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The Underdogs

The Underdogs

with Related Texts

Mariano Azuela
Translated and Edited by Gustavo Pellón

2006 - 192 pp.

Format ISBN Price Qty
Cloth 978-0-87220-835-3
$29.00
Paper 978-0-87220-834-6
$11.00
Examination 978-0-87220-834-6
$2.00

Quick Overview

In addition to a fresh translation of Los de Abajo, Azuela's classic novel of the Mexican Revolution, this volume offers both a general Introduction to the work and an extensive appendix setting the novel in its historical, literary, and political context.  Related texts include contemporary reviews of Azuela's book, an excerpt from Anita Brenner's Idols Behind Altars (1929), and selections from John Reed's Insurgent Mexico (1914).

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In addition to a fresh translation of Los de Abajo, Azuela's classic novel of the Mexican Revolution, this volume offers both a general Introduction to the work and an extensive appendix setting the novel in its historical, literary, and political context.  Related texts include contemporary reviews of Azuela's book, an excerpt from Anita Brenner's Idols Behind Altars (1929), and selections from John Reed's Insurgent Mexico (1914).

 

Reviews:

"Pellón's translation marks a clear improvement over the previous English versions of this seminal novel.  Pellón captures the crisp, tense, and terse dialogue of Azuela's original, and I believe that his decision to leave some words in Spanish is a good one, given that most of the words involved are already well known to the non-Spanish speaking public.  The retention of these Spanish words adds flavor to the translation without turning it into a 'Taco Bell' version of the novel.  I am so enthusiastic about Pellón's translation that I believe it should become the standard edition of Los de Abajo read in America. . . In short, this new translation is worthy of the classic on which it is based.  I will certainly use it in my courses, but more to the point, I will recommend it to my colleagues teaching courses on English literature, Comparative literature, and American studies."
     —Roberto González Echevarría, Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures, Yale University

"Gustavo Pellón has produced a flowing, readable new translation of Mariano Azuela's Los de Abajo that avoids the sometimes stilted English of the still popular 1929 translation by Enrique Mungía.  Not only is Professor Pellón's English more readable but the translation is made smoother by his decision to leave certain difficult-to-translate words in the original Mexican Spanish.  For those who cannot grasp the meaning of these words from the context, a glossary is provided at the end of the book.
     "In addition to the new translation Professor Pellón has provided an important service to those who will use this novel in college classes by including an appendix that outlines the most important events of the Mexican revolution, discusses the novel in historical context, and explains Azuela's particular literary contributions.  Finally Pellón attempts to come to grips with Azuela's views of the revolution.  Also extremely welcome are the selections from John Reed's and Anita Brenner's writings on Mexico from approximately the same period.  In short, this volume provides an integrated analysis of a novel that, while always said to be revelatory of the nature of the revolution, is generally not adequately contextualized. . . . To his credit, in his appendix Professor Pellón addresses the question of whether the novel is revolutionary or counter-revolutionary."
     —Ann Zulawski, Metamorphoses

"This edition of Los de Abajo is a most welcome addition to the available literature for undergraduate teaching of the history of Mexico as well as Mexican and Latin American literature.  As a teaching tool, it strikes me as clearly superior to the other editions. Pellón's Introduction and appendices are quite accessible and touch on the major historical and literary aspects of the novel.  Pellón sincerely wants to help students understand and appreciate the novel."
     —Timothy J. Henderson, Auburn University Montgomery

"Pellón's translation and edition of The Underdogs, as a whole, is an excellent teaching tool.  [Our] students, a number of whom are Hispanic or Latino, many of whom are fluent speakers and readers of Spanish, found the translation, in itself and in comparison with the original and the other available translations, accessible and true to the letter and spirit of the text, all in all generally excellent. . . . In terms of themes and probing certain Mexican realities and cultural phenomena, the [related] texts work well together. . . Pellón did an excellent job of excerpting Reed's Insurgent Mexico."
     —Ted Humphrey, The Barrett Honors College, Arizona State University 

 

About the Author:

Gustavo Pellón is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Virginia.