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On Heroes and Tombs

On Heroes and Tombs is a novel by Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato, first published in Buenos Aires by Editorial Sudamericana in 1961 (translated by Helen R. Lane in 1981 as On heroes and tombs.)

Plot summary

It tells the story of 19 year-old Martin Castillo, a boy from Buenos Aires trying to find his path in life. He meets and falls in love with Alejandra Vidal Olmos who with her father Fernando represents the "old", colonial and Argentina, which is seen mutating amid a strange and unsettling "new" world. The novel gives an evocative portrait of the city of Buenos Aires and its people.

Literary significance and criticism

This work, filled with dark and emotional imagery, is considered by many to be Sabato's magnum opus, and the section Informe sobre ciegos ("Report on the Blind"), about Fernando's distorted obsession with, and fear of, the sightless, is a haunting, nightmarish contribution to Latin American horror literature.

References to actual history, geography and current science

Interspersed with the text of the novel, as an almost surrealistic running commentary on it, is the italicised narrative of the flight, killing and ensuing odyssey of Juan Lavalle, a classic Argentine subject.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

John Malkovich has optioned the film rights for this novel.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article On Heroes and Tombs

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