For you delectation and inspiration, here are the opening paragraphs of my essay “Pedro the Uncanny: A Note on Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Parámo” excerpted from my new book Attack of the Copula Spiders on the Biblioasis International Translation Series. Pedro Parámo is an amazing novel, written about dead people from the point of view of a dead man. Rulfo based the structure on the idea of a cemetery in which the various grave occupants spend their time whispering to one another, an eerie and startling conception. Critics often all this book the first instance of Latin American Magic Realism. It’s a Mexican classic. Click on the link above to go to the Biblioasis site and read the rest of the essay.
Really intriguing, Doug, how you show the novel’s narrative reflecting the trajectory of Mexican history, and how you conclude America refuses to let go of the illusion of human progress. You’ve got me wondering now about how Rulfo handled the grammatical oddities in the original Spanish. I’m always hesitant about thinking an author did what he’s famous for doing unless I put the original up against the translation. I have the
Spanish edition. Looking quickly at Amazon.com I see a translation by Margaret Seyer’s Peden – do you know if that’s the translation you read?
You might have read it in the original – sorry for the assumption that it was a translation.
Julie, I read the Lysander Kemp translation, Grove Press, New York, 1959. There are others, but this is the book that inspired me.