The year for Augusto Roa Bastos
At the end of the centenary of his birth in Paraguay in 1917, the Spanish Royal Academy (RAE) and the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language will publish a special edition of his work "Yo el Supremo".
The RAE reported that the initiative was proposed by the Paraguayan Academy of the Spanish Language in collaboration with the National Secretariat of Culture of Paraguay and the Augusto Roa Bastos Foundation.
"Yo el Supremo" was first published in 1974, a key work of Latin American literature of the twentieth century.
The novel is about Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, an enlightened despot who materially enclosed his country within a circle of authoritarianism and isolation. The state apparatus is portrayed in the constant violation of human rights and abuses of power.
With the success of this historical novel became part of the so-called "Latin American boom."
As a literary work, the novel plays with "written orality", which is enhanced by the creation of neologisms, deformations and continuous games both lexical and syntactic, as well as revaluing the Guarani.
The conflict that crossed Paraguay in 1947 deeply marked the life of Roa Bastos, since it pushed him into exile and took him away from his country for the span of forty years.
He could only return to his beloved land being practically an old man.
All his work is marked by the avatars he had to face throughout his life, marked in turn by the vicissitudes of his country.
Augusto Rosa Bastos was an outspoken advocate of civil and political rights.
He was a victim of persecution, imprisonment and exile on the part of the Paraguayan State for exercising free thought and professing the right to free political association, at a time when political parties were proscribed.
Faithful to his conscience and style, he chose to fight from the pen. His tireless activity and love for his land led him to be awarded in 1988 with the Prize to the Writer in Exile, given by the Tucholsky Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden.
1989 was a special year for this writer, as a military coup overthrew General Alfredo Stroessner, initiating a process of transition to democracy.
The new government returned to the writer his identity documents, confiscated during the dictatorship.
Roa, like thousands of exiles, was finally able to return to the country.
At that time the Government offered him the title of the Ministry of Culture or, in effect, the Paraguayan Embassy to Unesco.
However, Roa declined both offers to devote himself, now that political conditions allowed him, entirely to his other great love, in addition to his terroir: literature.
That same year he received the Cervantes Prize, which marked another milestone in his literary and personal career, in his struggle for an egalitarian society where the exercise of rights was the fullest of freedoms