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Yo el supremo. Edición conmemorativa/ I the…
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Yo el supremo. Edición conmemorativa/ I the Supreme. Commemorative… (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1974; vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: Augusto Roa Bastos (Tekijä)

Sarjat: Paraguay Trilogy (book 2)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
393649,475 (3.75)41
I the Supreme imagines a dialogue between the nineteenth-century Paraguan dictator known as Dr. Francia and his secretary, Policarpo Patino. The opening pages present a sign that they had found nailed to the wall of a cathedral, purportedly written by Dr. Francia himself and ordering the execution of all of his servants upon his death. This sign is revealed to be a forgery, which takes the leader and his secretary into a larger discussion about the nature of truth and the fallibility of the written word. Their conversation broadens into an epic journey of the mind, stretching across the colonial history of their nation, filled with surrealist imagery and labyrithian turns. In a metafictional twist, the novel itself is revealed to be the work of a mysterious compiler, who interjects from time to time and calls attention to the fragile nature of the texts he is collecting (with some lines noted as unfinished, blotted out, or obscured). Darkly comic and deeply moving, I the Supreme is a profound, unflinching meditation on power and its abuse--and on the role of language in making and unmaking whole worlds.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:toddschmid
Teoksen nimi:Yo el supremo. Edición conmemorativa/ I the Supreme. Commemorative Edition (Edición conmemorativa de la RAE y la ASALE) (Spanish Edition)
Kirjailijat:Augusto Roa Bastos (Tekijä)
Info:R.A.E (Real Academia Española) (2018), Edition: 001, 920 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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I, the Supreme (tekijä: Augusto Roa Bastos) (1974)

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englanti (3)  espanja (1)  ranska (1)  bulgaria (1)  Kaikki kielet (6)
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Крайно отегчителна творба, в която липсва проза и каквата и да е било сюжетна линия. Допускам, че би била интересна за всеки, който има дълбоки интереси и предварително придобити познания в областта на историята на Парагуай. Но за неподготвения читател (като мен), очакващ да научи нещо интересно за историята на страната, чрез обичайните литературни похвати, тази книга би била истинско изпитание на волята. Прочетох половината роман, като втората половина прочетох по диагонал, опитвайки се да открия нещо, за което да се хвана (история, смислен диалог), но не попаднах на такова. Апропо, това е първият роман на южноамерикански автор, който искрено не харесах. ( )
  terrigena | Jul 16, 2021 |
¡Al fin!

Vaya que me costó trabajo acabarla. Y es que este libro tiene la cualidad de ser una de las grandes novelas latinoamericanas del XX y ser tremendamente soporífera al mismo tiempo. La tipografía es pequeñísima, las páginas son muchas y las digresiones demasiado abundantes. Entiendo que Roa Bastos hizo un despliegue impresionante de talento y erudición en este libro, pero la verdad es que se hace largo, largo, largo...

No me arrepiento de haberla leído (de hecho, muchos capítulos me parecieron magistrales) pero sí dudo mucho tener algún día la paciencia y la voluntad de leerla otra vez. ( )
1 ääni LeoOrozco | Feb 26, 2019 |
> Babelio : https://www.babelio.com/livres/Roa-Bastos-Moi-le-supreme/223444
> Esprit, No. 15 (3) (Mars 1978), p. 107 : https://esprit.presse.fr/article/conrad-detrez/moi-le-supreme-par-auguste-roa-ba...
> TTR, 14 (2), 97–121 : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-xb1CgMD-iTIlOB952-BUPaOP1ZK2d8o/view?usp=shari...

> Moi, le suprême est l'un des textes majeurs de la littérature latino-américaine. Que conte-t-il ? La mémoire et la conscience de Francia, auto-proclamé « suprême », mais pas seulement. Il s'agit, a écrit Carlos Fuentes, du « dialogue entre Roa Bastos et Roa Bastos, à travers l'histoire et à travers une figure historique monstrueuse que le romancier doit imaginer et comprendre pour pouvoir un jour s'imaginer et se comprendre lui-même ainsi que son pays » ... --Philippe Lançon, Liberation

> Son roman le plus célèbre, Moi, le Suprême, inspiré par la figure du dictateur paragayen José Gaspar de Francia qui sévit de 1814 à 1840, compose avec Fils d'homme et Le Procureur une trilogie sur le "monothéisme du pouvoir" , cruelle, grotesque et baroque. Elle tire sa force d'un sens aigu de la tragédie, aussi bien individuelle que politique, d'une maîtrise parfaite du foisonnement romanesque, des superbes effets de la polyphonie narrative, inspirée par le bilinguisme paragayen, qui associe l'espagnol au guarani des Indiens ... --Le Monde

