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Thread: Ernesto Sabato: On Heroes and Tombs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Argentina Ernesto Sabato: On Heroes and Tombs

    First of all, hello to all of you, I'm new here
    Secondly; I would like to recommend this amazing Argentine writer, who, in my opinion, is unjustly neglected and forgotten as a big name of Latin american literature. As he said, "I only "committed" three novels", there is not much to read, but the little there is, is profound. His work is existentialist and was acclaimed by Camus and Mann (For me, Sabato's style is very similar to Camus'), and his great model was Dostoevsky

    Now, about this work, that was Sabato's masterpiece, On Heroes and Tombs, it's a story about a self-destructing love between two emotionally damaged people, Martín, the son of a failed painter and a promiscuous mother (as she is called in the novel, sewer-mother) who constantly reminds him that she tried to abort him and couldn't, and Alejandra, from a traditional and decaying Argentine family. And, maybe some would say that "disconnected" from the main story line and could almost be a book by itself, the "Report on the Blind" chapter, that is (in my opinion, again) the best surrealist, Poean work ever written Latin america, Fernando (Alejandra's father), narrating his investigations on a "blind man cult "
    The thing that makes this book so great is that it's questions about life, existence and etc. mock themselves, reminding us that a man should not be considered special for thinking, as it's not as rare gift as many of us like to believe; but, in the same way, we should be considered special for being human beings, and no man should be considered unworthy or not as an unique and special , no man should be mocked, because we are all prone to disgrace and loneliness after all, and in that, we are brothers

    Of course, the book is much broader than that. I have left almost everything out. Anyone willing to discuss it??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Ernesto Sabato: On Heroes and Tombs

    Welcome Adamante, and thanks for bringing this brilliant mind to discussion. I love Sabato, and not only for his novels; his non fiction is just spectacular. Hombres y Engranajes is just amazing. It was written more than 60 years ago, and its thematic is vivid these days. He speaks in a brilliant way about mechanization of humanity and how science not being the real answer we need. He talks about his personal experience as a scientist; he was a really well renowned young physicist with a scholarship at the Curie institute in Paris and he decided this wasn't for him and quit. He is also great in literary essay, with books like El Escritor y sus Fantasmas, and his memoirs and diaries are just as great with books like Antes del Fin y España en los Diarios de mi Vejez.
    I need to re-read Abaddon el Exterminador; it is a very long and complex novel and I'm sure I didn't completely got it as I read it in my late teen years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Madrid, mostly, but Brussels and Rome too

    Default Re: Ernesto Sabato: On Heroes and Tombs

    This is an interesting post, because of a coincidence. About a month ago Claudio Magris gave a lecture-talk at the Casa America in Madrid. He mentioned Sabato as one of his masters or examples. Specially Heroes and Tombs. He singled out its inner rhythms and the thematic flow. I am halfway through in fact, but my Spanish is not as good as Magris' :-)

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