Great Books: The Underdogs, by Mariano Azuela

A deeply cynical book about revolution, written in 1915 and set a few years previously.

It is written in a spare style that I enjoy, and that reminds me of Camus' L'Etranger. I like it because it leaves space for my brain to work in. And because it seems like the kind of stuff that maybe, someday, I could write stuff like that.

This modern retranslation, touted as a big improvement, annoyed me. The endnotes should have been footnotes and should have been more sparse. Some of the language was just awkward.

Macias is the leader of a few dozen country rebels. They capture a scholar-turned-scholar, Cervantes, who convinces him to join the greater revolutionary movement in Mexico. The revolutionary movement inevitably becomes sullied, and so does Macias. He becomes a general, but he is trapped by his success, unable to avoid his impending doom.

Depressing really. Unending cycle of exploitation and all that. But it has a lovely feel to it.

No comments: