Eden in the age of the fifth sun: The narrative work of Homero Aridjis

James Joseph Lopez, Florida International University


Homero Aridjis (b. 1940) is a major Mexican poet, novelist, essayist and ecological activist whose prolific body of work, ranging over forty years and including more than eleven volumes of poetry and thirteen novels, has yet to be studied as a coherent literary corpus in the context of recent Latin American fiction. The purpose of this dissertation was to analyze the narrative works of this author as both illustrative of the changes that have occurred in Latin American fiction since the 1960s when it first burst onto the world scene, as well as to study the uniqueness of this particular author's view of literature as it relates to historical discourse, apocalypticism. and social commitment. Research showed that in the case of the narrative style of Aridjis, major trends in the contemporary Latin American novel were present in such a profuse and model manner as to confirm this author's importance as a prime example of what is commonly known as “Post-Boom” fiction. However, beyond the mere presence of literary elements, this study showed that the author's unique approach to narrative style has altered and expanded the aesthetic and thematic possibilities of the contemporary novel. The area where this is most clearly seen is in his experimentation with the historical genre. By manipulating the referential techniques of what has lately come to be known as the “new historical novel,” Aridjis has written both a cycle of purely historical novels and a cycle of futuristic ones that attempt to transcend the temporal limits traditionally imposed by these narrative forms, fusing them into one constant questioning of the nature of love, hate and identity. In this manner, he has developed a “simultaneist” narrative approach where distinct historical and imagined periods, places, people, things, and texts coexist and interact, widening almost to delirium the interpretative possibilities of the work. This unique view of time and narrative, together with the author's political activism and millenarian view of history, make the novels of Homero Aridjis an important element in understanding the continuing development and evolution of Latin American fiction at the turn of the century.

Subject Area

Latin American literature|Literature

Recommended Citation

Lopez, James Joseph, "Eden in the age of the fifth sun: The narrative work of Homero Aridjis" (2000). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9954970.