Critical Context

(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

All Green Shall Perish has been Mallea’s most popular single work of fiction, as well as the novel that received the greatest critical acclaim. It was written at the peak of Mallea’s creative powers along with the autobiographical essay Historia de una pasión argentina and the novels Fiesta en noviembre (1938; Fiesta in November, 1942) and La bahía de silencio (1940; The Bay of Silence, 1944).

Mallea was an extremely prolific writer who continued to publish novels, short stories, essays, and plays up to his death. He enjoyed his greatest popularity during the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s, anticipating the “Boom” of the Latin American novel in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Mallea did not share the preoccupation with technical innovation of such novelists as Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, and Mario Vargas Llosa, although several of his works are innovative and experimental, most notably La ciudad junto al río inmóvil (1936; the city on the motionless river), Fiesta in November, and All Green Shall Perish. The themes of Mallea’s fiction did not change significantly in the course of his career, and, in general, his work has fallen from fashion since the 1950’s. Nevertheless, the titles cited in this article continue to enjoy a wide readership and are the subject of many critical studies.