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A Show of Heads

Carlos Fuentes, 19 March 1987

I the Supreme 
by Augusto RoaBastos, translated by Helen Lane.
Faber, 433 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 0 571 14626 0
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... and varied wills of a wide variety of writers who included, if my recall is as good as that of Roa Bastos’s El Supremo, Roa Bastos himself, Argentina’s Julio Cortazar, Venezuela’s Miguel Otero Silva, Colombia’s Gabriel García Marquez, Cuba’s Alejo Carpentier, the Dominican Republic’s Juan Bosch and ...

Dead Man’s Voice

Jeremy Harding: A Dictator Novel, 19 January 2017

The Dictator’s Last Night 
by Yasmina Khadra, translated by Julian Evans.
Gallic, 199 pp., £7.99, October 2015, 978 1 910477 13 7
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... the ‘sole consul’ of Paraguay – who died in 1840, was the work of the Paraguayan novelist Augusto RoaBastos, written during a thirty-year exile in Argentina. Alfredo Stroessner, Paraguay’s dictator at the time, took offence when the book was published and announced that the author could never return ...


Richard Gott: Paraguayan Power, 21 February 2008

... well the claustrophobic atmosphere of 20th-century Paraguay. The country’s greatest novelist, Augusto RoaBastos, long exiled in France, wrote the definitive novel about a Latin American dictator, evoking the perversities of the Stroessner era. I the Supreme, published in 1974, was ostensibly a biography of José ...

Robinson’s Footprints

Richard Gott: Hugo Chávez and the Venezuelan Revolution, 17 February 2000

... me. I was reminded for a moment of Yo el Supremo, the magnificent novel by the Paraguayan writer Augusto RoaBastos about José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, the ascetic Robespierrean President of Paraguay who isolated his country for thirty years in the early part of the 19th century. Chávez has a similar messianic ...

Memories of a Skinny Girl

Michael Wood: Mario Vargas Llosa, 9 May 2002

The Feast of the Goat 
by Mario Vargas Llosa, translated by Edith Grossman.
Faber, 404 pp., £16.99, March 2002, 0 571 20771 5
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The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War 
by Jean Franco.
Harvard, 323 pp., £15.95, May 2002, 0 674 00842 1
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... into a magic mirror. Hence the tradition of dictator novels, a minor genre with major members: Augusto RoaBastos’s I the Supreme (1974), Alejo Carpentier’s Reasons of State (1974), Gabriel García Márquez’s Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), and now Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat (2000). The time ...

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