Hijo de hombre
Roa Bastos' first published novel, Hijo de hombre represents his definitive break with poetry. 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. 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. 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). 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). 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.
- 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.
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