Notes _
Men of Maize: Myth
/IS
Time Rnd La'!'fURBe
1
It is worthwhile
to
briefly outline reactions to the novel.
Seymour Menton, who has written the best analysis that I know of, El senor
Presidente: "La novela experimental y la republica comprensiva de Hispano-
america" (HumanitRS, Anuario del Centro de Estudios Humanisticos Univer-
sity de Nueva LeOn,
I, 1:409-64),
is mistaken with regard to Hombres de maiz
in his
Historia critica
de la novela guatemaltecil (Guatemala:Editoriai Univer-
sitaria,
1960),
mentioning "el metodo artificial que emplea el autor para atar
todos los cabos sueltos,
0
mejor dicho para entrelazar con hiedras los distintos
troncos individuales" ("the artificial method used by the author to tie up all
the loose strings, or to put it in a better way, to weave together with ivy the
different individual trunks"), suggesting that Asturias threw away "una mag-
nifica antologia de cuentos y de folklore maya" ("a magnificent anthology of
Maya stories and folklore"), due to the fact that "desgraciadamente ... insis-
tio en revestir ellibro de forma novelesca" ("unfurtunately ... he insisted on
dressing the book up in novelistic form"). This opinion, which is shared by,
among others, Anderson Imbert and Zum Felde, finds its maximum expres-
sion in the attitude of Francis Donahue, who in "Miguel Angel Asturias: su
trayectoria literaria," Cua.dernos Hispllnomneriamos
186
(June
1965),
in an essay
of some twenty pages devotes only four lines to Hombres de
maiz.
We could compile a long list of similar judgments, which speak of "ininteli-
gibilidad" ("unintelligibility"), "falta de solidez arquitectonica" ("lack of
architectural solidity"), "un alto en el camino novelistico" ("a halt in the novel-
istic journey"), but this example from an essay by Jose Antonio Galaos, in
"Los dos ejes de la novellstica de Miguel Angel Asturias," Cuadernos Hispllno-
llmerU:llnoS,
154
(October
1962),
should be sufficient: "Pertenece al genero
novellstico, porque es en este donde se sima cuanto en literatura es inclasi-
ficable. Unas veces semeja una serie de relatos unidos entre
Sl por el simple
vinculo geogratico y etnico; otras, meras evocaciones de esos personajes y esas
gentes ... , es una enorme retorta donde se han mezclado cosas tan dispares
como la poesla y el mas insoportable prosalsmo" ("It belongs to the novelistic
genre, because that is where everything in literature that can't be classified is
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