> Ce très vaste roman foisonnant et baroque fournit les pièces d'un dossier qui intéressera les amateurs d'histoires et d'Histoire. (Lire, novembre 1977)

> Moi, le suprême de Augusto Roa BASTOS, traduit par Antoine Berman (Belfond) ;
La chanson que nous chantons de Eduardo GALEANO, traduit par Régine Mellac et Annie Morvan (Albin Michel) ;
Le recours de la méthode de Alejo CARPENTIER, traduit par René L.-F. Durand (Gallimard)
Se reporter au compte rendu de Christian AUDEJEAN
In: Revue Esprit No. 12 (12) (Décembre 1977), pp. 142-143… ; (en ligne),
URL : https://esprit.presse.fr/article/christian-audejean/la-chanson-que-nous-chantion...
  Joop-le-philosophe | Dec 7, 2018 |
El Supremo, como Dictador Perpetuo, quiere que la única voz que se escuche en sus dominios sea la suya y que todos sus súbditos sigan el camino marcado por él, porque está convencido de que ese es su destino. Cualquier opinión discordante, cualquier discurso crítico deben ser acallados. Cuando algo es necesario para el dictador, no importa que los métodos para conseguirlo sean brutales...
A partir de la figura de José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, quien gobernó férreamente Paraguay durante casi tres décadas del siglo XIX, se construye en Yo el Supremo una ficción narrativa realista desde el punto de vista histórico y mítica desde la perspectiva literaria, que funciona como perfecta radiografía del poder absoluto, con sus luces y, sobre todo, con sus sombras. ( )
  BibliotecaUNED | Apr 4, 2014 |
Augusto Roa Bastos' loosely interrelated Paraguay Trilogy consists of Hijo de hombre, Yo el supremo and El fiscal. The first book tells the stories of a group of people living in rural Paraguay before and during the Chaco War, which was fought between Paraguay and Bolivia over a wide swath of land in the middle of both countries thought to possess vast oil deposits. It's a favorite of mine. The third tells of a man who sets off to murder a contemporary Paraguayan dictator. I can't remember if Stroessner is specifically named, but the dictator is obviously a representation of him. I read it a number of years ago and remember it being a real challenge, with a complex style that mixes streams of consciousness, extended dream interludes, and a narrator whose grasp of reality seems tenuous at best as he undertook his mission of toppling a tyrant in his home country. That left me with Yo el supremo, which I knew to be about 19th century dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. My friend and fellow Paraguay enthusiast spoke glowingly of it, and I also read a short article by Juan Carlos Onetti that praised Roa Bastos' ability to penetrate into the mind of its subject, postulating that at some moment during the writing of this book, control over the pen transferred from the 20th century author to the 19th century dictator himself, with Francia's thoughts flowing across the pages. I'd been looking for a copy of this book for some time, and finally got ahold of a used Cátedra edition earlier this year.

I was glad to have a critical edition with all the usual footnotes and introductory studies, because this is a very complex book, alternating between many different narrative voices. There are sections of dialogue between Francia and his scribe, Patiño; there is a "Circular Perpetual," in which Francia documents his version of Paraguayan history, including his rise to power and interactions with emmissaries from Argentina, Brazil and England. These sections often contain extensive historical footnotes, completementing The Supreme's perspective with citations from actual texts written by the outside intruders themselves, documenting their often unwilling stays in Paraguay (Francia had a habit of detaining those who arrived from the outside). There are also entries from his private notebook, made up of bitter memories of his Brazilian father, a supposed contrabandist, and also his childhood spent in possession of a cherished human skull. These private interludes are often interrupted, with indications that sections of The Supreme's documents had been lost in a fire that consumed his personal quarters. In some cases, the transitions between private notebook, free-flowing dialogue with Patiño, and Circular Perpetual are difficult to follow. I felt fortunate to have a chart in the introduction that allowed me to check and see what exactly was going on in each of the book´s many unmarked chapters. Without it, I probably would have picked up on the transitions, but I might not have been as aware of what was going on.

