Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thus Far

So, Asturias. Reading Leyendas de Guatemala was an experience. Honestly I found it challenging and difficult to follow and analyze. The entire text was extremely metaphorical, and since I apparently don't understand subtlety, I had a difficult time trying to decipher the actual meaning and significance of the text (I'm sure the fact that it is written in spanish and a lot of the vocabulary was new to me really did not help my situation). All in all though, I thought that the texts were good. They embraced pre-columbian ideals and culture, while also integrating aspects of the spanish (and maybe even african?) cultures that have had immense influence on what is now latin american culture.

I enjoyed El Reino de este mundo much more. I just found it to be much more accessible in terms of theme, and also much more topical, given the recent earthquake in Haiti. I think that I found the theme to be more accessible because of the interest and background information I already had on Haiti. I find it to be a very interesting country, politically, religiously, socially, and historically, and I think that the Haitian people embrace many ideals and positivity that I wish all cultures could posses.

Also, in terms of understanding, I found Carpentier's work to be more easy to understand because of vocabulary and context. If I did not know a word, many times I could figure it out based on the context it was in. General ideas and themes were much easier to decipher. The poetic nature of the text was also easier to understand because it wasn't as metaphorical as Leyendas.

All of that being said, I truly did enjoy reading both texts, and I'm happy that I'm finally reading some of the major literature that has effected Latin America and the writers who have influenced that culture and the people.