Item description for La Muerte De Artemio Cruz (Punto De Lectura, 108/1) by Carlos Fuentes...
In La muerte de Artemio Cruz we are present in the last moments of the life of a powerful man, one who was a revolutionary soldier, a lover without passion, and a father without a family. Carlos Fuentes reveals in this novel the thoughts of an elderly man who can no longer fend for himself; the man is confronted with an imminent and torturous death, but his will does not allow him to be defeated.
Description in Spanish: Los ltimos momentos de la vida de un hombre poderoso, un soldado revolucionario, un amante sin amor, un padre sin familia un hombre que traicion a sus compaeros, pero que no pudo soportar las heridas que le infligi el destino.
Carlos Fuentes nos revela los procesos mentales de un viejo que ya no es capaz de valerse por s mismo y que se halla postrado ante la muerte inminente e indigna, pero su voluntad que le ha otorgado una posicin sobresaliente en la sociedad se resiste a dejarse vencer.
Usando una brillante tcnica narrativa, que rene en un solo texto el consciente, el subconsciente y la narracin objetiva, el pasado, el presente y el futuro, Fuentes nos conduce por las entraas de la Revolucin, el sistema poltico mexicano y la idiosincrasia de las clases dirigentes.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.04" Width: 4.42" Height: 1.11" Weight: 0.52 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2001
ISBN 8466301968 ISBN13 9788466301961
Availability 0 units.
More About Carlos Fuentes
The author of more than a dozen novels and story collections, Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012) was Mexico's most celebrated novelist and critic. He received numerous honors and awards throughout his lifetime, including the Miguel de Cervantes Prize and the Belisario Dom?nguez Medal of Honor. Among his books are "Terra Nostra," "Vlad," "Adam in Eden," and "Distant Relations," all of which are available from Dalkey Archive Press.
Carlos Fuentes was born in 1928 and died in 2012.
Carlos Fuentes has published or released items in the following series...
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Modern National Discourse and La muerte de Artemio Cruz: The Illusory "Death" of African Mexican Lineage Feb 2, 2006
"The ideal of mestizaje, so pejoratively translated as miscegenation, was based in the reality of mixed races to which the positivists ascribed different virtues and failings, and which had to amalgamate if anything like national unity was to be produced. Unity, in positivist rhetoric, was not so much a political or economic concept as it was biological. Since growth meant modernization and Europeanization, the most extreme ideologues (like Argentina's Domingo F. Sarmiento) advocated a combined policy of white immigration and Indian or Black removal, while others...[as the Mexican ideologues] settled for redeeming the "primitive" races through miscegenation and ideological whitening." Doris Sommer
The modern Mexican nation emerged in the third decade of the twentieth century during the cultural phase of the Mexican Revolution. The criollo (white) controlled government disseminated officially the myth that mestizos were the offspring of Spaniards and Amerindians exclusively, in that order. Thereafter, this discourse was reproduced and reinforced through various means of mass persuasion, including the novel, until 1968. The black African heritage of Mexican mestizaje was replaced in the collective memory and national imaginary with José Vasconcelos' "cosmic race" myth. This philosophy, a continuation of Spanish colonial beliefs, codified blacks as tame and their genes as recessive. By insisting that Spanish genes were dominant and that black African genes were recessive in the mestizo, criollos, as supposed heirs of the Spanish genes, "legitimated" a paternity claim; hence, a protagonist role in carving out the Mexican nation. This enabled them to transfer historical glory to their name. The history of cimarronaje was erased and African Mexican national heroes were whitened, thus African Mexican national achievements became criollo based.
According to Vasconcelos' creed, exposed in the first forty pages of his La raza cósmica, the black characteristics of the Mexican were receding through natural selection. In his Christian-rooted vision, "beauty" was overpowering "ugliness" and the mestizo population was steadily and eagerly whitening. The modern nation builders adopted Vasconcelos' views as the unequivocal road toward modernization. La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962) (The Death of Artemio Cruz), by Carlos Fuentes, reintroduces and reinforces the myth of the Mexican populace's willing submission to whitening.