Through five hundred pages of Francia, I got to know the dictator quite well. These texts, purportedly composed directly before (or after) his death, are an impressive representation of what a man who'd clung to power in an isolated backwater of South America might have thought and felt as he looked back on his life. It did indeed feel like Francia, not Roa Bastos, was writing the pages of this book, which is testament to the author's ability to penetrate into his subject and manipulate the Spanish language to represent the peculiarities of speech in a bilingual country where Guaraní is spoken alongside Spanish. The introduction to my edition documented a series of elements of Guaraní vocabulary and syntax that were incorporated into this Spanish text, with The Supreme constantly combining, blending and expanding Spanish words in ways that would be appropriate for a person of his patriotic Paraguayan background. You can read an exerpt from the English translation here: I the Supreme. I think it gives a taste of the exuberantly creative vocabulary employed throughout the book.

Right before I read this book, I was listening to an episode of This American Life about a Psycopath test developed for academic purposes and later employed by the prison system in a morally iffy way (i.e. a person who scores high on the test may never get parole, even if he or she is an exemplary prisoner and shows clear signs of rehabilitation). It related some of the questions from the test, and also mentioned that a surprisingly high number of extremely successful individuals (such as business executives) are considered psycopaths by its criteria. As I read, I thought about the example questions from the show, and figured that Francia would probably have been considered a psycopath as well. Unable to relate to the world around him, his conscience corrupted by his desire to protect the country he led from any and all colonialist encroachment, he was increasingly unable to relate to even his most trusted friends, let alone the hundreds of thousands of Paraguayan subjects he professed to love. He ended up alone and hated, stuck in his chamber writing and dictating an interminable stream of memories and political diatribes. It was sad, and the show about the psycopaths was sad too. It's hard to imagine what it'd be like to be unable to successfully relate to other people, and one way this condition was described on the show was, some people are emotionally deaf. Francia seemed that way, and in combination with the absolute power he exercised inside Paraguay's borders, it made for an ugly and increasingly pitiful portrait of a dictator.

But what was the alternative? What he was professing certainly had merit: this is a free country, and I invite you (England, Argentina, Brazil) to formally recognize our republic and enter into formal trade relations with us. We've got abundant natural resources, and they can be transported down the river to Buenos Aires and the ocean with minimal difficulty. We can work alongside each other to form a confederacy of independent, sovereign nations in South America, maintaining mutually beneficial trade agreements with England and Europe. He saw himself as a man of the stature of Simón Bolívar, but he slowly realized that nobody was with him: everyone knew that Paraguay was stuck in the middle of massive countries, isolated in the middle of a continent, and that it had no control over its trade destiny. The mouth of the river was controlled by the British in proxy with the Argentines, and if he didn't accept their unjust terms, there was no way Francia's ships were going to move downstream. Some of the foreign emissaries expressed admiration toward him in the beginning because he was an effective leader, organizing the country, expanding education greatly and decreasing corruption in the public sector. However, as Francia began to see that the cards were stacked against him, and those same men who originally admired him now presented him with insulting diplomatic proposals unbefitting of a free and sovereign nation, he lashed out at them, holding them prisoner and barring their exit from his country.

He was really in quite a Catch-22, forced to choose between trade agreements that didn't respect Paraguay's sovereignty, or complete isolation from the rest of the world and the economic benefits of foreign trade. His obstinate refusal to bow to the foreign powers who wanted to exploit his country's fertile lands and productive economy ended up ruining him, but what other choice did he have?

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I don't think I've read anything that blends fiction and history quite like this. It's an admirable portrait of a fascinating figure in Paraguayan history. I'd recommend it to all those who are interested in South American history, and also to those who enjoy innovative and challenging fiction. If you'd like more information on this book, there's a top-knotch Wikipedia article written by a professor of Latin American Studies here: I the Supreme.

March 9, 2012

I had endeavored to re-read Yo el supremo, thinking that my initial reading last year was barely enough to scratch the surface. I got about half way through this time and am going to put it down for a while. It is a remarkable book and I don't think I had realized the implications of the intertextuality most obviously present in the footnotes and citations of historical texts written about the Francia regime. Other texts are present in this text to the point that I asked myself two questions: to what extend is Doctor Francia, the subject and often narrator of this book, composed of all the books he has read? And, to what extent is this book composed of all the texts that Augusto Roa Bastos has read? These two questions lead to a third one: to what extent could this book be seen as one giant web of intertextuality? Is there anything here that is not found somewhere else, in some other book?

