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And its light, however faint, shines on the paper, which is important because at this time of night they cut off the electricity. He was imprisoned for his political convictions and he has already spent four years in a cell, trying to keep sane while his wife, his daughter and his father have found shelter in Buenos Aires, away from the regime in Uruguay.
In a turbulent era- the s- for the entire Central and South America, we witness the struggle of a man who did nothing wrong except refusing to obey the ones in power and the way his family is trying to cope with his absence and the demands of a life away from their homeland. The problem is that I expected a focus on the political and social circumstances that affected the lives of the citizens of Uruguay and Argentina but the result seemed very different.
It is the only section that powerfully and effectively communicates the complexities that led to dictatorships and cruel policies, along with the social and political context in Europe and the USA. There is a beautiful haunting text about the sacred site of Epidaurus, one of the foundations of World Culture.
The rest of the novel was quite disappointing. Uruguay, the country that drove them away or Argentina, the country that offered them refuge? Beatriz understands the world around her and is brave enough to speak up.
And now to my main issue with the novel. Apart from Beatriz and Santiago, the rest of the characters are either indifferent or really, really irritating. Disturbingly so. She is obnoxious, unlikeable to the core, so full of herself.
She has little sympathy for Santiago or her daughter. She dares to compare his imprisonment and tortures to the fact that she has no one to fall in bed with. She spends her time applying lipstick, combing her hair, shouting and beating her daughter, trying to find someone to f…, crying her eyes out in pretense to make everyone feel sorry for her.
Is she an accurate depiction of a wife left to care for a child and herself while her husband is a political prisoner? And if she is, then she is extremely badly written as a character.
I am sorry. This is a literary soap-opera in my books and I am not here for that. To add insult to injury, the ending is disappointing. And I felt deceived having to read about love issues when the book seemed to be so much more than that.
And Beatriz and Santiago. View all 8 comments. Springtime with a broken mirror. What is hope? How do we define love? How do we cope with change? Santiago has been jailed for political reasons. Graciela becomes increasing isolated in her pain, while Beatriz and Rafael keep searching to define what is their new life. Tough things are tearing the family apart while Sant Springtime with a broken mirror. Tough things are tearing the family apart while Santiago is in jail.
And Santiago can do nothing but suffer the pain of loss. Their pain, their resolution and their disparate views collide when a referendum happens. Hope creeps in as the dark novel unfolds. Springtime had arrived in his country but a crack had allowed in something new. One of the characters in this novel is Benedetti himself, who writes of his own exile and how he personally was affected. The message runs deep. The words are powerful, wise and very moving. As adults we all can relate to pain and suffering.
Exile is something far from my vocabulary. Uruguay, like so many Latin American countries in the last century have a certain personal reflection on this theme. But what amazes me is how personal Benedetti can be. Showing us how people are affected in such different ways. And through all of this is the message of hope.
For example if I come home with dirty clothes, I will lose dessert for a week. But if I behave well and for three days in a row my arithmetic marks are excellent, I get amnesty and can have ice cream for dessert. Absolutely Brilliant. View all 13 comments. Jun 23, Daphna rated it really liked it. Mario Benedetti writes of exile which becomes an exile from one's life and identity these being so inextricably linked to one's original home with its geography, language, culture and particular quirks.
The narrative is beautifully written in several voices: Santiago, imprisoned for his political activities during the military dictatorship in Uruguay, his wife, Graciela, living in exile in Argentina, their young daughter I read this book in English Penguin Classics, translated by Nick Caistor. The narrative is beautifully written in several voices: Santiago, imprisoned for his political activities during the military dictatorship in Uruguay, his wife, Graciela, living in exile in Argentina, their young daughter Beatriz, with a very prominent voice of her own, and additional characters, each with its own narrative and outlook.
Interspersed in these are excerpts written in the first person by Mario Benedetti, himself exiled from Uruguay during the dictatorship. These compelling voices harmoniously coalesce into a riveting story of the irreparable damage of being torn out of your life. And yet, this is not a story of heroism and revolution, nor is it a political manifesto; it is the story of people, of humanity, of its good and evil, and of its ambiguity. Benedetti subtly and intricately weaves these narratives, as well as his own, into a story of loss, but also of life and its inherent power to move forward.
Hoping to get a better copy from the publisher. When the time comes Santiago is a political prisoner in Montevideo in Uruguay, in the s. His family and friends are scattered, exiled from the country they call home. The book begins with Santiago writing to his wife, Graciela, who is living in Buenos Aires with their young daughter, Beatriz. Interspersed by some sections where we hear from the author in his own voice, relating some of his o When the time comes Interspersed by some sections where we hear from the author in his own voice, relating some of his own experiences as a political exile, the book rotates among these characters, letting us see each through their own eyes, and through the eyes of the other characters.
For him, life is static, his memories of their love the thing that has sustained him through the torture and now the sheer stultification of his imprisonment. But for Graciela, life is a moving thing — she is still young, in a new city, with a job and a growing child, and for her the present is more vivid than the past. She finds herself increasingly attracted to Ronaldo, but knows that Santiago needs her love and loyalty.
She is in a different kind of prison to Santiago, but one which has just as effectively halted her life. The crux of the story is deceptively simple — what will Graciela decide to do?
Primavera Con UNA Esquina Rota
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Primavera Con Una Esquina Rota by Mario Benedetti
PRIMAVERA CON UNA ESQUINA ROTA