Stewart's Reviews > Pedro Páramo

Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo
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's review
Dec 15, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: mexico

Although he wrote few works in his lifetime, namely a thin volume of short stories (The Burning Plain and Other Stories) and a single novel, the name of Juan Rulfo is well respected in Latin American letters. His novel, Pedro Páramo (1955) broke from the traditional realist novel and with its unique narrative ushered in magical realism, popularised in the Latin American Boom by the likes of Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes.

Why he only wrote one novel - he died in 1986 - will perhaps remain unknown, however Susan Sontag, in her introduction, takes a guess, observing that “the point of a writer’s life is to produce a great book - a book which will last - and that is what Rulfo did.” A small body of work is of course no barrier to greatness, with Rulfo being named, following a poll conducted by Editorial Alfaguara, alongside Jorge Luis Borges as the best Spanish-language writer of the 20th Century.

Read my full review here.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lamerestbelle Hi Stewart,
I love all of your comments or revieuws.

Nick Having lived in Mexico and been steeped in Rulfo lore, I guess that people wouldn't know the story. For a long time, he worked on a followup but decided he could never approach the quality of Pedro Paramo again and burned it. It probably didn't help that he was a prodigious drinker. He worked for the Mexican government for a long time, and was famous for his photographs taken across the country, and occasionally wrote screenplays, but, as he told one writer, he often had "dreams" -- ideas for writing -- but they weren't any good. A son is a filmmaker of some repute.

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