Tyrant Memory by Horacio Castellanos Moya

by Sampsonia Way    /  July 22, 2011  / No comments

Translated by Katherine Silver

The tyrant of Horacio Castellanos Moya’s ambitious new novel is based on the actual pro-Nazi mystic Maximiliano Hernández Martínez — also known as the Warlock — who came to power in El Salvador in 1932. An attempted coup in April, 1944, failed to remove him from power, but a general strike in May finally forced him out of office.

Tyrant Memory takes place during the month between the coup and the strike. Its protagonist, Haydée Aragon, is a well-off woman, whose husband is a political prisoner and whose son, Clemente, after prematurely announcing the dictator’s death over national radio during the failed coup, is forced to flee when the very much alive Warlock starts to ruthlessly hunt down his enemies.

The novel moves between Haydée’s political awakening in diary entries and Clemente’s frantic and often hysterically comic efforts to escape capture. Tyrant Memory — sharp, grotesque, moving, and often hilariously funny — is an unforgettable incarnation of a country’s history in the destiny of one family.

Sampsonia Way presents fragments from Tyrant Memory selected by the author.

From Tyrant Memory, By Horacio Castellanos Moya, translated by Katherine Silver.
Copyright ©2008 by Horacio Castellanos Moya. Translation copyright ©2011 by Katherine Silver. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing.

CLICK HERE to buy a copy of The She-Devil in the Mirror

RELATED ARTICLES

Read Sampsonia Way’s Q&A with Horacio Castellanos Moya

Read An Interview with Horacio Castellanos Moya.

Read Castellanos Moya’s Essay on Heinrich von Kleist.

Read an excerpt from The She-Devil in the Mirror

Read The Poet Versus Lady Macbeth

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

View all articles by Sampsonia Way

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm