domingo, 10 de enero de 2010

First impressions of Leyendas de Guatemala

Leyendas de Guatemala was an interesting and fun read for me, and it immediately brought back memories of reading story tales during my childhood…Despite the lengthy list of vocabulary that I had to look up or skip over to get through this text, I thought that it was very well written and full of vivid descriptions that I could easily depict in my mind.

This first thought came about from the author's playful style of writing - with his impeccable attention to detail and description, the sense of magic and fantasy was evident throughout all the legends and it immediately reminded me of those same fantasy and day-dream like thoughts that children so often gets lost in. I loved the imagery he used to describe the natural environment around the volcano, mentioning everything from the leaves on the trees, to the abundance of creatures that crawled that very piece of land such as the always colour- changing chameleon. The repetition of words or phrases such as "noche delirante" in Ahora que me acuerdo is an example of this as well, in which the author seems to be emphasizing this image in the reader's mind…

Leyenda de Tatuana seems to have a greater sense of myth and fantasy compared with the others, and was probably my favourite. The first part of this legend states that there are twenty months in this four hundred day year, which immediately (in my opinion) gives it ‘story tale status’ if you will... Also, in Leyenda del Volcán, I like the fact that Asturias uses the word "nest," (nido) to call the volcano, which gives a more familiar and responsive qualities to such a large, and potentially dangerous earth form. I have to agree with points mentioned in the short letter by Paul Valéry at the beginning of the book, in the way that the ideas brought forward in Leyendas de Guatemala is comparable to a 'tropical dream' because often, you find yourself lost in this magical world that seems too fun and absurd to be reality! I think that the compilation of legends is a balance (at times not equal) or myth and reality that teach the reader about the Mayan traditions while holding on the playful tone throughout.

Anyways, those were just my initial impressions about the homework…now to study more Spanish vocabulary so it doesn’t take me hours to do the readings! :/

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