Soldiers Cry by Night by Ana María Matute, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Soldiers Cry by Night

Soldiers Cry by Night

by Ana María Matute
     
 
In Soldiers Cry by Night, 1964, the second volume of The Merchants (1959-1969), an award-winning trilogy about the Spanish Civil War, Ana María Matute uses a realistic setting and autobiographical detail to depict triumph and loss. Manuel and Marta are forced to accept the end of their innocent childhood happiness, and must come to terms with the allegiances and

Overview

In Soldiers Cry by Night, 1964, the second volume of The Merchants (1959-1969), an award-winning trilogy about the Spanish Civil War, Ana María Matute uses a realistic setting and autobiographical detail to depict triumph and loss. Manuel and Marta are forced to accept the end of their innocent childhood happiness, and must come to terms with the allegiances and betrayals of the harsh adult world. During the Facist attack on Barcelona the two young people are forced to choose sides. Their decisions will forever change their lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In order to appreciate Soldiers Cry by Night, the second volume in Matute's 1960s trilogy about the Spanish Civil War, one must have a taste for the dark politically charged magic realism of some Latin American and Iberian fiction. For those who have already read Gabriel Garca Mrquez, Julio Cortzar and Isabel Allende, the interior landscape will seem familiar-perhaps too familiar-by the time they read Matute. The plot of the book revolves around the parallel misfortunes of Manuel and Marta, whose lives are shaped by the drama and trauma of the Civil War. After seeing his mother's humiliations and his adoptive father's bullet-ridden body, Manuel himself is sent to a reformatory and then to a prison for his politics. Marta grows to adolescence in a cheap hotel rife with drugs, crime and prostitution. Their eventual fatal and futile attack on government troops is a hopeless gesture hard to ennoble. But the facts of the plot are less telling than Matute's descriptions of of the world in which they occur: church candles burn ``quietly and passionately like tongues that have been torn out''; a door closes, leaving ``hatred, emptiness and perhaps nausea behind''; and Marta's hands are ``like two frightened and cold animals.'' While the experiences are undoubtedly authentic, based as they are on Matute's own life, as literature, the catalogue of horrors begins to pall. Matute might well be summing up her book when she refers to ``the muffled lament of the world,'' but one is left longing for a redeeming shaft of light in this unremitting gloom. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The first volume of "The Merchants," a highly acclaimed trilogy about the Spanish Civil War published in the Sixties, was translated as The Awakening in 1963. The second volume, here translated for the first time, opens with the news that the first book's mysterious adventurer, Jorge de Son Mayor, has recognized the reformatory kid, Manuel, as his son. Manuel feels that his childhood has been "something ugly, long and dark, with a hundred legs, like a caterpillar," but he is soon hurled into the far uglier world of adults at war. The author, born in Barcelona of Castilian parents in time to experience the civil war firsthand, specializes in depicting its demoralizing effects on children and adolescents. Her style involves flashbacks, temporal jumps, and parenthetically marked free associations. This translation by a pair of academic Hispanists, one of whom has translated several volumes of poetry, is long overdue. Recommended for most collections.-Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780935480672
Publisher:
Latin American Literary Review Press
Publication date:
02/01/1995
Series:
Discoveries Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
158
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.48(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Ana María Matute, the most prominent woman writer in 20th century Spain, was born in Barcelona in 1926 of Castilian parents. Her education at a religious boarding school in Madrid was interrupted by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Matute's experiences of the war (1936-1939) would shape and orient her fiction and essays.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >