El señor Presidente

El señor Presidente

Novela , 1946

F & G Editores

Páginas 408

La descripción y la denuncia de las tiranías latinoamericanas han servido de trasfondo argumental a novelas de gran calidad literaria. El señor Presidente
–inspirada en la figura del guatemalteco Estrada Cabrera– elevó a su máxima capacidad expresiva esa línea narrativa y lanzó a la fama a Miguel Ángel Asturias. El relato constituye un descenso a los infiernos a través de la reconstrucción de una atmósfera de pesadilla, forjada por el ejercicio ilícito del poder y por la omnipresencia de la tortura y el miedo. La visión esperpéntica de la realidad y el lirismo descarnado logran la transfiguración de una situación histórica concreta en una realidad literaria autónoma.

“. . . Shakespearean in scale . . . Electrifying vividness animates every page. . . . What makes Mr. President extraordinary is not simply its enduring subject, but also its operatic and inventive multiform style . . . equally cinematic and poetic. It is reminiscent of Kafka and Beckett in its surreal flights within the consciousnesses of the mad or dying, or within the narrative of myth. . . . The novelʼs vision is relentlessly dark . . . but its execution is exhilarating, daring, even wild. Asturiasʼs boldness is repeatedly arresting, and his descriptions unforgettable. . . . [An] extraordinary and darkly prescient satire of life under brutal dictatorship.” ―Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine

“Reading Mr. President, it’s impossible not to think about the current, sad situation in Guatemala, where endemic corruption, lawlessness, savage drug traffickers, heartless human smugglers, and staggering economic inequality . . . have driven hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans to attempt risky illegal entry into the United States. . . . But Asturias knew how to moderate those horrors by, thankfully, releasing the tension with absurd or scathingly mocking scenes.” ―The Washington Post

“.. the story speaks not only to Latin America’s cycles of tyranny but to a United States and a Europe confronting, for the first time since it was published, in 1946, a new wave of authoritarian leaders on the rise. . . . What makes Mr. President a ‘tour de force of great originality,’ as the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa notes in a foreword to the new translation, is not its plot but its use of language, with invented words, songs, rhythms, and ‘astonishing metaphors.’ ” ―The New Yorker