La ReevaluaciÓn De La Figura De SimÓn BolÍvar En Las PostrimerÍas Del Siglo XX

Author: William Joaquín Cheng
This book examines the ways in which contemporary novelists from Venezuela and Colombia have treated one of the most prominent nineteenth-century historical figures of South America, Simón Bolívar, the “Liberator”—also known as the founding father of their nations. The novels examined at length are Sinfonía desde el Nuevo Mundo (1990) by Germán Espinosa, Manuel Piar, caudillo de dos colores (1987) by Francisco Herrera Luque, El general en su laberinto (1989) by Gabriel García Márquez, La ceniza del Libertador (1989) by Fernando Cruz Konfly, and El insondable (1997) by Álvaro Pineda Botero. This book focuses primarily on the different kinds of fictional representation of this Latin American icon and the roles these modes of portrayal play in the ideologies at the end of the twentieth century. In Spanish


“Dr. William Cheng’s book fills an important void in the criticism and interpretation of several of the novelistic treatments of the figure of the South American Liberator written toward the end of the 20th century. In Dr. Cheng’s judicious reading of these novels, both the brilliance and the shortcomings of the texts are revealed, offering the reader insights that would be difficult to perceive without the guidance of the critic’s careful analysis.” - Professor Flor María Rodríguez-Arenas, Colorado State University-Pueblo

“Dr. Cheng enters a páramo de espejos, or wasteland of mirrors, to analyze the multiple depictions of the central figure in all of Latin American culture: that of the Liberator Simon Bolívar. With a discerning eye, Cheng illuminates issues that, given the influence of globalization - among other factors - , once seemed to belong to the past. But from the speeches of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez to Walter Salles’s recent film The Motorcycle Diaries, the ghost of the Liberator and his Pan-American 'ideals' continue to haunt us, awakening feelings of melancholy in those of us who observe that living in Latin America truly is, as Bolívar himself once said, like ‘plowing the sea.’” - Dr. Fernando Fabio Sánchez, Assistant Professor, Portland State University

“What is still so powerful about the figure of Bolívar that makes him so popular in the 21st century? Dr. Cheng’s book ... gives us a detailed analysis of many aspects of this controversial historical figure ... Thanks to Dr. Cheng’s meticulous study, we can begin to glimpse the figure of Bolívar, in all of his greatness and complexity, in many new and illuminating ways.” - Dr. Laura López Fernández, Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr. Flor María Rodríguez-Arenas
1 Introducción
2 Sinfonía desde el Nuevo Mundo y Manuel Piar, caudillo de dos colores: los rostros opuestos del Libertador
3 El general en su laberinto y La ceniza del Libertador: los desengaños del poder y las cenizas de la gloria
4 El insondable: las complejidades del ‘yo’ y la crisis de la representación
5 Palabras finales