Ernesto Sabato: Sobre héroes y tumbas



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T it s like you re reading a completely different book wich can be a good thing nonetheless but I was captivated by the story between Martin and Alejandra and wanted to know of that thus I was a bit dissapointed by the second half of the book It s interesting but nothing compared with the first half to me atleastOverall a great book An Argentine story in the labyrinthine tradition of the author s countryman Borges Sabato is one of an entire boatload of Latin American authors who fled their countries for exile in Europe or the US during periods of military dictatorship When he returned to Argentina he died at 100 in 2011 Sabato burned all his work except for three novels saying that he did not want to be remembered for mediocre work The last descendants of an old oligarchical family of Buenos Aires reside in a decaying mansion now in the midst of a factory and warehouse district So the family and the house are disintegrating The house is occupied by a spinster aunt who hasn t been out of the attic in half a century a mentally challenged nephew who constantly plays the flute and a 90 year old who is still reliving the wars of the 1800 s And did I mention a mummified severed head of one of the ancestors What s that little keepsake worth on Antiues Roadshow A young man still in his teens runs into the one asi functioning person who lives in the house a young woman who is an epileptic a drug addict laudanum in those days and an alcoholic And did I mention bi polar Obviously this young man never saw the movie Fatal Attraction The world is filth and I m garbage she tells him How does that work for you as a pick p line You can t say she didn t warn him Another crazy paranoid character the young woman s father does not live in the house but writes a Stephen Kingish treatise contained in the book about how The Blind have a secret conspiracy to control the world I wonder if Sabato means this as a metaphor for the types of slanders that were said of Jews during WW II See that blind man across the street I told you they were following s This is a long dense book almost 500 pages sparse dialog and occasional paragraphs that run than a couple of pages Tied The Icarus Girl up in the story is a lot of local color of Buenos Aires in the 1950 s and 1960 s and a search for the Argentine national character if we believe in such things any Through stories from the old man and others we hear about the wars of Argentina s independence from Spain theasi civil wars between liberals and conservatives fought over the years that the echo the Spanish Civil War and that continue to plague Latin American nations even today We hear of the Communist and anarchists movements of the 1950 s and the military dictatorships We are treated to deep thoughts we hope for great happiness some enormous total happiness And as we wait for this phenomenon to take place we let the little happinesses the only real ones pass s by For Argentina a nation of immigrants In the end that had proved to be the real America for the immense majority poverty and tears humiliation and pain homesickness and nostalgia On our masks we are never the same person for different conversational partners friends or lovers It fascinates me as a geographer to see again as in some other Latin American stories the motif that our family tree is written on the street names of the capital It s a poem by Borges and it s in Spilt Milk by Chico Baraue a Brazilian book as well All in all a heavy duty read but worth it I can feel the passageof time as thought it werecoursing through myveins along with my bloodIt s not often I turn to google maps whilst reading a book In the case of Ernesto Sabato s 1961 novel I found it helpful but not essential The first third of the novel there didn t seem to be a moment without the mention of a specific area within the city add to that an abundance of street names landmarks and buildings which initially bothered me Because the city in estion and the setting for Sabato s nsettling masterpiece is Buenos Aires a place apart from being in Argentina I knew absolutely nothing about It wasn t my intention to turn the city inside out pside down and learn every street corner off by heart but just to get a rough idea of the city s layout especially the area around the po. Adanci ale psihologiei Marie Antoinette unor personaje bantuite de obsesii si fantasme „Suntn cercetator al raului“ spune Fernando Vidal eroul lui Sabato autor al „Darii de seama despre orbi“ fragmentul cel mai so.

It took me a long time to read this because I kept going back to re read passages and episodes and to do sketches of the characters faces as a visual support Sometimes I just indulged in going back to a particularly intense moment in a book that is packed with them and immerse myself into the awe of its horror pathos or literary beauty This book was a hell of a ride a remarkable journey down into the depths of human despair a portrait of formidable weakness and formidable strength But at the same time it s not a depressive passive wandering in gloom yet somehow there is a vibrant and vital awareness of an aggressive world that eludes The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics understanding of existence being held in the middle of an ongoing stormUnlike The Tunnel in which thesual process of the reader identifying with the protagonist narrator was made a tribulation due to the central figure being clearly disturbed here we can go back to sympathizing with a comparatively sane person albeit a tormented one trying to cope and poorly at that with his Programming in Objective C upbringing his fatherland that Sabato would rather call motherland his emotions his misfortune in a calamitous worldThe psychological aspects of the work are intermingled with historical and political reflections concerning Argentina in a period that spans mainly from the 19th century episode of the death of general Lavallentil the 1950 s in which the story takes place amidst all the chaos of the economic and social crisis that lead to the bombing of Plaza de Mayo Sabato reflects Beyond Band of Brothers upon the shortcomings and historical misadventure of his nation and reminisces about a society that has fallen by the wayside of historyThe bold mosaic of this story with its twists and turns and connected scenarios include much contemplationpon human condition and the inscrutable nature of life itself in an ambiance that depicts the environment in which the author lived There s even a cameo appearance of none other than Borges himself which much amused me But on the whole I was struck by many powerful and bewildering events that led The Water Of Life up to the third part of the book a document called report on the blind with a narrative far closer to The Tunnel in which we follow the musings of a demented man In fact The Tunnel is even referred to in this section as if it were a true written account Naturally the way the author adds these layers of reality and fiction strengthens the multidimensionality of the oeuvre in an interesting wayI cannderstand what Camus saw in this author who presents close affinities with his own writing I was often reminded of the mastery of the dramatic tales of Maugham and the The Year of Living Biblically unsettling first person narratives of Nabokov There are great authors I personally findnreadable such as Steinbeck who writes so amazingly well yet it all seems crafted in order to be as depressive sadistic and hopeless as possible This is different The world is grim and violent but there is life there is reaction there is anger and there is deep beauty to be found amidst all the turmoilHaving read the final page I am left with the digestion of an astonishing meal that will not be forgotten A work of true excellence One of those landmarks in my reading history that shall stand tall in hindsight Caueat emptor I preferred reading a Portuguese translation since it is far closer to the original than an English translation However I should perhaps have tracked down the book in Spanish since the only version I believe ever printed in Portuguese other than Brazilian translations is this 1973 edition by Europa Am rica a printing house whose ality standards were often lacking and so even though I found the translation smooth and well done there are occasional typos and mistakes and I even realized that the small closing paragraph of section III of the third part of the book is simply absent ESTE ES UNO DE LOS MEJORES LIBROS UE HE LEIDO Y ES LA PRIMER OBRA DE SABATO UE LEO EL ESTILO ES MUY DIFERENTE EN UNA MANERA POSITIVA A OTROS AUTORES DEL BOOM LATINOAMERICANOEL LIBRO DURANTE LAS DOS WellI have a mixed feeling about this bookThe first half of the book consisting in two parts The Dragon and the Princess and Invisible Faces was one of the most intense reading I had so far and I was thinking that this is worthy of a 5 stars ratingBut after tha. Despre eroi si morminte 1961 este romanul in care Sabato cauta asa cum o facuse Dostoievski cu n secol in rma sursa raului din om si din societate intrand in istorie in agitatia politica si in straturile.

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RtOn finishing On Heroes and Tombs one of the most important things to mention is just how dark it was and not just it s chilling tone It felt the whole city sat nder a blanket of perpetual black skies two of the three main characters suffered with great inner turmoil and suicidal madness most of the novel takes place in the late evenings or the dead of night there are dark rooms hallways and tunnels existing in an almost Kafkaesue like subterranean world and to top it all off the Blind are obsessed over There is doomed love a crazed family terrorism political For the Love of All Thats Holy, Dont Buy a Boat When Venus is in Retrograde unrest and eventually murder If Sabato s seminal short novel El T nel 1948 owed a debt to French existentialists this mighty beast feels like a love letter to Buenos Aires But a letter covered in tears sickness and blood Even poor old Jorge Luis Borges gets a cameo appearance wondering down the street on a stickThe novel predominantly follows two narratives and various sub plots the opening starts with young star crossed lovers Mart n and Alejandra Vidal Olmos who meet by chance near a monument Mart n is just an ordinary man trying to find his way in the city he loves her than she loves him but Alejandra does have some serious issues she is to put it bluntly insaneShe takes him to the house of her family one night where things turn eerie and creepy for the reader building a slow sense of dread There is a crazyncle who plays a musical instrument and an elderly woman who has been living Scary Stories 3 upstairs for decades without ever leaving the room with only a mummified head for company Once Mart n gets over the shock he doesn t really care just wanting to be with her Mart n is as sincere as he is bewildered in his amorous aspirations towards Alejandra he seems a heartbroken sweetheart Whereas she is needy demanding and cruel towards him On seeing her with another man he wants to know who Fernando is believing it s her lover when he is actually her father The moment he mentions this name the relationship is heading in the direction of emotional disaster and psychological carnage thus leading to an act of madness All this is the past looked back on by Mart n and Bruno Bruno being a writer who knew Alejandra s family and had feelings for her motherThe narrative then switches to Alejandra s father Fernando Vidal aite morbid man who has a ludicrous and damn right terrifying obsession with the Blind as a youngster he poked the eyes out of a sparrow and watched as it flew around the room in great pain and fear he believes Blind people are part of some sort of secret sect he watches them follows them and is the creator of the bizarre Report on the Blind Fueled by paranoia and intrigue he ends The Penguin Atlas of Endangered Species up in an old apartment building after seeing two individuals leave thinking they are part of the sect He entersThe next 30 40 pages were filled with what can only be described as an hallucinogenic claustrophobic nerve shredding heart stopping fear It felt like a cross between Alfred Hitchcocknder psychosis and Dante s Inferno Sabato sed such wild and inventive imagery I just couldn t believe my eyes and simply couldn t put the book down In fact for long spells I couldn t put it down Around this point about half way through it was THAT GOODEverything I have mentioned above only happens on the surface the novel goes deeper than that making it exceptional to read It could be seen simply as a chilling love story or tale of madness But than anything it s just as much a philosophical wonder on history The novel expands on landowning baronies and industrial development civil war and social and economical problems There are moments included that many non Argentinians may fail to fully nderstandI don t want to give the impression that On Heroes and Tombs is a tedious allegorical book on Argentinian history Other sub plots do exist but they are only important if you choose them to be they can stay in the background if one pleases There is a certain type of fictional narrative whereby the writer endeavors to free himself of an obsession that is not clear even to himself This appears to be the only sort Sabato could writeThe novel was like entering a dark labyrinth of insanity going on a guided tour before being thrown back into our world A stunningly powerful and haunting piece of work. Cant din roman proza care l a rmarit pe scriitorul argentinian pana tarziu la senectute cand picta „fiinte teribile ce ies din adancul sufletului meu turnuri ce se prabusesc pasari in ceruri incendiate?.

Ernesto Sabato nació en Rojas provincia de Buenos Aires en 1911 hizo su doctorado en física y cursos de filosofía en la Universidad de La Plata trabajó en radiaciones atómicas en el Laboratorio Curie en Francia y abandonó definitivamente la ciencia en 1945 para dedicarse exclusivamente a la literatura Ha escrito varios libros de ensayo sobre el hombre en la crisis de nuestro tiempo y sobre