This novel, winner of Spain’s Planeta Award in 1970, may be considered a caustic fresco of Latin America. The plot evolves in an unspecified country, but it is really a synthesis of a continent that yearns for its lost unity. It was considered a prophetic novel, in light of the intensity of its denunciations and the foreshadowing of the coming dictatorship of the ’70s. It is still a prevalent novel for thousands of readers. Contradictory and abysmal, Man dissects its anatomy with several deep cuts.
Some characters assume parodic features. Their presence and thinking at different levels are usually interweaved through the leitmotifs of the epistle and the use of italics, punctuation, or cruelty.
“La Cruz Invertida” induces constant reflection. Many chapters bear the name of the biblical passages by which they were inspired, at the same time conforming a compact unity. Their language reflects the visage of this Dionysian continent: Luminous, enigmatic, ironic, grotesque, capricious, sadistic, tender, and, more often than not, symbolic. As in the Bible -a novel of the Cosmos-, totality pretends to be absorbed (and with it, Good, Evil, and Grey), but projects are amputated by frustration.
Between reason and delirium, winds of hope blow. Primera Plana said of this novel: “In spite of the time elapsed from its first edition, the prevalence of ‘The Upside-down Cross’ shows that it belongs with the kind of great works that contribute to the promotion of argentine literature…Aguinis has never shown an inclination towards declamatory speech or literature for profit; on the contrary, he has diminished himself to give the best he had.”