The Death of Artemio Cruz

“(La muerte de Artemio Cruz, 1962; tr 1964) A novel by Carlos Fuentes. Fuentes takes a deep plunge into the dying body and the sharply aware conscience of Artemio Cruz, a political boss of contemporary Mexico. As Cruz’s entire life passes before him, his personality unfolds into an adversary I/Thou relationship. A third voice sets the events recalled by the accusatory “Thou” and the defensive “I” into objective historical frames. The story of the agonizing Cruz amounts to a tale of survival by betrayal of friends, ideals, and country. When the accusatory voice forces Cruz into shame for his cynicism and immorality, his ego protests that at least he survives, while all the idealists are dead. The power of the story itself is heightened by the brilliant use of stream of consciousness technique, which provides a multileveled depiction of life in Mexico during and after the revolution of 1910.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

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