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The Miraculous Lie
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This is a critical study of five twentieth century Latin American historical novels, published between 1947 and 1986, whose theme is the most infamous of all searches for the fabled and elusive kingdom of El Dorado. This doomed expedition was undertaken by Pedro Ursua for Philip II in 1559, and featured as chief protagonist the charismatic "caudillo" and the first colonial rebel against the Spanish crown, Lope de Aguirre. The five novels - Arturo Uslar Pietri's "El Camino de El Dorado", Abel Posse's "Daimon", Miguel Otero Silva's "Lope de Aquirre, Principe de la Libertad", Jorge Ernesto Funes' "Una Lanza por Lope de Aguirre" and "Cronica de Blasfemos" by Felix Alvarez Saenz - in their distinct styles and publication dates mirror the changes in approaches to fiction taken by Latin American authors as a whole in the same period. In transposing Aguirre's story to the novelistic page, these five Latin American novelists give a revisionist and authentic voice to a Latin American cultural founder, reviled in his time by the official reporting channels of the Spanish state and provide a chronology of stylistic development for the Latin American novel of the mid to late twentieth century.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 A Personal Introduction Chapter 2 Lope de Aguirre in Latin American Culture: Historical Figure and Literary Character Chapter 3 Why Spaniards Dreamed: The Golden Legend and Colonial Searches for El Dorado Chapter 4 The Ursua/Aguirre Expedition as Written Historical Record: Fact that Will Become Fiction Chapter 5 Birth of a Caudillo: Uslar Pietri's El camino de El Dorado Chapter 6 Limited Immortality: Aguirre Stalks History in Posse's Daimon Chapter 7 Characterization as Historical Progression in Otero Silva's Lope de Aguirre, Principe de la Libertad Chapter 8 Aguirre's Dialogue with History in Jorge Ernesto Funes' Una lanza por Lope de Aguirre Chapter 9 A (His)Story that Will Live Forever: The Supremacy of Fiction in Alvarez Saenz' Cronica de Blasfemos Chapter 10 The Eternal Pilgrim: Lope de Aguirre in the Latin American Novel and Beyond

About the Author

Bart L. Lewis is an Associate Professor of Modern Languages at the University of Texas-Arlington. His more than than thirty articles on Latin American literature have appeared in such journals as Hispanic Review, Hispanofila, Hispanic Journal, Revista Interamericana de Bibliografia, Revista Iberoamericana, Hispania, Romance Notes, and Chasqui. In 1997 he was named the Carnegie Foundation Arkansas Professor of the Year.

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