Starting with Doctor Francia and his readings, he often directly alludes to classical texts and the major (French) thinkers of the Enlightenment. He mentions Don Quixote on more than one occasion, and he's also a reader of Shakespeare. At one point, he's discussing his relationship with a human skull that he found as a child and which has become a favorite object for his philosophical ramblings. What's surprising, though, is that his conversation with the skull doesn't just allude to Hamlet; it transposes a large chunk of Hamlet directly into the Supreme's discourse. You pretty much have to examine Shakespeare's play side-by-side with Roa Bastos's book in order to fully undestand how the Francia's cherished skull has briefly become the skull of Yorick and his words have briefly become those of Hamlet. The Supreme's scribe later comments that he was caught up in his boss's words, which he recognized from a long-ago English lesson taught by one of the Robinson brothers. He knows the words are from somewhere else. Anyway, this brief appearance of Hamlet in Yo el supremo was one of the more obvious examples of intertextuality employed by Doctor Francia, but he's constantly incorporating elements of books he's read into his running commentary on the meaning of life at the top of Paraguay. I wonder how much of what he says reflects what he's read.

Then there's another sort of intertextuality. Intertexts that Francia couldn't possibly have read constantly peek through. I noticed a stretch of text that nearly replicated some lines from a poem by Federico García Lorca, and another that did the same with a César Vallejo poem. In the case of the possible García Lorca intertext ("Grito hacia Roma" from Poeta en Nueva York), a series of images of increasing intensity culminates in the phrase "caerán sobre mí" (will fall upon me). In García Lorca's poem, a similar series of images culminates in "caerán sobre ti" (will fall upon you). That poem is directed toward the Pope in Rome, who has just signed an agreement with Mussolini. The Pope is another "Supreme," and I found a great deal of affinity between the meaning of Francia's words and that of Lorca's poem. The poem is spoken toward a Supreme and culminates in the lyric subject's self-incorporation into the masses encouraged to ascend the Chrysler Building and scream toward Rome in a collective act of resistance against a corrupt sovereign. Here it's incorporated into the sovereign's speech, perhaps subtly signaling his awareness his position against the people he rules. What I'm trying to say is that there's a strong reason for incorporating those lines of poetry in this book. The same goes for the constant incorporation of discourses from the field of literary theory into the Supreme's ponderings of his control (or lack thereof) over the written word. When the Supreme reflects on writing and words' meanings, he thinks many things that were only thought-in-writing in the 20th century. He couldn't have read about this stuff, but Roa Bastos could have (and probably did). And then you could certainly see the author as the Supreme of his text, just as Francia is the Supreme of Paraguay. These two levels of intertextuality, one possible (the incorporation of texts that Francia could have read and been influenced by) and the other impossible (the incorporation of texts he couldn't possibly have read), fascinate me.

The problem with this book is its immensity. Every page presents its own set of challenges, its own meanings to unravel. Whatever you understand will only represent a small portion of what's there. Half was enough for now. The 300 pages I fought through gave me plenty of food for thought. For those interested in reading this book, I highly, highly recommend the Wikipedia page for it: I, the Supreme. On it I found the following quote from the British critic Bernard Levin, who, upon reading the English translation, affirmed that "he had read the book with an exhilaration similar to 'climbing Everest twice in one weekend.'" That sounds about right to me. ( )
7 ääni msjohns615 | Jul 12, 2011 |
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Francia, Jose Gasper Rodriguez demuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Io, il supremo Dittatore della Repub.ca

Ordino che alla mia morte il mio cadavere sia decapitato; la testa eposta su di una picca per tre giorni nella piazzza della Repubblica dove sarà convocato il popola al suono delle campane a stormo.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

I the Supreme imagines a dialogue between the nineteenth-century Paraguan dictator known as Dr. Francia and his secretary, Policarpo Patino. The opening pages present a sign that they had found nailed to the wall of a cathedral, purportedly written by Dr. Francia himself and ordering the execution of all of his servants upon his death. This sign is revealed to be a forgery, which takes the leader and his secretary into a larger discussion about the nature of truth and the fallibility of the written word. Their conversation broadens into an epic journey of the mind, stretching across the colonial history of their nation, filled with surrealist imagery and labyrithian turns. In a metafictional twist, the novel itself is revealed to be the work of a mysterious compiler, who interjects from time to time and calls attention to the fragile nature of the texts he is collecting (with some lines noted as unfinished, blotted out, or obscured). Darkly comic and deeply moving, I the Supreme is a profound, unflinching meditation on power and its abuse--and on the role of language in making and unmaking whole worlds.

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