Monday, August 22, 2022

Mr. President by Miguel Angel Asturias


Astonishing hidden-Modernist novel written in the 1920s by the Guatemalan Miguel Angel Asturias, but only published after political exile in 1946. One of those books that might have made a different historically had it been published in its own time.

Cesaire described Asturias as "a mountain perennially green, on the horizon of all mankind. [xiv]

The prisoners continued walking by. To be them, and not to be the onlookers so happy not to be prisoners. [xxix]

"I'm the Apple-Rose of the Bird of Paradise, I'm life, and half my body is a lie, the other half truth... I am the lie in every truth, the truth of all fiction.' [19]

"You'll either die or go blind reading." [17]

"Sir, he couldn't bear the two hundred lashes because he died first. "[30]

She took comfort in remembering her son. She imagined him still in her womb. Mothers never completely empty of their children. [102]

When fingers tremble bonelessly, hands shake like gloves. When jaws tremble, unable to speak, they telegraph worry. When legs tremble, someone is standing up in a carriage harnessed to two runaway horses like souls the Devil is about to usurp. [108-109\]

"Love, my girl, is a cherry snow cone. When you start eating, there's tons of red syrup and you're happy. Then it drips all over and you've got to lick it before the top tips over. Then you're left with a tasteless, colorless clump of ice." [112]

You would fit perfectly
In the keyhole of heaven:
The locksmith carved your body
On a star, on the day you were born. [115]

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