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Torn from the Nest [Hardcover]

Clorinda Matto de Turner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 1998 0195110056 978-0195110050
Clorinda Matto de Turner was the first Peruvian novelist to command an international reputation and the first to dramatize the exploitation of indigenous Latin American people. She believed the task of the novel was to be the photograph that captures the vices and virtues of a people, censuring the former with the appropriate moral lesson and paying its homage of admiration to the latter. In this tragic tale, Clorinda Matto de Turner explores the relationship between the landed gentry and the indigenous peoples of the Andean mountain communities. While unfolding as a love story rife with secrets and dashed hopes, Torn from the Nest in fact reveals a deep and destructive class disparity, and criticizes the Catholic clergy for blatant corruption. When Lucia and Don Fernando Marin settle in the small hamlet of Killac, the young couple become advocates for the local Indians who are being exploited and oppressed by their priest and governor and by the gentry allied with these two. Considered meddling outsiders, the couple meet violent resistance from the village leaders, who orchestrate an assault on their house and pursue devious and unfair schemes to keep the Indians subjugated. As a romance blossoms between the a member of the gentry and the peasant girl that Lucia and Don Fernando have adopted, a dreadful secret prevents their marriage and brings to a climax the novels exposure of degradation: they share the same fathera parish priest. Torn from the Nest was first published in Peru in 1889 amidst much enthusiasm and outrage. This fresh translation--the first since 1904--preserves one of Peru's most distinctive and compelling voices.

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The Peruvian President praised her; the Church excommunicated her; angry mobs rampaged through her house and press. Clearly, writer, publisher, and reformer Clorinda Matto de Turner possessed a knack for igniting both enthusiasm and outrage in her 19th-century audience. The latest installment in Oxford University Press's acclaimed Library of Latin America series, her novel Torn from the Nest may excite a little less protest now than it did in 1889, but it remains a radical document in many ways: in its nascent feminism, its impassioned defense of indigenous rights, and most especially in its critique of Church corruption and advocacy of married Catholic clergy.

Translated into English for the first time since 1904, this seminal Latin American novel uses a time-tested plot--a star-crossed romance between a member of the landed gentry and a doe-eyed mestizo maiden--as a vehicle for exposing how priests, politicians, and Creole landowners exploited Indian populations. "If history is the mirror where future generations are to contemplate the image of generations past, the task of the novel is to be the photograph that captures the vices and virtues of a people," Matto writes in her preface. The key word here is photograph, and Matto demonstrates her commitment to the newfangled method of naturalism throughout the novel, meticulously reproducing the landscape and native customs of the mountain town of Killac. Its plot, language, and characterization, however, are steeped in the worst excesses of Romantic idealism, and the modern reader may find some of its more breathless passages hard to take. As a historical document, however, Torn From the Nest is invaluable for anyone seeking to understand the early days of liberalism--or literary realism--in Latin American intellectual circles.

Review

"This new and engaging translation by John H.R. Polt is part of Oxford University Press's wonderful Library of Latin America series."--The New York Times Book Review