In this canonized post-modern novel, the central character, a post-revolution Mexican prototype, on a level, appears as a "mestizo" oblivious of his African family tree; but as he reels through memory from his deathbed, the reader is informed that in the depth of his heart he despises his negritude. He is convinced that "the whiter the better." La muerte is read in this study as a link in the chain of canonized criollo works reflecting the cosmic race-discourse on nation whose iron-like determination, from the start, was the cleansing of blackness from the population, if at least psychologically. La muerte continues the construction of a false national identity. The novel depicts and perpetuates stereotypes of blacks. It posits that for black characters to be rebellious, or to show intelligence, they have to be whitened. La muerte ignores that black Africans from the beginning of the Maafa or Black Holocaust have revolted. Alive in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, Yanga, the maroon leader in Veracruz, the home state of the protagonist anti-hero of the novel, is a case in point. La muerte is read in light of pertinent portions of Octavio Paz' "Los hijos de la Malinche" (1950), El perfil del hombre y la cultura en México (1934) by Samuel Ramos, and La raza cósmica (1925) by José Vasconcelos to track down the codification of blackness under its various Mexican signifiers. The aim is to exhibit the intertextuality of these canonized criollo works, pillars of the modern nation, and disclose how they codify the African Mexican Experience.
La muerte uses chingar as substance in constructing Cruz' character (143-47). It thereby makes him a prototype of the Mexican pelado as pointed out by both Remigio Paez, the catholic priest, who brokers his marriage to the criolla Catalina (47), and Cruz himself (276). Regarding the Mexican pelado, Ana María Prieto Hernández reveals, "zaragates, guachinangos, zaramullos, zánganos, ínfima plebe, chusma, peladaje [plural pejorative of pelado] or "léperos" were the postcolonial names given to the various mestizos of African descent (17-19) (emphasis mine). These euphemisms replaced part of the "sixty-four" Spanish colonial categories used to refer to a person's degree of African heritage (Davis 37).
"Los hijos de la Malinche," a parody of los hijos de la chingada (sons of the raped African Mexican woman), exposes that chingar is a "vulgar" word (Paz 67), and that the general population is master of its usage (Paz 67). It posits that chingar may be of Aztec origin (Paz 68). Thereby, it cleanses léperos or pelados from their African heritage. "Los hijos" claims the mestizo, lépero or pelado as the offspring of Spaniards and Amerindians, in that order.
The Malinche, a synonym of national treason, embodied in a pre-Hispanic born Amerindian woman who gives into Hernán Cortés, is inserted in the place of la chingada. Through its thesis, besides glorifying the criollo and marking the Amerindian genes of the mestizo as inherently "malinchista," it blocks the possibility of establishing the relations between La chingada, her Africaness and the African Kimbundu cradle of the verb chingar (Pérez Fernández).
"Los hijos de la Malinche" replaces the maroon history of mestizaje in the national imaginary. It omits mestizaje's African heritage. "Los hijos" annuls the connection between Africans, African Mexicans, alvaradeños, jarochos, chinacos, léperos, or pelados. "Los hijos" is another vehicle of cultural misappropriation. It confuses ownership of the verb chingar and blurs the African origins and identity of the Mexican mezclas or mestizos.
"Los hijos" fuses all "social" classes through the word chingar. It presents Mexico and Mexicaness as one; this underlines the fallacy of Mexico as a racial paradise. By omitting its Africaness, it creates a "rightful" and preferential space for the criollo within a culture constructed by the Other. Ted Vincent exhibits the two separate worlds constructed in Mexico during the colonial period: the Spanish-criollo world marked by the minuet, wine and white bread; and the mezcla world marked by La bamba, tequila, and corn tortillas (5). For "Los hijos," Mexicaness, embodied in the mestizo, has Spanish and Amerindian roots alone, in that order. "Los hijos" follows the "psychoanalytical profile" of the pelado in El perfil. After calling the pelado "fauna," El perfil characterizes the pelado as "a being without principles, generally mistrusting, full of bluster and cowardly" (Ramos 76). El perfil manifests that as a subject, the pelado "lacks all human values" and that in fact he is "incapable of acquiring" said values (Ramos 76). El perfil's evaluation of the pelado is linked to Vasconcelos and his philosophy on education (Muñoz 24). El perfil forwards the perspective that Mexican culture is a culture of cultures whose most valuable manifestation is the criollo culture. In La muerte, the protagonist recognizes Mexico as "a thousand countries under one name" (274) where criollos are the mark of civilization (50).
