Rereading the Writings of Roberto Arlt (1900-1942) Within the Framework of Argentine Theatre and Popular Literature: A New Way of Interpreting a Major Latin American Author

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Arlt is an influential Latin American novelist. His literary production was not confined to novels and he also wrote shorter narratives individually. It was not until long after his death that he began to receive national and international fame.

An aesthetic appraisal of an author whose work possessed a trenchant social realism fused with fantasy, which was an early precursor to Latin America’s greatest literary accomplishment, Magical Realism.


“The short stories are where she delivers a groundbreaking approach to Artl’s association with a popular genre such as detective fiction; the plays, and finally the superb critical analysis of the play Saverio el cruel. Overall, Miranda proves to be a mastermind of the critical analysis in detective fiction, popular genre, theatre and translation.”
-Prof. Elisa Costa-Villaverde,
University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

“As the reader will have occasion to see… Miranda’s study explores Arlt’s aesthetics in relation to the politically creative appropriation of the well-established and so-called “minor” literary genres. The author examines how Arlt’s writing can be characterized as adopting a domesticating stance before foreign elements…Understood in the broad sense, Arlt could be said to be an intercultural agent, a kind of literary and cultural translator, acting across different social strata and circles through his writing.”
-Prof. Maria Laura Spoturno,
Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina

Table of Contents

Foreword by Maria Laura Spoturno

Chapter 1: The Backdrop
Inventing the City: Cultural Transformation and Roberto Arlt
Populating the Country: Modern Argentina Negotiates Public Spaces
Cultural Heteroglossia, Literature, Journalism

Chapter 2: The Novel El juguete rabioso
Social Banditry
A Mad Toy, an Abject Hero

Chapter 3: The Short Stories: Writing a Popular Genre
Detective Fiction and the Argentine Tradition
Arlt’s literature policial
Arlt’s Detective Gansters

Chapter 4: The Plays
The Teatro del Pueblo
Arlt and his Theatre

Chapter 5: A Play:Saverio el cruel
The Cruel Saverio
Saverio’s Coup
Subverting Melodrama

Chapter 6: Conclusion
Roberto Arlt: Reading and writing within the Argentine Tradition

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