Hijo de hombre

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First edition (publ. Losada)

Hijo de hombre (Son of Man, 1960) is a novel by the Paraguayan author Augusto Roa Bastos

Roa Bastos' first published novel, Hijo de hombre represents his definitive break with poetry.[1] It portrays the struggle between the governing élite and the oppressed in Paraguay from 1912 until 1936, just after the end of the Chaco War with Bolivia.[2] This novel draws upon a system of Christian metaphors as part of the Neobaroque concept of Magic Realism to examine the pain of being Paraguayan.[3] Hijo de Hombre contrasts two figures: Miguel Vera and Cristóbal Jara. Vera narrates the odd chapters, although he might also be the narrator of all nine chapters (this is unclear).[2] He is a well-to-do and educated romantic supporter of revolution, who is unable to take real action to support his ideals, and in the end betrays them (not unlike Judas).[4] Jara, on the other hand, is an uneducated “son of man” who becomes a Christ-like leader for Paraguayan people through action and strength of character and will lead them to salvation. Although it was a massive critical success, Roa Bastos remained quite dissatisfied with the work for a number reasons.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Foster 1978, p. 38.
  2. ^ a b Foster 1978, p. 40.
  3. ^ Marcos 1992, p. 487.
  4. ^ Foster 1978, p. 39.

References[edit]

  • Foster, David William (1978), Augusto Roa Bastos, Boston: Twayne Publishers, ISBN 978-0-8057-6348-5 .
  • Marcos, Juan Manuel (1992), "Paraguay", in Foster, David William, Latin American Literature, Second Edition, London: Garland, pp. 469–491, ISBN 978-0-8153-0343-5 .