domingo, 10 de enero de 2010

Leyendas de Guatemala.

My initial impression of Leyendas de Guatemala was that there were many aspects of it that reminded me of texts i had read in Spanish 364. I noticed that throughout the legends, Asturias used many lists perhaps to create a sense of exoticism and wonder. However, the sheer amount of lists he used reminded me of a text by Cortes in which he discusses all the wonderful and amazing food and animals he encountered in the new world. I think that Asturias uses this technique to convey the sense of wonder in his legends that Cortes also used.

What also stuck me were his use of repetitions, of words and entire phrases and in some cases paragraphs. At first i though that it was redundant and i was angry that it meant that i had to read more, but as i found myself being engrossed more and more in the text, i had the sense that i was being spoken to. The repetition of text reminded me of my grandmother as she would tell stories, veering of topic a little bit and then repeating a whole chunk in order to get back on track.

There is a lyricism and musicality in the way in which the texts are written which i think comes from his inventive use of language, broken sentences, repeated phrases all aid in creating a song like lyricism in the stories.

La leyenda del volcán was my favourite, especially for the visual use of text when the name "Nido" is being called out. I really got a sense of a name being called out from the manner in which he laid out the text on the page, it was a really nice and simple moment, but one that was effective for me.

I think it would be useful to read other sources about Guatemalan legends, and intend to do so before reading the next half of the book.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book, hopefully it will be at the bookstore as i find it difficult to read long texts on a computer screen, but i enjoyed it regardless.

2 comentarios:

  1. Hi Mark, I completely agree with your comments about the first part of Las Leyendas. I enjoyed your description of the effect that the repetition has when reading the text: I suggest reading bits of it aloud! It becomes a lot more epic that way :)

  2. It's a good point you make about the repetition... while reading it, I didn't really think anything of it, but come to think of it, it might be as a way of reproducing the oral tradition, where certain points are emphasized as they are the ones of most importance.

    That may also be the reason for the Nido! section - because of the impossibility of actually conveying the words dramatically, as you would when telling a story, maybe this was the best (only?) way around it.

    I don't know... what do you think?