Castellanos Moya’s novels definitely have to be read as a corpus. If you trace how violence intensifies throughout the Salvadoran history, it will blow your mind. When the writer describes the political struggles of the 1940s, they seem so quaint and courteous compared to what came later.
Then in the early eighties, when the civil war began, the brutality is absolutely ridiculous. But at least there are some people who kind of believe in something good and think they are fighting for justice.
And then you get to 2010, and it gets even worse because former idealists are now fighting to enrich the drug cartels, and the violence is not even a little bit political any more. Nobody is trying to make a better polis. Nobody even thinks about it. It’s all dead.
I know everybody must be tired of my paeans to Castellanos Moya, but I spend hours every day reading his work, thinking about it, and writing about it.