Assignment 2 Part 1


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Assignment 2 Part 1

  1. 1. Tryzon Valencia<br />History 141<br />Michael Arguello <br />The Alienist And The Underdogs<br />In his book, “The Alienist”, Caleb Carr is referring to the 19th-century term for what we would today call a forensic psychiatrist, a medical doctor who has several years of additional training and/or experience related to the various interfaces of mental health/illness with the law. In his book, Caleb Carr tells the story of how an alienist, Doctor Laszlo Kreizler, together with notable personalities during the Gilded Age; namely, Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt (the future President of the United States), financier J. Pierpont Morgan, anthropologist Franz Boas, and the post officer censor Anthony Comstock got involved in catching a vicious serial killer committing horrific crimes during New York City’s “Gilded Age”. “Gilded Age”, according to Wikipedia, refers to the era of rapid economic and population growth in the United States during the post-civil and post-Reconstruction eras of the late 19th century, and that the “Gilded Age” was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today”. The name refers to the process of “gilding” an object with a superficial layer of gold and is meant to make fun of pretentious display while playing on the term “golden age”. <br />“The UNDERDOGS with Related Texts” by Gustavo Pellon, on the other hand, is the latest and the fifth translation of Mariano Azuela’s world renowned novel “Los de abajo” of 1915 – a novel that takes the reader into the heart of significant changes in the Americas of the 19th and early 20th centuries; it is considered the classic account of the Mexican Revolution, a massive revolt against the rapid economic and social changes experienced in Mexico from the late 1860s through 1910.  As noted in his book, Pellon dislike how Azuela’s novel was translated. Although he agree with the translation of Frederick Fornoff’s, who also happened to find the previous three translations unsatisfactory, Pellon also found Fornoff’s translation inaccurate, and full of inappropriate and expletive words that should not have been used, for it was not even in the original work. By working with his colleagues at the University of Virginia’s Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, Pellon was able to publish an appropriate, accurate translation of Mariano Azuela’s “Los de abajo”. He not only removed the profanities unnecessarily and inappropriately added by Fornoff, capture the biblical overtones and accuracy of the Spanish phrases that were lost in Enrique Munguia’s translation of 1929, but also able to tell the story as close as what Azuela actually wrote. As Pellon stated, “ to preserve accuracy as far as what Azuela actually wrote without introducing extraneous material, and preserved the contrast between the telegraphic style of most Azuela’s narration and the rare poetic passages that are sprinkled thought the text.” Pellon included the necessary and important related materials to support the accuracy and appropriateness of his translation of the Mariano Azuela’s “Los de abajo”. For example, the Appendix conveys the historical and literary context of “The Underdogs.” Talking about the Mexican Revolution provides the readers, unfamiliar with the military and political processes for the Mexican Revolution, “with an orientation sufficient for understanding many of the events and historical figures mentioned in Azuela’s novel.” The Appendix also provide a glimpse of Azuela’s view of the Mexican Revolution,<br />Another excellent example to support the accuracy and appropriateness of Pellon’s translation of Mariano Azuela’s “Los deabajo”is the by leaving several words in Spanish; such as, pelones, carranclanes, pacificos, and federales. And by providing the translations in the Glossary and in the Translator Note, he is able to retain the images and feelings that Mariano Azuela wanted to convey in his novel.<br />Other excellent examples to support the accuracy and appropriateness of Pellon’s translation of Mariano Azuela’s “Los de abajo” are the introduction to Mariano Azuela work; maps, illustrations, the chronologies of Azuela’s life, and the Mexican Revolution. Furthermore, the Related Texts containing reviews of “The UNDERDOGS” and accounts of the personalities and events that fueled the Mexican Revolution on Mexico’s insurgents by various authors/writers enhances the reader’s understanding of the literary work and Mexico’s history.<br />The Alienist is an excellent reading material. The story is gripping, thrilling, and suspenseful for several reasons. First is the gruesome description of the how the serial killer’s chooses and victimizes his victims. Secondly, it offers an excellent glimpse American history - 1896 New York City’s tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses, and seamy gin mills, and the period wherein the City of New York was in the middle of its periodic upheavals over revelations of police corruption leading to the appointment of none other than Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States of America (1901-1909) as New York City’s Police Commissioner. Thirdly is how the Alienist and his cohorts, intent of capturing a serial killer preying on boy prostitutes in the teeming slums of New York City’s lower East side, had so much difficulty and had to spend as time and energy hiding their activities from the New York City Police Department as from the murderer himself, because of the prevailing objectionable attitudes at the time; such as, the compiling psychological profiles of violent offenders was considered subversive, and the refusal of politicians, churchmen and newspaper editors refusing to acknowledge the existence of homosexual child brothels and police corruption that kept it business. <br />Surely the “The UNDERDOGS” not only describe the hardships and the dangers Mexicans had to face during the periods where rapid economic and social changes taking place in Mexico from the late 1860s through 1910, but also illustrate that social and economic changes that was occurring or is or will be occurring within a country is no guarantee for peaceful and prosperous life for all, for those in power has their own little agenda that maybe on their advantage, but that is disadvantage to many. So, the Underdogs, Demetrio Macias and his band of his Mexicans had to leave their wives, sons and daughters to continue to make history. <br />Both books are excellent reading materials. Although different in story and places where it happened, both books had one thing in common, an excellent insight of the places, people, and the environment they living in during the early 19th century. <br /> <br />