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The underdogs - pictures and scenes from the present revolution : a translation of Mariano Azuela's Los de abajo with related texts
Mariano Azuela
Paperback / softback
Hackett Publishing Company
UK Publication Date

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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Pellon's translation marks a clear improvement over the previous English versions of this seminal novel. Pellon 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 Pellon'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 Gonzlez Echevarria, Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures, Yale University

Gustavo Pellon 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 Mungia. Not only is Professor Pellon'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 Pellon 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 Pellon 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 Pellon addresses the question of whether the novel is revolutionary or counter-revolutionary. --Ann Zulawski,

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. Pellon's Introduction and appendices are quite accessible and touch on the major historical and literary aspects of the novel. Pellon sincerely wants to help students understand and appreciate the novel. --Timothy J. Henderson, Auburn University Montgomery

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