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The Book of Lamentations
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The Book of Lamentations

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Set in the highlands of the Mexican state of Chiapas, The Book of Lamentations tells of a fictionalized Mayan uprising that resembles many of the rebellions that have taken place since the indigenous people of the area were first conquered by European invaders five hundred years ago. With the panoramic sweep of a Diego Rivera mural, the novel weaves together dozens of plot ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by Penguin Classics (first published 1962)
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Joyce Lagow
Jul 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Published in 1962, The book of Lamentations is a fictional story set in the 1930s; it is loosely based on a Mayan uprising that took place in the Mexican state of Chiapas in the mid-19th century.[return][return]Even more than a fictionalized account of a true story, the book is a devastating indictment of the Ladino oppression of the native Mayans; the brutal treatment of the Mayans as much less than human beings, the casual, common rape of the Mayan women, the lies by which the Mayans are enlis ...more
Mariana
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En Oficio de tinieblas, Rosario Castellanos transcribe los acontecimientos históricos ocurridos en Chiapas durante su niñez en los años 30, mientras que explora la lucha de la mujer mexicana por independizarse de la opresión y el machismo de los hombres que la rodeaban. A través de múltiples hilos, que enlazan las historias de Leonardo y su mujer Isabel, la de Fernando, un luchador por la reforma agraria y la de Catalina, una mujer maya que cría al hijo bastardo de Leonardo, fruto de una violaci ...more
Ecka
Hay cosas de este libro que me dejaron perpleja y muy asustada... la manera de narración de Rosario Castellanos es buena y al mismo tiempo muy informativa, pero...
**SPOILER**
la parte de la crucifixión me dejó... perpleja y traumada... la manera en la que describió tanto dolor y tanta crueldad me dejó helada y me revolvió el estómago >-<
Eduardo
Jul 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you want to know more about the conditions native american people in Chiapas live, and perhaps resons as to their rebelion, read this book. based on events of a previous rebelion in the same region.
Rachael
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking meditation on power -- or the lack of it.
Bruno Gastal
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sem inovações megalomaníacas de narrativa, e sem uma especial originalidade na história - que é uma recuperação adaptada de fatos reais - Castellanos ainda assim consegue tratar com muito êxito a temática principal do livro: a incompatibilidade entre a racionalidade do homem branco (ou mesmo mestiço, tendo sua identidade melhor captada pelas alcunhas de coleto ou ladino) e o pensamento místico dos povos originários americanos, nesse caso os chamulas do estado mexicano de Chiapas, na fronteira co ...more
Mike
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Estuve indeciso en dejar una reseña pero veo que no hay muchas en castellano.
Soy mexicano, no dedicado a la literatura, sin embargo desde hace años sé el papel relevante que ocupó (ocupa) Rosario Castellanos en la literatura mexicana. La conversación sobre ella con una amiga (R.I.P.) me hizo convencerme de los alcances de la autora.
Conseguí el libro de manera fortuita, sin duda adquiriré sus obras completas.
Desde la primera página me di cuenta que el libro me dejaría satisfecho, me atrapó el ric
...more
Fay Min
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was something I picked up for my class but I ended up loving it SO SO SO SO SO SO SO much! I finished this within days! It is an easy read, although there are some parts that is hard to understand.

Throughout the book we are able to see different themes such as culture and gender identity. This isn't a light reading but it is not that heavy as well (ya feel me?). THERE IS SO MUCH DRAMA IN THIS BOOK! It was like I was watching a telenovela. Some characters are so dramatic but they make t
...more
Juan Pablo
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
George Orwell, en su novela 1984, reconoce al miedo como el principal disolvente del amor; su acción destruye al Eros, inhibe a la pulsión de vida, dejando al individuo incapacitado para colaborar, para compartir, para reconocerse en el otro. Si se quiere separar, destruir al gozo, introducir al temor entre el nosotros es la estrategia adecuada.

Oficio de tinieblas es una novela en la que podemos constatar los efectos del miedo sobre dos pueblos, que al verse atravesados por un nuevo orden se rep
...more
Tom
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A native of Chiapas, the southern state of Mexico best known today for the 1994 Zapatista uprising led by Subcomandante Marcos, Rosario Castellanos was a poet, novelist and journalist who came to prominence during the Latin American Boom. Perhaps because so many writers of that generation achieved worldwide recognition—García Márquez, Vargas Llosa, Carpentier, Cortázar, Borges, Fuentes and Asturias—Castellanos, one of the few women writers of the generation, was somewhat overshadowed.