"A century ago this story of love doomed by priestly immorality provoked cries of outrage in Peru. There is in its message much that is still relevant today."--Library Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for those students of Peru... Dec 18 2001
Format:Paperback
I read this book while spending a month in a small Peruvian village in the Andes. A village that is far from the tourist path of Machu Pichu. A village that would mirror the mountain community of Killac, the setting for this engaging classic. Killac, is a village that depicts the neglect, backwardness and feudalism that existed in Peru at the turn of the twentieth century, and to some extent still exists today.
"Torn from the Nest" is a brilliant story of love, power, courage, oppression, virtue, incest and deceit written in 1889, and was selected as one of the first volumes in the Library of Latin America, Oxford.
The "Library of Latin America" series makes available, in English, major nineteenth century authors whose work has been neglected in the English speaking world. To be selected as one of the first works by this editorial committee was no small feat, especially when you consider the plethora of writing against which this title competed.
Clorinda Matto de Turner dared to change the demented orthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church and the oppression of the indigenous Indians by the immoral wealthy gentry, including the village priest. Her anti-clerical tone was unmistakable; so much so, that the Catholic Church in Peru immediately condemned the book and considered it heretical and blatantly irreverent (that was enough to get me to read this book). This condemnation set in motion the persecution of Clorinda Matto de Turner. In the months and years to follow, because of her social, political and religious writings, she was suppressed, oppressed and finally driven from her county.
Though a century has passed, the Indians of Peru are still a oppressed people, held back by lack of education, oppression of culture and language and economic exploitation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Torn from the Nest Feb. 8 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This really is a good book even though the language is highly romanticized. It reveals the inherent vices that are imposed on the indigineous people. It's worth reading for the surprise ending.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for those students of Peru... Dec 18 2001
By fdoamerica - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this book while spending a month in a small Peruvian village in the Andes. A village that is far from the tourist path of Machu Pichu. A village that would mirror the mountain community of Killac, the setting for this engaging classic. Killac, is a village that depicts the neglect, backwardness and feudalism that existed in Peru at the turn of the twentieth century, and to some extent still exists today.
"Torn from the Nest" is a brilliant story of love, power, courage, oppression, virtue, incest and deceit written in 1889, and was selected as one of the first volumes in the Library of Latin America, Oxford.
The "Library of Latin America" series makes available, in English, major nineteenth century authors whose work has been neglected in the English speaking world. To be selected as one of the first works by this editorial committee was no small feat, especially when you consider the plethora of writing against which this title competed.
Clorinda Matto de Turner dared to change the demented orthodoxy of the Roman Catholic Church and the oppression of the indigenous Indians by the immoral wealthy gentry, including the village priest. Her anti-clerical tone was unmistakable; so much so, that the Catholic Church in Peru immediately condemned the book and considered it heretical and blatantly irreverent (that was enough to get me to read this book). This condemnation set in motion the persecution of Clorinda Matto de Turner. In the months and years to follow, because of her social, political and religious writings, she was suppressed, oppressed and finally driven from her county.
Though a century has passed, the Indians of Peru are still a oppressed people, held back by lack of education, oppression of culture and language and economic exploitation. This year, for the first time in Peruvian democratic history, a candiate from Inca descent has been elected president of Peru. For those interested in the . Highly Recommended
"If the book is good, is about something that you know, and is truly written, and reading it over you see that this is so." (Ernest Hemingway)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Early Peru Dec 30 2012
By James W. Fonseca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An early novel of Peru, written in the late 1800's and by a woman, making it an even more unusual work. It's an indictment of the way the newly-independent Peruvian elite replaced the Spanish in a deliberate conspiracy to keep the Indian population in conditions of serfdom. This serfdom included enforced days of slave labor for the town and work as personal servants. A share-cropper system assessed usurious interest rates a s high as 500%. The government officials, the military, the priests were all in on it, so much so, that they attack the home of a liberal couple from the city who try to work on behalf of the Indians. The book is written in a stilted 19th Century style. The plot is soap-opera-ish and husband and wife exchange conversation that reads like a newspaper editorial. The book has value for Latin American scholars, historians, sociologists and political scientists but I don't recommend it for the general reader.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't ruin it! Oct. 14 2006
By M. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
By reading the back cover of the book you will have spoiled the ending.

Enjoy.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful for historians May 4 2006
By Red Faitholl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is rather basic in plot and ideas, but it is rather insightful to the people of this country as well as the conditions they faced.

I had to read it for a Latin American history class, and im glad I did. I wouldnt recomend it unless you are interested in this country and its history, but if you do have to read it Im certain you will be glad you did.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Dec 14 2013
By D.M.X. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very interesting, with the natives of the town being over taken by the corrupt system and the twisty plot, this was indeed a great novel.
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