Juan Rulfo

A note on the writer. From Wikipedia:

Juan Nepomuceno Carlos Pérez Rulfo Vizcaíno, best known as Juan Rulfo (… 16 May 1917 – 7 January 1986) was a Mexican writer, screenwriter and photographer. He is one of Latin America’s esteemed authors and earned reputation on his two literary works, El Llano en llamas (1953), a collection of short stories, and the 1955 novel Pedro Páramo. Fifteen of the seventeen short stories in El Llano en llamas have been translated into English and published as The Burning Plain and Other Stories. This collection includes the popular tale “¡Diles que no me maten!” (“Tell Them Not to Kill Me!”).

I learned about Rulfo from a server, Luis, at the restaurant Reposado, who noticed my perpetual reading and writing at meals, and engaged me to talk about books; he’s a great fan of Rulfo.

I haven’t yet read any Rulfo, but his reputation in Latin America is stellar. His work is apparently spare, sometimes harshly realistic, sometimes fabulist. Some enthusiasm:

Gabriel García Márquez has said that he felt blocked as a novelist after writing his first four books and that it was only his life-changing discovery of Pedro Páramo in 1961 that opened his way to the composition of his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. He noted that all of Rulfo’s published writing, put together, “add up to no more than 300 pages; but that is almost as many and I believe they are as durable, as the pages that have come down to us from Sophocles”.

One Response to “Juan Rulfo”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Kristin Bergen on Facebook:

    i’ve only read it in translation, but pedro paramo is just about the best late-modernist novel ever.

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