Sunday, April 18, 2010

Span 365 reflection

In the middle of Wiki edits and writing my paper I finally found a moment to give a brief reflection. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into Span 365. I have always had an interest in understanding what magical realism was about and figured it would be kind of interesting to get a chance to analyze and discuss the authors and their works. At first I found it a little intimidating to express my own thoughts about our readings because I wasn’t really sure where to begin. But as the term progressed I felt more comfortable about it. I had a better sense of direction in terms of what to look for and how to convey these interpretations via the ‘blog’ or in class. The course began with analyzing magical realism in stages and it was interesting to see the progression throughout the course examining it as it became more complex. My favorite book that we read is El reino de este mundo. It was my first time reading it and don’t think it will be my last. These novels allowed me to become exposed to Latin-American literature and I found this class made it an enjoyable and fun experience. Thanks Jon for making it a fun class and all the best to the entire class.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I had an interest to learn a little more behind the McOndo movement and decided to read further into some articles and reviews. It was interesting to first learn how Fuguet had come about the idea just after being denied to publish one of his works in the U.S. The reason for the rejection, as per the publisher, was because it did not follow the ‘magical’ formula that was expected of the Latin-American author. Out of his frustration and to prove that Latin-American authors can write more than just within the magical realism genre he set out on the McOndo movement. As a result, McOndo was able to now create an interest and to showcase the literary abilities that do not focus solely on the magical realism genre. But it turns out there is a little more to it than that. As it all became a David and Goliath scenario where the big business and big corporations, in this case the publishers in the US that initially denied Fuguet, saw that the magical realism genre was in demand and that is where the profits were to be made. And instead of Fuguet going along with it, he saw the injustice in all of this; that you are essentially denying the artistic ability of other authors a chance to publish their works and to allow creativity to flourish. Similar to the circumstances of small businesses being pushed out buy the Walmart types or the Microsoft’s that buy out small companies to take over their patents etc. and reduce the competition. With works from other authors they found the inspiration and a way to break the mold of what was expected of them. As the movement gained popularity so did its success in publishing a larger variety and body of works.

Friday, April 2, 2010

summary of readings

As mentioned in the beginning of the term magical realism was going to be introduced to us in moderation. Three different writers who all used different approaches in the use of magical realism in their works allowed for a well-rounded analysis that made the understanding difficult at times and yet intriguing and entertaining. We covered Asturias in Leyendas de Guatemala in which magical realism was introduced to explain the origins of the region with the fantastic, imaginative and creative use of nature and its surroundings which came alive. The living world was interacting with man and created a reality that one could only imagine. The author Asturias wrote in a way that brought his imagination and dreams alive to seem believable. With the use of colorful and poetic words and phrases he was able to really draw the reader into his narration of his description of nature, wildlife and forests. Carpentier’s El Rey De Este Mundo touches on a different subject, that of politics and a nation that is deeply divided. In comparison to Leyendas this book was more of a darker approach into the magical realism. One that focused on more difficult and sensitive issues such as racism, segregation, religion, and freedom. What is also different is that the merging of historical accuracies blending in with the fantastic through the narrative and description of the historical context during a time of transition and self-discovery of a new nation and its new found freedoms. Finally, in Garcia Marquez’s Cien Años de Soledad the central theme revolves around the premise of destiny and prophecy and how we follow and observe the slow demise of the Buendía family. Cien Años reflects the chronological order in which we have read this works as we went from Asturias, which covered the origins and discovery, to Carpentier which focused on the recent-present times with Haiti’s recent events and now Marquez which introduces the future and destiny which is a somewhat interesting connection among the readings.