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I The Supreme

Bastos, Augusto Roa

Verlag: Faber & Faber, 1988
ISBN 10: 0571148697 / ISBN 13: 9780571148691
Gebraucht / Soft cover / Anzahl: 1
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Bibliografische Details

Titel: I The Supreme

Verlag: Faber & Faber

Erscheinungsdatum: 1988

Einband: Soft cover

Auflage: 1st thus..


Paperback, VG. 438pp, paper a little yellowed & covers likewise, otherwise a fine copy. Fictionalized account of the rise to power of the Paraguayan dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. The bookm caused it's author to be permanently exiled from his native Paraguy. The novel is a 'profound meditation on the uses & abuses of power'. 500 grams. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 28675

Über diesen Titel:

Inhaltsangabe: Latin America has seen, time and again, the rise of dictators, Supreme Leaders possessed of the dream of absolute power, who sought to impose their mad visions of Perfect Order on their own peoples. Latin American writers, in turn, have responded with fictional portraits of such figures, and no novel of this genre is as universally esteemed as Augusto Roa Bastos's I the Supreme, a book that draws on and reimagines the career of the man who was "elected" Supreme Dictator for Life in Paraguay in 1814. By turns grotesque, comic, and strangely moving, I the Supreme is a profound meditation on the uses and abuses of power -- over men, over events, over language itself.

Rezension: The most magnificent work, most magnificently translated, to come from Spanish into English in almost a quarter of a century . . . Sort of a political As I Lay Dying by way of Tristram Shandy. Every textual fold is pleated by sumptuous wordplay; arcane, absurd, and (mostly) accurate annotation and quotation; as well as fact so much stranger than fiction that nobody knows what evil lurks in the mind of what possible man.

I the Supreme was first published in Spanish in 1974. It is a shame that we have had to wait for so long for its publication in English, for its breadth of vision and ambition make it important in any language.

Now that a superb English translation of this dauntingly complex work is at last available, readers in this country will be in a position to see for themselves why Latin American critics have been moved to invoke the names of Joyce and Musil, Cervantes and Rabelais to describe the breadth and ambition of I the Supreme.

A text of a verbal density that recalls the later James Joyce, a web of intertextual reference never seen in modern Spanish outside of Borges, Roa Bastos' novel has challenged and fascinated thousands of readers around the world . . . A highly serious yet comic novel.

These passages reverberate with a fierce surrealism peopled with dwarves, women warriors and clairvoyant animals; studded with Borgesian images of mirrors and labyrinths, mystical eggs and blankets made of batskin, and embroidered with subsidiary tales about madness, death, and humiliation . . . A prodigious meditation not only on history and power, but also on the nature of language itself.

The novel's true achievement is one of tone and voice. The language is a triumph almost as much for the translator as for the author: ebulliently resourceful, brilliant in its vitriol and vituperation, rabelaisian in its extravagance.

Augusto Roa Bastos is himself a supreme find, maybe the most complex and brilliant Latin American novelist of all . . . What a glory of echoing voices this Paraguayan portmanteau is, more Joycean than Cortazar's Hopscotch, every bit as volcanic and visionary as Lezama Lima's Paradiso or Osman Lins's Avalovara . . . I the Supreme is a work of graceful, voluminous genius, an Everest of fiction.

A richly textured, brilliant book an impressive portrait, not only of El Supremo, but of a whole colonial society in the throes of learning how to swim, or how best to drown, in the seas of national independence . . . I the Supreme is one of the milestones of the Latin American novel.

I the Suprem

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