Santa Evita by Tomas Eloy Martinez Essay

Santa Evita by Tomas Eloy Martinez Essay

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Santa Evita is not truly about her life, but the odyssey her body went through after her death. Through interviews of people who knew her, Evita is brought back to live through recounts of what they remembered of. Tomas Eloy Martinez’s forces his way into her life, not to refute the myths, but to have a better understanding of his country’s history of which Evita is so deeply ingrained within. In life Evita dedicated her life to aiding the poor, offering opportunities and changes to the lives of so many people that in death, she became a legend. After her death in 1952, Peron carried out her wishes, which was to not be forgotten by all those who loved her, and who she took care of. Her meticulous embalming added to her personage, as she was left more vibrant in death, this political figure became a saint. The rumors and myths that appeared in the story about Evita’s corpse are used as supporting elements of magical realism focusing on metafictional realities, the sense of mystery of Evita, and a political critique.
Santa Evita is told in the third person narrative, with a mixture of testimonies from others that Tomas interviewed to add a level of realism. Martinez rises to a new level of metafiction, because it is not a novel within a novel but it is a narrative within a myth, within numerous stories about the main character. Instead of one author telling her story, it is several people telling their own story about Evita, which creates multi-levels of reality in the novel. Dr. Ara, Migaldi, her hair-dresser all give accounts of their relationship with Evita, but what further proves my point that he uses magical realism is his fantastical elements that he associates with Evita. For instance Evita’s corpse is laid out on a g...


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...saint in their eyes.
Tomas Eloy Martinez uses characteristics of magical realism to relate the tale of Santa Evita. Focusing on metafictional realities, the sense of mystery of Evita, and a political critique of the marginalized poor, Martinez rises to a new level of magical realism. Evita is about as ingrained within the history of Argentina as the Virgen Guadalupe herself. The author’s narration is central to the novel, as Martínez’s own story becomes wrapped up in Evita’s. “If I don’t try to know her by writing her, I’m never going to know myself,” Martínez concludes, implying that he, like all Argentines, is inextricably tied to his country and its past (Santa Evita, p. 368). That past, that history, is furthermore elusive. History, like literature, says the novel, is always a “search for the invisible, or the stillness of what flies” (Santa Evita, p. 54).

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