Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Roldán, Máximo. Máximo Roldán was created by the Mexican author Antonio Helú (Mexican Man) and appeared in a number of stories from 1926 to 1947; seven of them were collected in La Obligación de Asesinar (1947). The stories were filmed in 1933.
Máximo Roldán is a Lupin. Roldán, whose name is an anagram for "ládron," or "thief,” is an anti-hero who is both crime-solver and thief. He is tall, thin, intelligent, and nervous, being more than a little high strung. He operates in a corrupt and violent Mexico City which is filled with unsavory policemen and evil businessmen. Roldán is gifted with la verborrea, the gift of gab, and he uses it to solve crimes and to enrich himself--his "cases" usually end with him deceiving either the criminal, the victim, or the policemen involved and retaining a portion of the money or loot for himself. Roldán is boastful about his own virtue, but sees no contradiction in his own activities. He is Watsoned by Carlos Miranda.
* I'm including the Maximo Roldan stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because they're a lot of fun as well as historically important. Antonio Helu was a screenwriter and director, among other things, and knew the value of dialogue and narration in a story. Which may be why the Maximo Roldan stories are so much for. Roldan is a talker, a man who likes to talk, and who among us doesn't like to talk to a man who likes to talk? The Roldan stories are well-crafted mysteries with good narration and great dialogue, and Roldan is a classic Lupin. Roldan may have been the first Lupin and the first amateur detective in Mexican literature; if he wasn't the first, he was the first influential one, for later Mexican mystery and Lupin writers largely took their cues from the Roldan stories.
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