Cruz is narrated as a dying seventy-one year old (16) Mexican of African lineage who does not identify with his African heritage (276). He is the bastard son of a certain "Isabel Cruz, Cruz Isabel," a Mulatto woman whose true name is unknown (314). Cruz' father, Anastasio Menchaca, is a criollo who during the Porfiriato had been a powerful landowner. Cruz is six feet tall and weighs about 174 pounds (247). He has "pronounced features" (41), a wide nose (9) graying curly hair (16, 251) that once was black (314). He has dark skin (16), as the "very dark" skin color of his son (168). He has green eyes that project a cold, unwavering look (171), an energetic mouth, wide forehead, protruding cheekbones (149) and thick lips (115). Cruz becomes Lieutenant Colonel during the armed phase of the Revolution. Through his cunning marriage to a criolla, the sister of a fellow soldier executed by a firing squad at the end of the armed conflict, he turns out to be first, a landowner and administrator, and later, a newspaper magnate and a millionaire by brokering government concessions to foreigners. In La muerte, the images are patchy and colored in a cubist fashion. For instance, when Cruz tells himself:
Although I don't want it to, something shines insistently next to my face; something that reproduces itself behind my closed eyelids: a fugue of black lights and blue circles. I contract the face muscles, I open the right eye and I see it reflected in the glass incrustations of a woman's purse (...) I am this old man with the features shattered by the irregular glass squares. (9)
The physical and ideological descriptions of the characters are introduced in scattered fragments and clues throughout the novel, as a puzzle that must be assembled. In the case of Cruz, this renders his heritage confusing. The analytical Afrocentric reader must amass the fragments to realize Cruz is an African Mexican. The level of difficulty of this decoding task is evidenced by the scattered page numbers where Cruz' characteristics and features are introduced bit by bit nonchalantly: 276, 324, 247, 41, 9, 16, 251, 314, 168, 171, 149, 115, and 316, among others. The reader is forced to travel back and forth in time. The images evoked by Cruz flash in and out of focus. Time, space, physical and metaphysical barriers are shattered as the plot develops in Cruz' psyche. He brings the past to the present at will. One case in point is when he recalls his childhood, as in a close-up scene, and transports the reader to a different place in time (271). The past and present dissolve into one plane when pain brings Cruz out of his lethargy and he becomes aware of the presence of others in the room (116). An uncertain future intermingles with the present when Cruz foresees what may happen (247). La muerte penetrates the memory of the reader lost in trying to put together the pieces and unexpectedly, subliminally lays an Eurocentrically idealized world in the place of historical facts. Thus, what never happened replaces maroon history. The novel shapes a national imaginary according to criollo beliefs. Julio Ortega interprets La muerte as "the first product of Latin American post-modernity" and as "a disenchanted reading of compulsive modernity" (2). This is correct to a point. La muerte provides a "fresh" look at the Revolution and indicts the corrupted patriarchal system. Thereby, it passes within the guise of the long awaited voice of self-criticism of a decadent structure. On a level, La muerte casts the illusion of condemning the existing political structure: the entrenched PRI system that from the onset of the cultural phase of the Revolution sought total control and power over the people. La muerte condemns the Mexican post-revolution's social situation in part; nonetheless, at a subliminal level, it endorses the color divide imposed since the colonial period. Through a close review, the Afrocentric reader is forced to question the authenticity of the character ascribed to Cruz as an African Mexican in modern Mexico, particularly in light of the prevalent criollo mentality that loathed even a drop of "visible" blackness in a person. Had racism subsided in Mexico by 1920 as to allow a visibly black person to rise "freely" from rags to riches? How many visibly black Mexicans can be found as tycoons in the Mexico of the first half of the twentieth century? If "it always has been an object of the novel to tell the other version of history, particularly starting after the nineteeth century" as Carlos Fuentes has declared (Güemes 2), would it not have been more true to life to have made the antihero a criollo?
Why make a "pelado" (47, 276) or mestizo of African descent the villain? Is the novel repeating and reinforcing the white myth of the "evil nature" of African blood? Is La muerte reintroducing and reinforcing the Eurocentric colonial stereotypes of los hijos de la chingada and the pelados found in La raza cósmica, El perfil, and "Los hijos"?
Snead clarifies that mass-produced images have political, ideological, and psychological effects upon an audience's beliefs and actions (132). Also, he states "Stereotypes ultimately connect to form larger complexes of symbols and connotations. These codes then begin to form a kind of 'private conversation' among themselves without needing to refer back to the real world for their facticity" (141). La muerte gets close to the origins of chingar and the pelado. It nearly makes the connections between the mestizo, his language, his worldview and his African heritage. This may have enabled a fuller explanation of the Mexican character and his sense of humor as early as 1962. However, La muerte continues the same criollo aesthetic found in La raza cósmica, El perfil, and "Los hijos." Cruz is characterized as a mestizo who, notwithstanding, or because of his visible African heritage, the knowledge of his birth, and his having been raised in an African Mexican environment until the age of fourteen, has virtually repressed his black legacy.
It is a sign of indecency for Cruz "to live and die in [the] Negro shack" of his lineage and cultural heritage (276). La muerte whitens Cruz' by making him particularly proud of his criollo identity. Cruz expresses that he has conquered "decency" for his children. He expects them to thank him for making them "respectable people," and keeping them out of the "Negro shack" (276). According to Snead, a work "becomes 'propaganda' and no longer merely 'fiction' when its aim is to introduce or reinforce a set of political power relationships between social groups" (140). In La muerte, Mexicans whose African lineage is openly identified are characterized as rootless (302), backward, submissive, tame and servile (302-03). They are caricatured as simple, as jungle beings (302) with an endless sexual appetite (279, 288-89), as possessing an innate musicality (288), and as having a natural predisposition to relax (287). This is remarkable when juxtaposed to criollo portrayal. Criollos are conceived as civilized (50), rooted to the land (48); as history makers (35), with an identity (50); as having feelings, ideals, and even as being chivalrous at the moment of defeat (50). This perception echoes El perfil's notions about criollo supremacy. The Spaniards in La muerte are capable of understanding, and of sacrificing body and soul for family and beliefs (50, 54, 103). Snead explains, "'Codes' are not singular portrayals of one thing or another, but larger complex relationships" (142). He exposes how these relationships, under the will, imagination and ideological slant of the narrative maker, may "present fantasy or an ideal world that has nothing to do with the real world" as if it were the real world (134). According to Lanin A. Gyurko, Cruz is developed as a "single character, powerful and complex enough to be convincing, not only as an individual but also as a national symbol" (30). In La muerte, this national character is imagined by his uncle as a black Moses (285). But paradoxically, and as if marked by his African blood, Cruz is constructed as an innate traitor, a despicable being: polygamous (122), immoral, greedy (15-16), treacherous (24-25), cowardly, and corrupted (16, 21, 50, 56). Cruz is incapable of caring about high revolutionary ideals, or country (56). He is the opposite of José María Tecla Morelos y Pavón (Vargas) and Vicente "el negro" Guerrero, each a Black Moses. In Gyurko's words: "Cruz is literally an hijo de la chingada. Violation gave him life -rape of a slave woman by his father, Anastasio Menchaca; violation pervades his life, and violation (mental and physical) characterizes his death" (35). For Gyurko, on the symbolic level, Cruz is a metaphor for the Frozen Revolution and a nation that "slavishly imitates the value systems of European and North American nations" (39).
