The Mirror of Lida Sal: Tales Based on Mayan Myths and Guatemalan Legends

Overview

A never-before-translated collection of stories based on Mayan myth and Guatemalan folklore by the 1967 Nobel Laureate. Brilliantly inventive adaptations of Guatemalan folk tales intermesh the technical virtuosity, incomparable imagination, and profound poetic vision of a giant of twentieth-century literature.

"First English-language edition of El espejo de Lida Sal (see HLAS 30:3268), in which the Nobel laureate melds Mayan and Guatemalan myth and folklore in 10 stories whose hallucinatory prose ...

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Overview

A never-before-translated collection of stories based on Mayan myth and Guatemalan folklore by the 1967 Nobel Laureate. Brilliantly inventive adaptations of Guatemalan folk tales intermesh the technical virtuosity, incomparable imagination, and profound poetic vision of a giant of twentieth-century literature.

"First English-language edition of El espejo de Lida Sal (see HLAS 30:3268), in which the Nobel laureate melds Mayan and Guatemalan myth and folklore in 10 stories whose hallucinatory prose challenges the reader. 'Everything unfolds in a land of natural dreamscapes...The imagination reels.' Although lacking a table of contents and translator's note, the superb translation recommends the work for classroom use"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Nobel prize-winning Guatemalan writer, ethnologist, and diplomat Asturias (1899-1974) is known to English-language readers pirmarily for his brilliant political novel El seor presidente (1946), translated as The President (LJ 2/1/64), and a subsequent novel, Hombres de maz (Men of Maize, LJ 8/75). Yet this prolific surrealist writer, considered the progenitor of magical realism, clearly deserves more recognition. Thus, it is a pleasure to see this present collection of ten stories, which interweave Mayan and other early Guatemalan folk myths about confronting harsh reality into tales that transcend jungle and city, space and time, waking and sleeping. Alter-Gilbert's translation has captured the power of Asturias's complex language of hallucination and violence. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, Ore.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780935480832
  • Publisher: Latin American Literary Review Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1997
  • Series: Discoveries Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 126
  • Lexile: 1250L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Born on October 19, 1899, Miguel Ángel Asturias was raised by an affluent family in Guatemala City. As an undergraduate in the capital, he became deeply involved in radical politics. Realizing his life was in danger, in 1923 he fled into exile after receiving a law degree from the University of San Carlos. He traveled through Europe, finally settling in Paris to study ethnology and Central American mythology at the Sorbonne. It was during this ear that he became a dedicated Surrealist under the tutelage of André Breton, translated the Popol Vuh and the Annals of Xahil, and published the forerunner to this volume, Legends of Guatemala (1930), which contained an introduction by Paul Valéry and received tremendous critical acclaim. In 1942, still actively working as a writer, he was elected to the Guatemalan congress and soon after, embarked on a diplomatic career. When his citizenship was revoked by the dictatorship in 1954, he moved to Argentina where he worked as a correspondent and advisor to a publishing house. In 1967, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, seven years before his death.
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