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Los de abajo (Spanish Edition) [Paperback]

By Mariano Azuela & Luis Leal (Editor)
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Item description for Los de abajo (Spanish Edition) by Mariano Azuela & Luis Leal...

First published as a serial in the newspaper El Paso del Norte, in October and November of 1915, then as a book published by the same newspaper, the novel Los de abajo has been translated into all the main languages of the world. Mariano Azuela's masterwork came out one hundred years after Jos Loaqun Fernndez de Lazardi's El Periquillo Sarniento created the genre of the Novel of the Revolution, as it left behind the norms of the European novel and forged new parameters for Hispanic American fiction. The impact of Los de abajo is owed in large part to the sustained dramatic tension of the novel, from the opening scene to the death of the protagonist - in the same geographic location, creating a sense of circularity - but its success is partly the result of the fulfillment of the title's promise to depict the underdogs. Who are the underdogs but those at the bottom of the social and economic ladder, that is, the poorest and most disinherited. And the underdogs in Azuela's story have decided to fight against the injustices perpetrated by those on top. The struggle is bloody, the suffering intolerable. And all for what? All just in order to remain in the same place - as underdogs - after two years of hardships. This attitude of defeat, of failure, is one of the elements that sustain lively interest in the novel and give it permanent value. The descriptions of nature serve to soften the violent revolutionary scenes, and it is this technique of interweaving human actions with descriptions of the landscape that confers an unusual equilibrium upon the novel and has caused it to be considered the best of the many novels about the Mexican Revolution. This edition, annotated and with a prologue by Luis Leal, is a fundamental text for any course in Hispanic literature, and is indispensable for courses focusing on early 20th century Latin America.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Stockcero
Pages   160
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2007
Publisher   Stockcero
ISBN  9871136625  
ISBN13  9789871136629  

Availability  0 units.

More About Mariano Azuela & Luis Leal

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Mariano Azuela (1873a1952) studied medicine in Guadalajara and served during the revolution as a doctor with the forces of Pancho Villa, which gave him firsthand exposure to the events and characters that appear in "The Underdogs," Sergio Waisman is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Award and is an assistant professor of Spanish at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Carlos Fuentes is the author of more than twenty books and the recipient of many awards, including Mexicoas National Prize in Literature, the Cervantes Prize, and the inaugural Latin Civilization Award. He lives in Mexico City and London.

Mariano Azuela was born in 1873 and died in 1952.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Untranslated > Spanish

Reviews - What do customers think about Los de abajo (Spanish Edition)?

Among the earliest editions of this important, objective, journalistic, anti-war novel, which thus speaks much to our brutal and lethal presence in Iraq, is that presented by Englekirk and Kiddle around 1940, again in 1971 (the edition which I have) and again twenty years later.

Englekirk prepares us for understanding the historical context and significance with a forty page biography of the author, Dr. Mariano Azuela, who as well as writer served his long life as a doctor, providing free medical care to the poor in fulfilling his lifelong ideals. Five more pages present the Mexican revolution of 1910, and twenty additional pages are dedicated to discussing the language read in Los de abajo, the dialect of the poor campesinos of the northern and western area of Mexico, a Spanish which is not Castilian. A bibliography of works by the author follows, as well as a listing of critical studies.

An over fifty page glossary completes this very comprehensive volume, which has often and long been used in teaching Spanish as a second language to high school students. We realize of course the better way to teach students a second language would be for them to trace the author's footsteps for a few years in Mexico and thus to hear and to speak only this language for their very survival and comfort, but this text offers a distant substitute which might put too many pupils to sleep but nevertheless tantalizes with the promise of vivid tales of adventure and of ideals.

The two editors note the early phenomenon in second language education of expurgating texts which were deemed "overly realistic" and remark in the preface: "This excessively protective attitude on the part of both editors and publishers amounted to a form of censorship. Such a procedure is highly out of place today. Our present edition of 'Los de abajo' is, therefore, the complete text of Azuela's novel (p. vii)."

We perhaps have returned to an "excessively protective attitude" in our schools, watchful for liability and offending parents, and despite the easy availability to our youth outside of school, in fact in the home, of material far more offensive. Perhaps the earthiness of this novel would find censure by certain school boards, which fortunately do not read, and which do not normally read Spanish. Perhaps this novel could also find accusations of Marxism, accusations which have never been inhibited by the utter lack of any evidence. Nevertheless, it is a great novel for our children to read, and an important novel for us all to read.

Several other editions are easily available, and an early if shortened filming as well (Los de Abajo), but certainly this edition with the certain guidance and assistance from Englekirk and Kiddle renders this great novel most comprehensible to the US reader unfamiliar with the history and language of western Mexico.

Highly recommended not only for the history and language lessons, but above all for the universal lessons of the destructiveness of war, that war cannot create peace and social development, that war only destroys, including its most unfortunate survivors. This is the most important lesson for us now. Read the book.
Like an Orozco's mural made by grafitti artists  Feb 10, 2008
Azuela nos muestra un escenario naturalista de lo que fue la Revolucion Mexicana. No romantiza los hechos ni las hazanas de los campesinos, que se volvieron militares de la revolucion mas por motivos personales que ideologicos. Esta novela es tan rica en matices que podemos ver y casi sentir a estos personajes con sus ambiciones y sus pasiones, con su habla autentica, en su sangriento recorrido por el campo mexicano.
Buena perspectiva de la Revolución Mexicana  Jan 10, 2007
Me gustó mucho este libro. Soy estudiante estadosunidense y lo leí para entender mejor la Revolución del punto de vista del pueblo mexicano. No solamente muestra la vida diaria de los revolucionarios, sino también se escribe con imágenes bonitas y intensas. El único problema que tuve yo fue las palabras del dialecto de los campesinos.
THE personalized novel of the Mexican Revolution  Mar 8, 2006
Just as Los Cipreses Creen en Dios personalizes the Spanish Civil War by presenting it through the daily life of the Alvear family of Gerona, Spain, Los de Abajo intensely captures the feeling of the Mexican Revolution by letting us live it through the experiences of Demetrio Macías and his family. I have lived in Mexico, was raised in New Mexico, am very fluent in Spanish, and am part Cherokee. This helps me evaluate the degree to which Azuela grasps the sentiments of the characters he portrays. In my opinion, he does a masterful job on all levels. Even the relative simplicity with which he describes historical and social factors communicates authenticity, in that intelligent but uneducated peasants such as Demetrio did not comprehend the sociological complexity that underlay the Revolution.

This is a novel that so deeply moved me that I still recall its last sentence even though I last saw it twenty years ago: "Y Demetrio Macías, sus ojos fijos para siempre, sigue apuntando por el cañon de su fusil." This, in sum, is a very memorable novel.
review of Los de Abajo  Oct 2, 2005
This story about the Mexican Revolution is written in a very creative Spanish style. The theme is centered around the fights of the Revolutionaries as they travel throughout Mexico. It is very bloody, grusome, and brutal, but apparentaly very true to history in that sense. It is medium to advanced Spanish level reading but a very good piece of literature.

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