In Moscow, the day of the inauguration of the International Non Fiction Book Fair, the presentation of the new Russian edition of Born Guilty novel was realized. Next to the Volga River, the roots relations between Manuel Rojas’ work, Russian social utopias and the humanist spirit of the great and universal Russian authors was remembered: “Some of my favorite gods slept their last dream in Russia … however, all my heroes were Chileans, poor people, abandoned, underdeveloped, thieves, drunkards or vagrants, but mine. Each one has his heroes and his gods and miserable is the one who has neither gods nor heroes…”
To celebrate the writer’s 120th birthday, the Manuel Rojas Foundation has organized an international mobile exhibition called “Manuel Rojas – Una Oscura y Radiante Vida”. The exhibition, which makes a journey through the life of the author of Born Guilty, will at the same time travel around the places where Rojas worked and lived: in Chile and Argentina. The exhibition will open on September 15 in the port of Valparaiso and would move, accompanied by significant cultural events, both sides of the Andes.
Some time ago the novel Born Guilty (“Hijo de Ladrón”) found a new life, in fact Aniceto Hevia and its main characters have jumped from words to images of a graphic novel. The outstanding adaptation of Born Guilty is the product of the great job of the screenwriter Christian Morales and the cartoonist Luis “Beto” Martinez. Their work began in 2012, and in 2015 it became a full comic book of 294 pages, published by “Ocho Libros”. The adaptation of the Manuel Rojas’ masterpiece to the comics language, has generated renewed interest of young and adults for his ever-present literature.
The greatest works of Manuel Rojas were finally published in Chile. “Tiempo Irremediable” (Zig-Zag, 2015) brings together the four key novels and “Cuentos” (Ediciones Universidad Alberto Hurtado, 2016) assemble most of his stories. Here we present to the reader an excerpt from the prologues of both books. The first is of Ignacio Alvarez and entitled “Un puñado de pistas para entrar en Tiempo Irremediable”, and the second – “Hablo de mis cuentos” – is of Manuel Rojas himself; in it the author describes the origin of his stories and how they allowed him to develop as a writer.
“I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in a house located at Combate de los Pozos street, south of the city. It was a working-class neighborhood, a little left aside, like all proletarian things”. With these lines begins “Imágenes de infancia y adolescencia”, the book, a new complete edition by Tajamar Editores, was presented on Thursday 21th of April at the America Hall of the National Library of Chile. In this vibrant story, Manuel Rojas recalls a childhood and youth rooted in the working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, Rosario, Mendoza and Santiago, the book also stands as a profound portrait of the author.
After 77 years, LOM reissued “De la poesía a la revolución”, this essay book of Manuel Rojas remains a central contribution to the Chilean theory and literary history, even today. In this collection of twelve key texts, Rojas expressed his views on poetry and literature, both Chilean and universal, and their relations with politics. The Manuel Rojas Foundation was in charge of the annotation of the work, which brings it to new generations of readers of a multifaceted and ever-present Manuel Rojas. The author of the prologue is Grínor Rojo.
I affirm the roots / I recognize the lightning that I am / I am with those who have left / Embraced those disappear … These beautiful verses belong to the Chilean Rock Band “Aniceto”, a group of alternative music that fuses rock and literature. The band name was inspired by the stories of “Aniceto Hevia”, the hero of Born Guilty and of the Manuel Rojas’ tetralogy, which also includes his novels “Sombras contra el muro”, “Mejor que el vino” y “La oscura vida radiante”.
From today is available on our website the movie “Las 4 vidas de Aniceto”. The film argument is based on the four novels of Manuel Rojas: Born Guilty, “Sombras contra el muro”, “Mejor que el vino” and “La oscura vida radiante”, all featuring Aniceto Hevia character: the literary alter-ego of the writer. Rojas novels covering Aniceto’s life, from childhood to adulthood, were the biggest writer’s literary project. Today this tetralogy is considered as the most transcendent parts of Chilean literature.
After 50 years of “Pasé por México un día” first edition, the “Catalonia” publisher reissued the book in which Manuel Rojas recounts his journey through the Aztec country between 1962 and 1963. “From Tijuana to Oaxaca, Guadalajara to Mexico City, from border towns to the crowded streets of the capital, “Pasé por México un día” is a cross journey through a country that is discovered to the extent that reads, that writes…” says Alvaro Bisama in his preface of this new edition.