Pedro Jiménez & Matthew Gleeson, “EARTHLY DAYS BY JOSÉ REVUELTAS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, translated, novels, Mexico, latinx by skylightbooks on June 24th, 2020

Publisher Pedro Jiménez and translator Matthew Gleeson get together to discuss the first-ever English translation of José Revueltas's "most accomplished and controversial novel," Earthly Days.

Like Joyce, Revueltas allows the reader to view the inner depths of his characters; like Proust, he meticulously examines memories, thoughts, and feelings; like Dostoyevsky, he focuses his gaze on the darkest passages of the soul; like Sartre, he dwells on the nausea of existence; and like Simone de Beauvoir, he reflects on the possibility of a new woman, leftist and liberated. Revueltas preceded writers of the Latin American boom such as Cort zar, Garc a M rquez, and even Juan Rulfo, authors who achieved the reputation and fame that Revueltas was denied. If one may have differences with his style or ideology, the structure of the book is impeccable. Each chapter is a perfect story, woven together by an Ariadne-like thread that unites all parts. To conceptually define the book, I would have to coin the oxymoronic term "existentialist Marxism," because Revueltas never ceased to be a disciple of Marx; nevertheless, his vision of humanity is brutally negative and ferocious. In a world bereft of God, all that was left for him to describe was our earthly days, "atrocious human life.


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