Manlio Argueta

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Kevin Cully

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 140

In One Day of Life we are at last offered a glimpse of what that awful, savage [Salvadoran civil] war must be like from the point of view of the peasants who bear the brunt of it….

We also get an insight into the minds of these brutalised Civil Guard through the letters that one of them writes home. Reading the letters is depressing because they throw into sharp focus the fear and suspicion that the authorities harbour toward their own people. The man is himself a peasant but after months with his "foreign" instructors he regards his own people with icy contempt.

This is a marvellous novel on a tragic situation but the author is not well served by his translator who opts for a very Americanised dialogue.

Kevin Cully, "Hard Day's Night," in Tribune, Vol. 48, No. 19, May 11, 1984, p. 9.

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