Boulevard of Heroes

Overview

Petronio Rincón, the son of an assassinated politician and the follower of a revolutionary priest, organizes the residents of a poor neighborhood to his cause and lives in the jungle. But when his troops overthrow him and the government exiles him, Petronio finds himself in the urban wilderness of Paris, where he is forcibly interned in a hospital. One evening he chances upon a stone staircase that spirals him into the bowels of the city, beginning a Dantesque ...

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Overview

Petronio Rincón, the son of an assassinated politician and the follower of a revolutionary priest, organizes the residents of a poor neighborhood to his cause and lives in the jungle. But when his troops overthrow him and the government exiles him, Petronio finds himself in the urban wilderness of Paris, where he is forcibly interned in a hospital. One evening he chances upon a stone staircase that spirals him into the bowels of the city, beginning a Dantesque experience plagued with horrors.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An outstanding translation . . . Boulevard of Heroes offers an insightful voyage into the soul of Latin America's radical, old-time activists."  —World Literature Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although esteemed translator Rabassa calls the Colombian Garcia Aguilar a member of the second wave of the Latin American Boom, the writing in this novel seems disjointed, and the author's ``magic realism'' results merely in a confusing chronology and abrupt, unexplained transitions. Petronio ``Crazy'' Rincon, an idealistic revolutionary, follows a path from the Andes to Paris to a surreal land. The various episodes in his life carry charming if somewhat heavy symbolism: while living in exile in Paris he works as caretaker for a circus elephant who appears to long for Africa and has trouble adjusting to city life. Eventually Petronio enters ``the zone of forgetfulness,'' the province of those who seek utopia, where the Republic of Libertilandia is established and illogic appears to reign supreme. The most interesting points here are not about politics but about life in exile, as when Garcia Aguilar notes that the farther Petronio was from his homeland ``the greater was the excitation of his spirit.'' The translation is often too literal, resulting in phrases such as ``he . . . became a typical little lawyer of the cold earth.'' Dec.
Library Journal
In Colombian Garcia Aguilar's novel, , Petronio Crazy Rincon, a South American revolutionary, has to battle two enemies: his own followers and a repressive government. A life dedicated to helping the lumpenproletariat leads him to champion the cause of prostitutes and peasants, some of whom would prefer a life of banditry to revolution. Exiled to France, he wanders through a maze of poverty, pretension, and demagoguery. Jobs range from kitchen helper to caretaker of an elephant. Involvement with the beautiful Adela Dampierre de Nerval brings him to murder and madness. In the final sections of the novel, Rincon travels through a nightmarish series of landscapes with his dead lover Adela, a Beatrice and Dante. Scholar and translator of Latin American literature Gregory Rabassa contributes an introduction about magic realism, with a few suggestions about the author's possible literary influences.-- Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780935480627
  • Publisher: Latin American Literary Review Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1993
  • Series: Discoveries Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Eduardo García Aguilar is a journalist and author of several novels and collections of short stories and poetry, including Luminous Cities. He is an associate director of Agence France-Presse, one of the largest news agencies in the world. Jay Anthony Miskowiec is the translator of numerous signigicant Spanish-language books. Gregory Rabassa is a distinguished professor of Hispanic languages and literatures at Queens College and an accomplished translator of Latin American literature. He is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. He lives in New York City.

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