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Simón BolívarTravels and Transformations of a Cultural Icon$
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Maureen G. Shanahan and Ana María Reyes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062624

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062624.001.0001

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El Gran Dispensador by Manuel Trujillo

El Gran Dispensador by Manuel Trujillo

The Weaknesses of the National Hero

Chapter:
(p.169) 9El Gran Dispensador by Manuel Trujillo
Source:
Simón Bolívar
Author(s):

Alicia Ríos

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062624.003.0010

In the 1980s, Venezuelan fiction retrieved historical figures who had been long neglected in retellings of the national independence narrative, particularly women, slaves and the poor. In El gran dispensador [The Great Enforcer] (1983), Manuel Trujillo draws from historical documents to interpret one of the most controversial episodes in the history of Venezuela: Bolívar’s arrest, judgment and execution for treason of Manuel Carlos Piar, a pardo (or mixed race) general. The novel provides a lens into the construction of “difference” that departs strikingly from historical documents on which it is based. Rather than contributing to the cult of Bolívar, the novel interrogates Simón Bolívar’s mythic status as a liberator and hero.

Keywords:   Manuel Trujillo, El gran dispensador (1983), Difference, Manuel Carlos Piar, pardo

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