Perhaps, to
...more
Howard
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the imagined tale of rebellion in Chiapas of Mexico in the 1930s. It is based on some real Mayan rebellions in the mid 1800s and the author’s experiences as a youth (b1925-d1974) and was written in 1962. The book is renowned for literary studies (I gather this from the copious notes and also guess this as my second-hand copy appeared to have been through at least 3 readers each extensively marking passages) and not least because it later transpires a real uprising occurred in 1994 (Zapat ...more
Andrés R. G.
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
«¿Dónde vas caminando, Catalina Díaz Puiljá? ¿Encima de la tierra o adentro de tu alma?»

Esta novela, en primera, me dio la oportunidad de confirmar lo que ya sospechaba: Rosario Castellanos es mejor prosista que poeta. Oficio de tinieblas no relata solamente las injusticias perpetradas contra los chamulas en Chiapas, sino que hace un retrato, entre las referencias y las invenciones, de la sociedad de San Cristóbal de las Casas (Ciudad Real) durante una parte del periodo presidencial de Lázaro C
...more
Martin Hernandez
Excelentemente escrita, leer esta novela es un gusto, al mismo tiempo que un asomo al asombroso mundo chamula, su relación con los coletos, el maltrato de cientos de años...
En una entrevista, la escritora explicó que "Oficio de tinieblas está basada en un hecho histórico: el levantamiento de los indios chamulas, en San Cristóbal, el año de 1867. Este hecho culminó con la crucifixión de uno de estos indios, al que los amotinados proclamaron como el Cristo indígena. Por un momento, y por ese hecho
...more
Tomek
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars: A truly desperate read. Castellanos's seems to have nothing but contempt for all of her characters. Nobody is safe from her scorn. The oppressed Maya are are as cruel as their Ladino oppressors. Men are vile and the women repugnant. Nobody is immune from the struggle for power that ensues, and nobody is safe. The descriptions of violence are gruesome and macabre, contrasting Castellanos' baroque writing style. Few books have caused me to have such a visceral reaction, and I suppose th ...more
Rodrigo Paris
Good and interesting about the Chamulas
Manuel
Sep 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Latinos
Powerful story that intelligent Latinos should read.
Everyone else will only get the rebellious teen angle.
Laura Avellaneda-Cruz
A brilliantly-written story about an indigenous uprising in rural Chiapas a century or so ago and the religious/land/economic/cultural conflicts that led up to it
Adam
Dec 06, 2015 added it
First class lamenting
Rachel
Aug 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mexican lit. readers; fiction readers; feminist readers; postcolonial readers
Very personal, powerful portrayal of colonial relationships in Mexico.
Laura
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i thought the writing was beautiful, and very poetic at times...the book started off really well but the end was pretty disappointing and left me a bit perplexed...maybe i just didn't get it?!
Mauricio
Sep 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficción
Not so bad, pero hay una parte en medio como de 80 páginas que me parecieron francamente innecesarias, incluso pesadas. El resto está bien, muy en su estilo.
Bethany Bresee
Jan 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Only made it through the third chapter before deciding it is not worth my time. Hard to read, boring, not my kind of book. I don't typically jump ship from a book but this one's bad.
Erin
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish
20th Century Latin American Novel w/ Doug Weatherford. I don't really remember the book, so the rating is just a guess.
Coquis
rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2016
Carole Firstman
rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2016
Diana Mendez
rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2015
Liliana Dehesa
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2017
R.J. Wheaton
rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2014
Ximena Jiménez
rated it it was amazing
Sep 26, 2015
Hernan Berny
rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2008
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Rosario Castellanos Figueroa (25 May 1925 – 7 August 1974) was a Mexican poet and author. Along with the other members of the Generation of 1950 (the poets who wrote following the Second World War, influenced by César Vallejo and others), she was one of Mexico's most important literary voices in the last century. Throughout her life, she wrote eloquently about issues of cultural and gender oppress ...more
“The sound is gone. There's nothing left but the insomniac throbbing of crickets. Crickets in the garden, the courtyard, the back courtyard. Close, domestic, identifiable. And those out in the country. Between all of them they raise, little by little, a wall that will keep out the thing that lies waiting for the tiniest crack of silence to steal through. The thing that is feared by all those who are sleepless, those who walk through the night, those who are lonely, children. That thing. The voice of the dead. ” 9 likes
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