Monday, April 12, 2010

Better Late than never?

I just realized that I never wrote a blog last week, so I will be writing one today (over a week late). The blog I wrote yesterday was more focused on the McOndo reading, so this one will be a relection of the class. As I said earlier, the class went quickly! Where'd the time go?? All of a sudden our wiki projects are due, we have an essay due on monday, there's no more class . . . ahhh! It's kind of crazy to think about.

This class was interesting. I had never read any of magical realism works, and it is a genre which has always interested me, mostly because I know that it is such big part of Latin American history, especially as it pertains to literature. The Boom and the authors that were made famous during the Boom (such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Fuentes, etc) were, from my understanding, the first to legitimize Latin American literature in the eyes of the rest of the world. I think that Cien Anos de Soledad may be one of the most famous pieces of contemporary literature, and I finally was able to read and analyze this work. It was about time!

I found magical realism difficult to interpret and understand at first. I had a hard time deciphering what was magic vs myth vs reality vs fiction, etc. I thought that magical realism as a genre was used in a specific manner- as if the magic had one intended meaning. After reading Leyendas de Guatemala, I assumed that the use of magical realism was a coping mechanism and spiritual belief of the indigenous people, and that would be the use of magical realism in all of the other texts as well. As it turns out, I was completely incorrect. Carpentier used magical realism as a religous aspect of African culture which was very real in Haiti at the time. In fact, from what I have read, even whichever Doc was in power of the country at the time had all the black dogs killed because it was said that the M guy (I can no longer remember his name from the story) had turned into a black dog. Marquez on the other hand used magical realism to reinforce the idea of the absurdity of the reality of the actual history of Latin America, specifically Colombia.

Anyway, it was nice to finally read some of the most important literature of Latin America and to learn something new.


  1. I agree with you. It was so cool to finally be able to read some magic realism and actually understand it (most of it). I too have been waiting a long time to read Cien Anos. I also had problems deciphering magic/reality and myth but I think that is part of what makes Magic Realism so unique.

  2. Hey i dont know if i have just left two comments now.. but I totally agree on how interesting the course was. I like how your blog touches on it all.