Sunday, January 10, 2010

Leyendas part one

I am impressed by Leyendas, and enjoy reading the stories, but I am a little lost. There is so much ambiguity that trying to understand everything is a challenge. There is an air of freshness that seems like Asturias is breaking new ground. Is it prose? Well kind of but not really because the writing is so poetic, with dense metaphor and repetition. Is it reality or fantasy? Asturias weaves a nest of labyrinths, then suddenly reels the reader back in. I guess he didn't want to dwell in the mundane for too long, which is a relief although it taxes me to have to engage so thoroughly. By the way, there's no way that I can ramble sufficiently in this blog entry for 500 words. It's not that I don't have an opinion or incapable of expressing one - quite the opposite. I find it loathsome to express anything personal that I have to post onto the net. Every time I turn it seems I am forced to relinquish another piece of my privacy. I think technical "how to" blogs are more interesting because they can be factual, impartial, scientific. So in order to help myself, I could approach this blog as a kind of literary analysis blog - which I may deem worthwhile, but then how could I say anything interesting and original in just 30 minutes? Reading about the minutiae of other people's daily lives I find to be nauseating - how could anyone be so vain to think that anyone else gives a shit? How could anyone be so ignorant to think that divulging their little secrets won't bite them in the ass someday? Plus too many people are talking endlessly but saying absolutely nothing ;) So I may as well get in line with the rest of the sheep and do what I'm told and spend another 6 years jumping through the bureaucratic hoops of the academic hypocrisy. What I enjoy the most about Leyendas is the rhythm of the writing. For example, in Ahora Que Me Recuerdo, there is a gradual development from calm, to exciting, and suddenly back to calm. By "calm" I mean normal, predictable, sober, and mundane. I get the feeling of falling into a psilocybin-induced trance, tripping along the precipice of sanity. This rhythm is almost musical and leads the reader through a concise progression of emotion which is satisfying and easily discernible thanks to the brevity of the story. Among the other stories or leyendas, certain themes appear regularly such as "la naturaleza", animals, the personification of mountains and earthly geography as gods, and religion - of the natural, indigenous quality as well as the influence of the unnatural, dangerous and heretical nature of European christianity. These leyendas are obviously based in the mythology of the indigenous people of the land, and in that way the personification of animals, mountains, man, and the weather as gods is to be expected, but it does not detract from the enjoyment of reading these stories. More on this later ...