Asturias, Miguel Ángel

Asturias, Miguel Ángel

Asturias, Miguel Ángel (mēgĕlˈ ängˈhĕl ästo͞oˈryäs), 1899–1974, Guatemalan novelist, poet, and diplomat. Living in Paris in the 1920s, Asturias was influenced by Romain Rolland, Valéry, and the surrealists. As a result of his opposition to Guatamalan dictatorship, his life was marked by periods of exile and imprisonment. His best-known works include Las leyendas de Guatemala, a study of the early legends and folklore of Guatemala; The President (1946, tr. 1963), a novel about a Latin American dictator; and the Banana Republic trilogy (1950–73), a grim account of exploitation in Central America. Among his other works are The Bejeweled Boy (tr. 1972), a complex allusive novel replete with mysticism and Guatemalan legends. In 1967, Asturias was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Asturias, Miguel Angel


Born Oct. 19, 1899, in Guatemala. Guatemalan writer.

Asturias graduated from a university in 1923 and lived as an émigré in Europe between 1925 and 1933. In Paris he drew on folklore themes to create the book Legends of Guatemala (1930). By 1933 he completed the novel Mister President (published 1946; Russian translation, 1959), which exposed the tyrannical regime. In 1949 he published the novel Men of Corn. His trilogy about the fate of the Guatemalan people in the 20th century—the novels Strong Wind (1950), The Green Pope (1954; Russian translation, 1960), and Eyes of the Buried (1960; Russian translation, 1968)—won world renown; it is imbued with ideas of liberation. Asturias also wrote the novel The Mulattress (1964) and the book of legends The Mirror of Lida Sal (1967). The writer’s ties to the native population of Guatemala—the Mayan Indians—and their folklore are perceptible in his work. He was awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Between Nations in 1966 and the Nobel Prize in 1967.


Obras escogidas, vols. 1–3. Madrid, 1961–66.
Teatro. Buenos Aires, [1964].
In Russian translation:
Uik-end v Gvatemale. Moscow, 1958.


Ospovat, L. “Golos nepokorennoi Gvatemaly (Romany Migelia Ankhelia Asturiasa).” Inostrannaia literatura, 1958, no. 6.
Dashkevich, Iu. “M. A. Asturias.” Ibid., 1962, no. 12.
Kuteishchikova, V. “Glazami indeitsev Gvatemaly.” Voprosy literatury, 1963, no. 9.
Migel’ Ankhel’ Asturias: Biobibliografich, ukazatel’. Moscow, 1960. [Compiler and author of introductory article, Iu. A. Pevtsov.]
Bellini, G. La narrativa di M. A. Asturias. Milan-Varese, [1966].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.