Great Novellas discussion

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Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I started reading this this morning, and it is pretty awesome thus far.

In many ways, it reminds me of one of my new favorite books - Last Dragon by JM McDermott, the best fantasy I've read in over a decade. McDermott's book has a narrative told through the fragmented memories of a woman on her death bed.

It's dreamlike qualities were doubtless informed by magical realism - this was apparent to me even though I am not at all versed in that genre. I've read only a few short stories, most written by GGM, but I saw those same qualities in McDermott's book. It is a dark, mature, and haunting work of fiction.

From they very first page of Rulfo's novella, I was reminded of this quality, and I instantly embraced his prose and story.

I definitely want to read more in this genre.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

This is a good novella.

Parts were absolutely brilliant, while other parts were merely okay.

Rulfo's prose, however, is consistently wonderful. The depth of imagery he creates is truly remarkable, and the surreal nature of the narrative is bolstered by this quality.

It reminded me a great deal of the weird fiction written in the early 1900s, and I wonder if any of that ever penetrated into Mexico. Was Magical Realism somewhat informed by the Weird Tales?

Probably not - but the similarities are there, and that is a fact.

I was especially reminded of one of my favorite modern authors - Michael Cisco.

This is a very, very dense little book. There are, perhaps, a few too many minor characters, making it hard to remember all the names and relationships.

However, I do look forward to reading this again, and I think it would be a book best read with a group so as to discuss the nuances of the plot and characters.


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 11 comments This is a great novella.
However, in translation (in my opinion) it is less great than the original Spanish.

It is a gorgeous and unsettling novel.
I agree with your last point--I did teach it once in a World Lit. class--and we benefited from discussing it in depth.


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