The Mad Toy

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ISBN NFT: 9788411269377
Illustrated rustic ISBN: 9788490074879
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411266130

SKU: 9788499531045 Category: Tags: , , ,

El juguete rabioso is the first novel by writer Roberto Arlt, published in 1926 by Editorial Latina.
With this work Buenos Aires becomes, for the first time, the stage of another way of telling. The city is seen far from the dominant aesthetics of its surroundings.
Roberto Arlt opens a new literary space with Dostoevskian influence and picaresque themes. In it he consecrates the profile of men who, subjugated by poverty and the continuous loss of faith, survive on the streets of the cities.
Silvio Astier is a character condemned to a miserable life but who dreams of a future full of adventure and fame. Although, at the beginning of the novel, his only means of survival is robbery, Silvio turns away from the common thief. He is a rogue full of infinite intellectual curiosity, seduced by science and reader of Baudelaire.
The future that is drawn for the protagonist of The Mad Toy fills him with uneasiness. “Empty and ugly as a bare knee is my soul.” From here, the transformation of the character becomes visible. The certainty of the wasteland and the futility of the effort mark Silvio’s existential trajectory.
In the end, the “rabid toy” determines that the victim becomes the executioner, and that not being prevails as the only way out.
For any reader who knows the life of Roberto Arlt will see the similarities between the author and his character. Arlt as one of his favorite characters, also tried to survive by inventing artifacts. He also lived on the edge of the abyss of survival and was also, in his own way, a particular heretic.
Perhaps these words of Juan Carlos Onetti capture what we mean:

«… He was born to write his childish, adolescent, adult misfortunes. He did it with anger and with genius, things that he had left over. All of Buenos Aires, at least, read this book. The intellectuals interrupted the dry martinis to shrug their shoulders and piously complain that Arlt could not write. He did not know, it is true, and disdained the language of the mandarins; But he did master the language and the problems of millions of Argentines, unable to comment on it in literary articles, able to understand it and feel it as a friend who comes – sullen, silent or cynical – in the hour of anguish. I’m talking about art and a great, strange artist.”

Edited by Adriana López-Labourdette.

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