The Underdogs

Mariano Azuela, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $0 (165p) ISBN 978-0-8229-3728-9
If Los de abajo , long considered one of the masterpieces of revolutionary literature in Mexico, has not received wide recognition north of the border, it is not for lack of trying. This is its fourth translation into English. Azuela himself described the book as ``a series of sketches and scenes of the constitutionalist revolution,'' at the center of which is Demetrio Macias, an Indian farmer who, following a petty fight with the local boss, became a bandit--which in 1913-1916 was basically the same thing as a revolutionary. His heroism must be read in the context of fellow rebels, like Luis Cervantes, the sometime journalist who spouts heroic claptrap between bouts of cowardice and avarice, or the brutal and crude Margarito. Unlike Azuela, who was a medical officer with Pancho Villa's forces, Macias does not know for whom or what he is fighting and is eventually trapped. Fornoff has wisely avoided translating the quickly outmoded Spanish slang into equally transient English; rather, he leaves Azuela's spare, lucid prose to tell its own story of the tyranny of revolution. This volume in the Pittsburgh Editions of Latin American Literature also includes scholarly essays by Carlos Fuentes, Seymour Menton and Jorge Ruffinelli. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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