Arias, Arturo (1950–)

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Arias, Arturo (1950–)

Arturo Arias (b. 22 June 1950), Guatemalan novelist and literary critic. Born in Guatemala City, Arturo Arias is considered one of the leading representatives of the Guatemalan "new" novel. His first novel, Después de las bombas (1979; After the Bombs, 1990), narrates the mythical and carnivalesque story of a boy's search for his father during the political unrest that followed the Guatemalan counterrevolution of 1954. His second novel, Itzam Na (1981), which won the prestigious Cuban Casa de las Américas Award for best novel, is a combination of voices and written documents depicting the social and political alienation of bourgeois Guatemalan youth of the 1970s. His third novel, Jaguar en llamas (1989), deals with the indigenous side of Guatemalan history from the Conquest to the present. In 1990 he published his fourth novel, Los caminos de Paxil, which also looks at contemporary Guatemalan political history in light of the Mayan past. Arias has also published a collection of short stories, En la ciudad y en las montañas (1975), and a collection of essays, Ideologías, literatura y sociedad durante la revolución guatemalteca: 1944–54 (1979), which won the Casa de las Américas Award for essays; he coauthored the screenplay for El Norte (1983). Other works include Cascabel (1998); La identidad de la palabra: Narrativa guatemalteca del siglo veinte (1998); The Rigoberto Menchú Controversy (2001); and Rattlesnake (2003). In 1988 he was elected president of the Congress of Central American Writers. Arias has a doctorate in the sociology of literature from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and teaches at San Francisco State University. He served as President of the Latin American Studies Association from 2001 to 2003 and is Director of Latin American Studies at the University of Redlands.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

For a study of Arias's work, see the essays by Dante Liano, Judy Maloof, María Rosa Olivera-Williams, and Ileana Rodríguez in Cambios estéticos y nuevos proyectos culturales en Centroamérica, edited by Amelia Mondragón (1994). See also Fernando Alegría, Nueva historia de la novela hispanoamericana (1986).

Seymour Menton, Historia crítica de la novela guatemalteca, 2d ed. (1985).

Mario Roberto Morales, "La nueva novela guatemalteca y sus funciones de clase," in Literatura y crisis en Centroamérica: Ponencias, by Ileana Rodríguez, Ramón Acevedo, and Mario Roberto Morales (1986).

Jorge Campos, "Guatemala: La busca de la salvación en la droga y el viejo mundo indígena," in Insula: Revista de Letras y Ciencias Humanas 38 (1983): 11. Arias was interviewed by Lisa Davis and Sonia Rivera for "Guatemala: Hacia la victoria: Conversación con Arturo Arias y María Vázquez," in Areito 10 (1984): 32-35. Criticism by Arias includes his 1993 study, Postmodernism and New Cultural Tendencies in Latin America.

Additional Bibliography

Craft, Linda J. Novels of Testimony and Resistance from Central America. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997.

                                        Ann GonzÁlez

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Arias, Arturo (1950–)

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