Cruz is rich, powerful and married into a criollo family. However, it is made obvious that these "attributes," per se, cannot remove the color line that marginalizes him throughout the story. He enters a marriage where the color divide is kept and cultured within the relationship (103). All the power Artemio Cruz has is not enough to free his conscience from the knowledge of being "the Other," even at home with his wife and daughter (31-32). This very power, impressive physique and ruthless character, given him so lavishly, mark Artemio Cruz and make him stand out as a whitened black (33). Cruz never gains control of his life, although a millionaire. This creates the illusion that the criollos he wishes to emulate are naturally superior to him and those he is the prototype of, nonwhite Mexicans (32, 33, 50). Snead identifies mythification, marking and omission as three particular tactics to forge and perpetuate black stereotypes (143). He points out that to make whites appear more civilized, powerful and important, they are shown in contrast to subservient blacks. La muerte does this. Lunero, Cruz' Uncle, is a well-tamed and criollo-loyal young Mulatto who quietly accepts his fate (284). He is still in bondage at the beginning of the twentieth century (295). He silently tolerates the sexual rape and physical abuse of his sister, Isabel, Cruz' mother, by the master, Cruz' father. Lunero helps Isabel during Cruz' birth (314). But he does nothing and stays quiet when the master, a known rapist of nonwhite women (229), beats Isabel with a stick and runs her off the property in his presence (286, 306). Lunero is unbelievably good and incapable of running away. He invents work to support his masters' household (285, 303) when they have become poor due to the war. He is very protective of Cruz and takes care of him for fourteen years even though, or perhaps due to Cruz' being a lighter black. Jackson points out that discrimination, based on place of origin, color of skin, social class, and religious beliefs, has been instrumental in developing a narrative that depicts black people in "one dimension racist images," as purely sensuous, as merely musical savages waiting to be saved from their supposed incapacity to reason, and from their entirely emotional realm (Black Image 46) Lunero is narrated as having the rhythm in him (287-88). Every afternoon he sings to young Cruz the songs brought by Lunero's father from Santiago de Cuba "when the war broke out and the families moved to Veracruz along with their servants" (286). He is a prisoner of fear and nostalgia. He fears the New World: the sierra, the Amerindians, and the plateau (302); and is nostalgic of the continent where "one like him would be able to get lost in the jungle and say that he had returned" (302). Jackson exhibits that Latin American literature, guided by the white aesthetic, caricatures blacks, presents blacks as easily corruptible, with an endless sexual appetite, as possessing an innate musicality, as having a natural predisposition to relax, as inherently drunkard, as polygamous, as irresponsible parents and as devil-like (Black Image 49-59). According to Snead:
The history that whites have made (...) empties black skin of any historical or material reference, except as former slaves. The notion of the eternal black "character" is invented to justify the enforced economic disadvantage that we enjoy (or don't enjoy)(...). [B]lacks' behavior is portrayed as being unrelated to the history that whites have trapped them in. Let me repeat: that behavior is being portrayed as something static, enduring, and unchangeable, unrelated to the history that whites have trapped them in. Blacks are seen as ahistorical. (139)
Isabel Cruz or Cruz Isabel, Artemio Cruz' mother, is a woman without a fixed name that appears in the narrative only as a vessel to bring another hijo de la chingada into the world (314). Although she appears fleetingly, she leaves the impression of being nothing more than a victim, a fearful presence incapable of making a sound even at the moment of delivery. Jackson has found that even in cases where blacks are defended, they are depicted, among other ways, as backward, submissive, tame, and servile ("Black Phobia" 467). In La muerte, African Mexicans seem to inhabit Veracruz, and not to extend beyond the sierra. The hacienda of Cocuya is full of blacks (295), "Negroid" people (289), and "... clear eyed Mulattoes with skin the color of pine nuts" who were offspring of the "Indian and Mulatto women that went around bearing them" (289). One learns about blacks "brought to the tropical plantations with their hair straightened by the daring Indian women that offered their hairless sexual parts as a victory redoubt over the curly haired race" (279). In contrast to La muerte's narrative, it is well documented that black Africans of the Diaspora were taken all over New Spain wherever there was mining, farming, ranching, factories, domestic work, or transportation of goods. History shows that African Mexicans, the infamous mezclas, became the majority of today's mestizos (Aguirre Beltrán 276).
History confirms that the mezclas or mestizos of African descent fought valiantly under the name of "chinacos" and "pintos" during the War of Independence (1810-1821) (Riva Palacio's Calvario; Díaz, xviii). It archives that later, they fought against the French and defeated them in Puebla (5 May 1862). History records that the chinaco and pinto liberals followed the French into the interior of the country and, against all odds, defeated and expelled them from Mexican national territory three years later.
"The omission of the black [heroes], then, has meant the presence of the stereotype" (Snead 147). La muerte's reintroduction and reinforcement of black stereotypes does not end there. Cruz' daughter, Teresa, who is a mestiza of African descent as well, is portrayed as oblivious of her African lineage. They are ideologically whitened. She appears as happily Americanized, going shopping, eating waffles and talking about North American movie stars (22-23, 25). La muerte suggest that post-revolution corruption in Mexico is tied to miscegenation and that mestizaje, of the type embodied by Cruz and his lineage, had a negative effect on the Mexican Revolution (50). In conclusion, La muerte is a text where the modern Mexican nation is still being narrated in accordance to the "cosmic race" creed; a belief that the "improvement" of the nation rested on the cleansing, by mixing out, of all black African traces of the population. The novel perpetuates the myth of whitening that underlines the ideology of mestizaje in Mexico, as in other parts of the Americas. La muerte contributes to the erasure of the path that leads to the African family tree, of Mexican mestizaje. Just as La raza cósmica, El perfil, and "Los hijos," among other pillars of the imagined modern Mexican nation, La muerte reproduces and reinforces the confusion of the origins of the Mexican mestizo and his culture: "a río revuelto ganancia de pescadores."
La muerte forges and perpetuates stereotypes of black people and their daughters and sons. It thereby codifies them as exhibited under Snead's perspective. The novel marks blacks, mythifies whites and omits mentioning, under a just light, Mexicans of African lineage who do not desire to be whitened and are not servile, tame, submissive, or backward. This renders the African Mexican ahistorical. Just as other Latin American writings studied by Jackson, La muerte replaces the historical image of prominent African Mexicans with caricatures.
Puro onanismo sintactico y poco mas Feb 26, 2003
Pues que quereis que os diga? A mi, con todos sus recursos tecnicos y su narracion omniescente y sus millones de puntos suspensivos, esta novela me ha resultado increiblemente fangosa, aburrida y dificil de leer. Por consiguiente no me ha gustado nada. Eso si la he leido toda todita eh? Este senor Fuentes para quien escribe? Porque a mi me parece que solo escribe para el. Igual que otros se encierran en el retrete y se la cascan alegremente este se encierra en su casita con su maquina de escribir y ale a darse gusto a si mismo. Se trata de comunicar Senor Fuentes. De hacer sentir a otros, no solo en la novela si no en cualquier otro tipo de arte. No es arte si no mueve. Y aqui alguno podria decirme; pues a usted le ha movido, o no esta ahora pontificando aqui cuando podria igualmente estar haciendo algo mas provechoso?- pues si me ha movido pero no por la razon que deberia haberme movido. Me he dirijido a estas paginas para tratar de dar sentido a lo que acabo de leer, ver por que a otros lectores les ha gustado tanto, averiguar que es lo que yo me he perdido? Mi conclusion es que este es un libro de lectura puramente academica. Como trabajo literario, es idea ambiciosa, pero como novela es un toston. Y es una pena porque segun y como estoy seguro de que podria haber funcionado. La culpa es suya Senor Fuentes, no mia. Yo me he esforzado mas en entender su libro que usted en hacermelo entender y como leer un libro es trabajo de dos, me siento defraudado porque usted no ha querido hacer su trabajo como dios manda. Usted no se ha preocupado mas que de deslumbrar a sus colegas, usted no escribe para mi, usted escribe para su critico literario. Asi que felicitaciones Senor Fuentes porque pasara usted a la historia, pero no a la de los grandes novelistas, -usted nunca sera un Dickens, Galdos, Marquez, Cervantes o Llosa- sino a la de los oscuros prestidigitadores de la palabra que con todo su ingenio y pericia morfosintactica no consiguen mas que hacer bostezar al lector.
