Seven Serpents and Seven Moons
is set on the shores of Santorontón. This tropical village is inhabited by some exceptional beings: the vigorous, rough-hewn Father Cándido and his wry talking Jesus—a crucifix presented to him by pirates from out of the past; Colonel Candelario Mariscal, the despoiler who is said to be the son of the Devil and is seeking salvation through the honest love of the daughter of the witch doctor Bulu-Bulu; and Crisóstomo Chalena, the outsider who gains control of the town’s roofs and rainwater and eventually the entire village.
These and many other equally protean figures cross paths and swords as Santorontón is torn between the Evil One and the Crucified One. The story is invested with a pervading sense of magic and with political meaning as well. The fantastic microcosm of Santorontón illustrates both symbolically and literally many of the essential problems that bedevil Latin America.
Demetrio Aguilera-Malta, born in turn-of-the-century Ecuador, is a poet, playwright, essayist and novelist. Now recognized as one of the major literary influences in Latin America. Aguilera-Malta made a vital contribution to the development of magical realism, a creative blend of fantasy and myth, imbued with the vision of social and political turmoil. In the 1930s, he was one of the Ecuadorian writers who formed the Grupo de Guayaquil to further social change. His early works were judged crude and violent, but they were a turning point in Ecuadorian literature and have had an obvious impact on younger Latin American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
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