Douglas Glover on Pedro Paramo

Bilbioasis is publishing some pretty awesome material at their new translation website (including a wee stray review by yours truly).

You should have a look at Douglas Glover on what may be the Mexican classic, Pedro Paramo, which was one described to me as “Mexico’s Joyce.” (The essay appears in Glover’s recent Attack of the Copula Spiders, which looks to be a great book of literary essays.)

Note how skillfully Rulfo leads the reader by degrees into a metaphysical complacency. At the start of Pedro Páramo, Juan Preciado, like the reader, depends for an explanation of the premises of the new world of the novel on the characters he meets along the way. (This is true of all novels but particularly so in a novel that outs its fictional nature from the first words.) From a distance the town looks dead and deserted; Abundio, the burro driver, tells him, “That isn’t how it looks. It is. Nobody lives there anymore.” This a pun. There are people in the town, but they are dead.

The site also has Alberto Manguel on translating Borges.

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