The Maypole Warriors

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A spectral vision of the events in Chile during the 1930s and 1940s, this novel follows a family cast into tumultuous times. Written from the perspective of the bourgeois, the story provides fascinating insight into the artistic revolution and the role played in it by figures such as Pablo Neruda and Vicente Huidobro. Told in lyrical prose and with heartfelt depth, the book is a captivating window into Chile during a time of intense and sudden change.

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Overview

A spectral vision of the events in Chile during the 1930s and 1940s, this novel follows a family cast into tumultuous times. Written from the perspective of the bourgeois, the story provides fascinating insight into the artistic revolution and the role played in it by figures such as Pablo Neruda and Vicente Huidobro. Told in lyrical prose and with heartfelt depth, the book is a captivating window into Chile during a time of intense and sudden change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Family ruination is never far from the center of this novel—the lives of the characters and their decline serve as metaphors for Chilean society . . . Alegria's Chile is eerily akin to the Civil War-Spain in Man's Hope by Andre Malraux, whose name is evoked early on. Like Malraux, Alegria is concerned with what motivates human beings—what it is that causes them to seek to transcend themselves. Alegria's prose, however, is more lyrical than Malraux's. He is deft at finding the evocative metaphor, the searing image. In a stylish translation by Lozano, the book will capture both the reader's attention and conscience."  —Publishers Weekly

"This novel aptly demonstrates how fiction often provides a more effective vehicle than nonfiction writing for conveying the essence and spirit of a moment in history."  —Choice magazine

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Alegria ( Paradise Lost or Gained ) turns to the history of his native Chile in this visionary new novel. The book traces the crises of a family during the tumultuous years of the 1930s and 1940s. As it opens, Don Carlos, the dominating patriarch, has died, leaving his family adrift amid changing realities in their country. The bourgeois clan's fortunes have sunk but its members still cling to vestiges of their lost prestige. Family ruination is never far from the center of this novel--the lives of the characters and their decline serve as metaphors for Chilean society. Fascists clash with left-wing students, violence against women provides a cheap substitute for genuine power. Alegria's Chile is eerily akin to the Civil War-Spain in Man's Hope by Andre Malraux, whose name is evoked early on. Like Malraux, Alegria is concerned with what motivates human beings--what it is that causes them to seek to transcend themselves. Alegria's prose, however, is more lyrical than Malraux's. He is deft at finding the evocative metaphor, the searing image. In a stylish translation by Lozano, the book will capture both the reader's attention and conscience. (June)
Library Journal
Is the political climate of an era long past any less real because we are no longer there to hear its words? Alegria ( Allende , LJ 4/1/93), a Chilean novelist and critic now living in California, commemorates the generation of his youth by re-creating the volatile politics of late 1930s Chile, when Europe smoldered ``like a tired cow'' mooing Spenglerian aphorisms that some Chileans (like Mario) jotted down in notebooks ``bound with the skins of Jews.'' Others (like Juan Luis) gravitated toward social commitment and the mission of stopping Nazism; while still others heard the words of Huidobro: ``Poet, don't sing to a rose, make it bloom in your poetry.'' The focus of the novel falls specifically on two old families who suffer the consequences of social change through the follies of their children. For buffs of Latin American politics.-- Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780935480580
  • Publisher: Latin American Literary Review Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1993
  • Series: Discoveries Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Fernando Alegría was a novelist, poet, critic, and distinguished professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University. His literary works have been translated into many languages. Carlos Lozano is a Spanish-language translator whose credits include collections by Pablo Neruda.

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