Saturday, July 16, 2011

[Books] On Heroes and Tombs (sobre heroes y tumbas) by Ernesto Sabato

About Ernesto Sabato(wikipedia):

Ernesto Sabato (June 24, 1911 – April 30, 2011), was an Argentine writer, painter and physicist. He was born in Rojas, a small town in Buenos Aires Province. Sabato began his studies at the Colegio Nacional de La Plata. He then studied physics at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. He then studied physics at the Universidad Nacional de la  Plata, where he earned a Ph.D. He then attended the 
Sorbonne in Paris and worked at the Curie Institute. After WWII he lost faith in science and started writing. Sabato's oeuvre includes three novels: El Tunel  (1948), Sobre heroes y tumbas (1961) and Abaddon el extreminador (1974). The first of these received critical acclaim upon its publication from, among others, fellow writers Albert Camus and Thomas Mann.The second is regarded as his masterpiece, though he nearly burnt it like many of his other works.Sabato's essays cover topics as diverse as metaphysics, politics and tango.

About the book itself.

"in order to have a dark view of the world, you must first believe in it's bright potential"  
(roughly translated from Greek)
It's the story of a 19 years old boy(Martin) who falls in love with this far from normal girl. She seems to have almost mystical powers yet a family that represents all the values of the "old", pre-war and colonial Argentina.
So many emotions fly arround in this book. Alejandra the beatiful girl that Martin falls in love with, is this divine creature, noone can resist, yet she actually appears and disappears in an almost magical way, creating a veil arround her presence. She only stars having material form (that is all my interpretation and the result of my feelings while reading this book) after Martin gets to know her grandpa, a past-enthusiast with a lot of good memories from the war.

"Gruesome beaty. A delirium that makes Lautreamont pale out of jealousy"
La quinzaine Litteraire
"A masterpiece. One of the amazing phenomena of our times. One of the best novels of the century"
Die Welt 
"Magic, baroque, monumental, a Buñuel film on Dostoyefski's script"


Tó Rock said...

Alexandra was such a mysterious & extraordinary character. Imo one of the most interesting characters in modern literature

Charles Godfrey said...

It's funny that I can read it in the native language and even though it's a very renown book I haven't read it yet. I think I have it, so I only need to put some time aside and have the will to get away from the computer for a while to actually read it.

Anonymous said...

I like emotional books like this. Haven't heard of it before but it seems to fit well to my taste.

puma said...

Looks like a very good book, I only hope the native language translation doesn't tear apart the feeling of the story

PabloO said...

I've read 'The Tunel' from the same author twice and i have really enjoyed it. Pheraps i'll buy this one.