A "Critical Edition" of the late (1911-69) Peruvian novelist's unfinished masterpiece, published in 1971, two years after the last of the troubled Arguedas's several suicide attempts. Like his classic Deep Rivers
, it's a bitter criticism of inauthenticity in (Spanish-dominated) Peruvian urban culture, which is laboriously contrasted (to its detriment) with the superior spirituality and harmony with the earth of his country's Andean Indians. But this is a great novel rather than a rant, because Arguedas's roiling narrative contains dozens of vivid representative characterizations, a rich interweaving of symbolic and
explicit discursive statement, and a fiery portrayal of a dissociated sensibility and soul enduring a "crack-up" whose end can only be death—and a hoped-for transfiguration. One of the landmarks of Latin American fiction.
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