Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu, Facultatea de Litere și Arte
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10 / 2018
The Supreme Magistrate or the Power as Reason of State
Latin American literature of the 20th century is fascinated (sometimes, even obsessed!) with the image of the dictator and the significance of dictatorship. This fact can be easily explained the taking into consideration that the South American continent was, for decades, under the rule of pitiless presidents whose mythical figures became in time part of many narrative discourses authored by the most important writers of this specific world. That is what outstanding authors such as Miguel Ángel Asturias, Augusto Roa Bastos or Gabriel García Márquez did in their famous novels: “Mister President” (1946), “I the Supreme” (1974) and “The Autumn of the Patriarch” (1975). In his turn, the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier publishes in 1974 a masterpiece of the genre: “El recurso del método” (“Reasons of State” in the English translation. The book’s central character, The Magistrate, half real and half mythical, expresses all the aesthetic and political tensions of Latin America (signifying the inner conflicts of a pre-modern country) and also establishes an exquisite literary and textual relationship with many other characters or situations created by the authors of the “Boom” generation.
Keywords: Latin-American fiction, 20th century novel, dictatorship, dictator, imagination, history.