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The golden specter of El Dorado and its promises of unlimited wealth have haunted Western iconography for centuries. The Miraculous Lie: Lope de Aguirre and the Search for El Dorado in the Latin American Historical Novel is a fascinating study of five twentieth-century Latin American novels that focus on one particular search for El Dorado: the infamous 1559 expedition, headed by Pedro Ursua and the first legendary colonial rebel against the crown, Lope de Aguirre. Author Bart Lewis approaches five works-Arturo Uslar Pietri's El Camino de El Dorado, Abel Posses's Daimon, Miguel Otero Silva's Lope de Aquirre, Principe de la Libertad, Jorge Ernesto Funes's Una Lanza por Lope de Aguirre, and Felix Alvarez Saenz's Cronica de Blasfemos-as representations of Latin American literature during the mid to late twentieth-century and as re-examinations of the notorious figure of Lope de Aguirre. Lewis is therefore able to provide not only a successful chronology of the stylistic development of the Latin American novel, but also a thoughtful analysis of how these novels appropriate Aguirre and give a revisionist and authentic voice to the Latin American cultural founder. Wonderfully engaging and beautifully written, The Miraculous Lie examines the search for El Dorado in modern Latin American literature as the search for self-determination.
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