Sunday, April 8, 2007

Blog 13: Concluding Thoughts

I have thoroughly enjoyed the works that we studied throughout this course and my appreciation for Latin American literature has grown immensely since reading Cumanda. I remember starting that novel thinking that Latin American literature was a bit hokey, with crafted situations and exaggerated characters. I'm sure that the story presented some early aspects of post-colonial South America, however, reading it once was enough, and I can only hope that the bookstore will so kindly buy it back from me.

The next works seemed to increase in complexity with more dynamic characters and intricate family stories as in Las memorias and Piedra Callada. Las Hortensias, as Niall pointed out in his blog, revealed the characters’ convoluted psychological issues while examining the impact of industrialism on family life. I found this short story particularly interesting because of this drastic change in focus from events and actions, to exploring the individuals’ thoughts, emotions and maniacal desires. I think that these aspects were also highlighted in Pablo Neruda’s poetry, where the madness and torment of love were the central themes.

Lastly, I think Gabriel's masterpiece is nearing lengendary status, as it details the creation and destuction of the entire Macondian world through the eyes of one remarkable family. Without a doubt, this was a tremendously difficult read that I found took some time to appreciate and become interested in. I was, by no means, immediately enthralled by this novel, and in fact, it wasn’t until I had read close to a hundred pages that I began to comprehend why it is such a highly regarded piece of literature. The countless issues that Marquez cleverly revealed throughout the novel can be linked to nearly any part of our modern society and fortunately, we had roughly a month to read Cien Anos de Soledad.

There are two important things that I have taken from this course, the first, a desire to further explore Latin American literature from the ‘BOOM’ period. The second, is my intent to continue using online blogs, which I find are a great way to openly express and discuss thoughts and ideas.