals. And I will continue researching and translating.

It nearly killed me to leave Clemintina Suárez and María Villar Buceta out of this version, can I just say? And so many more! The more I look, the more wonderful work I find. And th e more I expand my concept of what’s good, of aesthetic appreciation. That’s a beautiful feeling. Several lifetimes would not be enough. I will make my best effort and try to contribute something… a small but solid brick in a very big cathedral…


Liz Henry
San Francisco State University

This thesis examines the valuation of Spanish American women’s poetry and is a feminist intervention in the ongoing construction of literary value. The body consists of an anthology that presents 42 poems by 25 women from 11 Latin American countries in Spanish and in English translation, with brief notes on each poet and their work. In the poems, metaphors of statues, swans, bodies, color symbolism, visions of women’s collectivity, and legends of Sappho’s life show the poets’ active participation in the literary discourse of their era. The introduction exposes sexist discourse in literary criticism of women poets and moves forward into feminist recanonization. The thesis aims to provide a wide variety of entry points for other translators who would like to translate work by women.

5 thoughts on “finished the thesis, not the project


    Liz, can’t get your email, missed you last night (looked for you several places and only heard the rumors of your presence…) I can email you discussion questions…

  2. Congratulations on a job well done! As they say, “Two kinds of dissertations, the perfect and the finished.” Glad you went for finished, as perfect will probably take the rest of your life! Take a well-earned break, have a party!!!!

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