A Mexican novel, Aura was written by the Mexican author Carlos Fuentes. It is considered one of Carlos Fuentes's best works. It was published in Spanish in 1962, and an English version of the novel was released in 1965 and on iBooks. The novel has received great reception because of the way the author describes everything so realistically, considering that this is a magical fantasy novel. A unique factor to Aura is that it is completely written in the second person, which can be related to the irrationality of the main character. When a proposal to bring the novel to screen was made in 1966, producers worked hard to try to keep it true to its original unique form.
Aura is set in Mexico City in the time that it was written, 1961. Felipe Montero is the main character, who is a young historian. He finds a poster announcing a job that seems like something he would want to do (to finish the biography of an old military man for them to be published), with an address to arrive at if interested. Ignoring the poster and knowing in his mind that someone has already snatched up the offer, Montero eventually can't resist. He travels to Donceles 815, the address noted on the poster, only to find an empty house. The novel goes on to introduce Aura, another prominent character in the story.
Felipe gets the job. An old lady and his niece, Aura, live in the house. They are opposite but share some fantastic similarities. Those are the only three characters in the novel. Felipe decides to take the job with the widow of the general, Consuelo, the old lady because he is interested in Aura and her beauty. He eventually falls in love with Aura but notices a strange connection between her and her aunt.
Carlos Fuentes was born on November 11, 1928. Aura is, as his third novel, one of his top five best-known works. Even the New York Times noted in his 2012 obituary that he was a very admired writer. A characteristic interesting to Fuentes was that he only wrote with pen and paper - nothing else - because he believed that words could express themselves best that way.
The book's main themes are love, irrationality, and paranoia. The novel explores the idea of two people in love with someone who has a hidden agenda. It also explores the idea of a person's inability to see the truth because they are engulfed in irrational thoughts. Fuentes explores the idea that love can be a way to escape reality, and sometimes it takes a person a long time to break out of that illusion. He also explores the idea that everyone is a victim of fear and paranoia.
The novel is known for its unique style and structure, which features an abundance of metaphors and symbols. The writing style is also very lyrical and poetic, which adds to the magical realism of the novel. The novel is divided into three distinct parts, each with its distinct style and tone. The first part is full of descriptions of the city and the characters, while the second part is focused on the growing love story between the two main characters. The third part is the climax, where the mystery of the novel is revealed and the characters must face their fears and irrationality.
Aura has been praised by many readers and critics for its unique style and structure, magical realism, and its exploration of themes such as love, irrationality, and paranoia. Fuentes' use of metaphors and symbols to tell the story is one of the most widely praised aspects of the novel. The New York Times obituary for Fuentes noted that he was “one of the most admired writers of his generation.” Aura is a testament to Fuentes' brilliance as a writer and is considered one of his best works.