Monday, January 25, 2010

Carpentier 1st half

First off, just got in from the Canucks game and great win VS Buffalo! I missed the Millennium Line stop so I toured the great cities of Burnaby and New West for the duration of my travels. As I sat in my seat in the ‘Spirit of Nanaimo’ SkyTrain car I pondered the ‘magical surrealism’ of tonight’s glorious match. It is not often I get to go to a game and see the Canucks actually win. This now leads me into the Capentiers magical realism which explores a different victory... one of a nations independence and freedom. (I’m working harder on my hangover than my intro..sorry!) But it is interesting the very magic that is part of life and in the culture of Haiti. For example, through the religious ceremonies and practices, such as voodoo and other forms of worship, Carpentier seems to have been inspired to add a level of magic to his work El reino de este mundo. I found it a little difficult at first to understand what was being said, as the dictionary was on hand and used often, but I was eventually able to understand what was going on. What I really enjoyed was the strength in his narrative and being able to describe the historical context of a time of transition and self-discovery of a new nation and its new found freedoms. Carpentier is able to help visualize the events surrounding the Haitian independence in somewhat real time during Henri Christophe. Through point of view of a slave, Ti Noel is able to describe the dense atmosphere of Haiti as it struggles to achieve its independence and discerning the classes who control the power. As the historical accounts and sequence of events are accurate to combine the elements of surrealism alongside this, it made for a unique combination that really drew me in. As I am only half way through I really am looking forward to understanding and analyzing Carpentiers interesting writing style. A difficult read but it is worth it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Leyendas II

The first half of Asturias' Guatemala was very enjoyable to read. It helped lead me into his mind and understand what he was trying to convey. With the use of colorful and poetic words and phrases he was able to really draw me into his narration of his description of nature, wildlife and forests. The first part of the readings served as an introduction of the supernatural surroundings as he viewed them which then lead into the second half which was the Leyendas. This section is what really began to draw me further into his narration and trying to interpret the stories he was writing of essentially the beginnings of the civilization and cultures. Although it was a little difficult at times to follow the meanings of the terminology that was being used, I was able to get the underlying feeling and direction of where Asturias was trying to make me see and feel. The Leyenda del volcán was the one which I really enjoyed and had me curious on what Asturias was trying to explain. I initially felt that the water, which represented the arriving visitors (possibly Los Conquistadores), was pushing or invading onto land and the forest, which represented the native vegetation (or indigenous) were being forced up the mountains towards the volcano which was about the abrupt. Reading the line 'La selva continuaba hacia el volcán hinchada..' (33) I felt it was symbolizing that the end was near for the existence of the people and that the tension and destruction was being represented right up to the end. But as "el volcán apagaba.." the end did not arrive as Nido, I felt represented the surviving spirit of the people which as continued until today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Asturias

I found it very fascinating and intriguing reading Asturias as it really captured my imagination. With the use of colorful and poetic words and phrases he was able to really draw me into his narration of his description of nature, wildlife and forests. Although it was a little difficult at times to follow the meanings of the terminology that was being used, I was able to get the underlying feeling and direction of where Asturias was trying to make me see and feel.
At first the description of the royal rituals and mention of the cities of the conquistadores was leading to believe that there was more of a historical significance to his writing. But it was not the case. With in depth perceptions and the feeling of being within nature and the ability of writing to make you surrounded magically within his world was really what was at the center of his Leyendas.
One quote that really stood out for me and really had me really interested was when he wrote ‘El tropico es el sexo de la tierra’. In a way he describes the earth as being alive with desires and tries to express this in a way that everyone can relate to and understand.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

span 365 intro.

My name is Jordi and I am currently a 3rd year student at UBC.
I am pursuing a BA in arts majoring in Spanish and Economics.