La mosca soldado, Marcio Veloz Maggiolo 2004 novel, has been is now readily available in the United States. Veloz Maggiolo (Santo Domingo, 1936- ), one of the most prolific and well known contemporary Dominican authors, conveys in a highly poetic language his fascination with archaeology and history, central topics of all of his narrative works. Unlike his earlier novels (Uña y carne and El hombre del acordeón“, among others) which are set in the Trujillo era, La mosca soldado focuses on an area of Dominican history which is not primarily political, but rather centered on human concerns told from a universal perspective.
La mosca soldado includes a number of the author’s personal interests, particularly those of historical concerns related to archaeology and anthropology, which are of major importance in the book, and which form an essential part of the plot. Memory is the fundamental implement for the recovery of actions of the immediate and the remote past, and it is memory that allows the reconstruction of historical realities of an indigenous society that vanished in the 10th century, discovered by the narrator, an archaeologist-anthropologist, in a specific part of the Dominican Republic in 1973. The narrator, with one of his students, remembers and reveals the customs of a magic indigenous world that has survived through the centuries, manifesting itself in a town where it now coexists with other ethnic groups resulting in the creation of a particular microcosm On an ideological level, the narrative declares its rejection of a traditional concept of history, and its reaffirmation of the reality that poetry can reveal. Thus, there is a constant exploration of the realities that may lie beneath the surface of everyday trivialities, like the “insignificant” flies, a prehistoric “ocarina”, a ritual (vomical) spatula, or some reminiscences discovered in the pollen of the “gu‡yiga”. The narrator conceives of the novel as a space that will lead to knowledge, while also showing him to be conscious of the process of artistic creation in a work of fiction.
This edition of “La mosca soldado”, with an introduction and footnotes by Rafael Rodríguez-Henríquez that explain aspects of the text, is an important contribution to the study of the work of Marcio Veloz Maggiolo, and his original perspectives on the construction of a Dominican cultural identity.
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