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568 pages, Paperback
First published October 1, 1981
Do the rhetorical quarrels of bourgeois political parties have anything to do with the interests of the humble and downtrodden?
He had had the thought that, here, something different from reason governed things, men, time, death, something that it would be unfair to call madness and too general to call faith, superstition, ever since the night on which he had first heard the Counselor, immersed in that multitude which, as it listened to the deep, booming, strangely impersonal voice, had taken on a granite immobility, amid a silence one could touch. More than by the man’s words and his majestic voice, the journalist was struck, stunned, overwhelmed by that stillness, that silence in which they listened to him.
What is the explanation of Canudos? Hereditary defects of people of mixed blood? Lack of education? A predisposition toward barbarism on the part of men who are accustomed to violence and who resist civilization out of atavism? Something to do with religion, with God? He finds none of these explanations satisfactory.