A masterpiece to remember May 13, 2001
As an intersection of two major themes - the illusion of independence pictured in a faint bourgeois environment (Las Buenas Conciencias, 1959) and the nightmare of transculturation in contemporary life (La Región Más Transparente, 1958), La Muerte De Artemio Cruz (1962) rebuilds mexican history on the ruins of individual and social consciousness. The protagonist (the "yo" instance) is led to seek the truth in his own past, while the voice of memory ("tú") recalls the origins of a betrayed revolution ("él", the stream of historical action) and gives the dying man the last chance to imagine how things might have been from another point of view: the wish of community, a future raised by plural needs and dreams - "nosotros". From the epigraphs to the end of the novel, death and memory join forces to restore that manifold identity, stifled by Artemio's overwhelming projects. The physical death of Artemio corresponds to the rebirth of mexican history as a social body made of facts but also of feelings and emotions, concealed under the rough mask of authority. Throughout the text the feminine figures accomplish this mission as well, reflecting, like mirrors (so often mentioned in this book), the reality Artemio wants to deny. Four women - Regina, Catalina, Lilia y Laura - symbolize different periods of Artemio's life strongly attached to main revolutionary commotions (from the beginnings to their later political and economic metamorphose). In each one of them, financial ascent and physical/moral degradation are but one painful and irreversible process. All these symbolic elements converge to the final scenes: the fulfillment of collective destiny in the death of his son Lorenzo; the recognition of social fountainhead through the analogous images of Artemio's mother, Isabel Cruz, and the mythical representation of La Chingada. At the end, the two most important moments of Artemio's life stick together: his birth and his death. All the lapse between these extremes is a synesthetic confluence of multiple perceptions, where past and future switch sides, creating what Jacques le Goff called "the ontological rule of historicity": the rescue of memory as freedom.
Obra Maestra Dec 13, 2000
Esta novela fue mi introducción a García Márquez...su eso de adjetivos, impresionante...la historia, dios mío!
La historia de Artemio es la historia de la ambición por sobre todas las cosas, el deseo desmedido de poder, la corrupción, la degeneración moral, dejar de creer en el amor y en las personas para empezar a creer en lo que se puede comprar y tener, en lo que se puede manejar, dominar, subyugar..... Esta obra esta escrita de diferentes maneras, en primera persona, en segunda persona, y narrador omnisciente, estados de conciencia y semiconciencia caracterizan la trama y los diálogos se sitúan como la vida misma dentro de la cabeza de Artemio, donde las fechas y los recuerdos van tomando su curso, para hacernos entender esa maraña de cosas que se tejen y destejen en su cabeza, para empezar a poner orden a esos pensamientos desordenados, que giran y giran y buscan tal vez el perdón y la comprensión de las mujeres, Catalina que nunca lo amo, Regina que lo amo con el alma, Lilia y Laura que solo querían su dinero, El destino, que lo hace verse viejo y sin herederos, su hijo completando su vida, muriendo la muerte que le tocaba morir a el en la guerra y que tuvo que ser muerta por su hijo en otra guerra al otro lado del mar que sabe a cerveza y huele a melón, que hay detrás del mar? Islas , ... Artemio, muere Artemio, no quiero verme viejo,. Por eso los controlo, por eso las uso, por eso me burlo de ellas, que me odian........ Es también una obra sobre el poder en México y la forma en que se maneja..... Excelente. LUIS MENDEZ