Here is Elsewhere is the brainchild of Beatriz Hausner, who conceived of it as a space for the reading, discussion, performance and promotion of world literature in translation.
The group dubbed the Montreal Automatistes were a Surrealist-influenced gang of young people interested in various artistic disciplines who began gathering around the painter Paul-Émile Borduas in the early 1940s. In what they saw as a life-and-death struggle against conservative attitudes in the political, educational and artistic institutions of the city and province, they used newspapers, public forums, and exhibitions to make their case for modernism, for non-figurative art, for spontaneous creativity in general as a liberating force. On August 9, 1948, they published a manifesto entitled Refus global that is now seen as a unique and essential document in the history of Quebec culture, a harbinger of what would come to be called the quiet revolution. The signatories of the manifesto (there were sixteen, including 7 women) were painters, writers, dancer-choreographers, theatre people, photographers and designers, many of whom are now celebrated nationally and internationally.
Ray Ellenwood‘s study of the Automatist group began with translations of the poet/playwright Claude Gauvreau and continued with translations of the manifesto Refus global as well as the poetry of Thérèse Renaud and Gilles Hénault (who was a fellow-traveller with the group, though not a signatory of the manifesto). The work on these translations led to research that would result in the first book-length study of the movement in English: Egregore, A History of the Montréal Automatist Movement (Toronto: Exile Editions, 1992 with a revised and expanded edition translated by Jean Antonin Billard as Égrégore, Une histoire du mouvement automatiste de Montréal, Montréal: Kétoupa Edition, 2014). Along the way, and since then, there have been numerous lectures and articles on the group and on individuals, especially the Gauvreau brothers, Françoise Sullivan, and most recently Jean Paul Riopelle.
Beatriz Hausner has published several poetry collections, including Sew Him Up (2010), Enter the Raccoon (2012), and Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (2020). Her books have been published internationally and translated into several languages, including her native Spanish, French, Dutch, and most recently Greek. As a translator she places her focus on Latin American Surrealism. Her translations of César Moro, Rosamel del Valle, Jorge Cáceres, Braulio Arenas, Enrique Gómez-Correa, Olga Orozco and Aldo Pellegrini have exerted an important influence on her own writing. She lives in Toronto.
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