Saturday, April 10, 2010

Span 365 The Course

The course centers around magical realism and for the most part I thought I knew what it was and that the 3 books we read where all examples of magical realism; to which I was mistaken which left me lost on the concept. All three books seemed to use the same elements and had just a bit of magic to them and where set in the jungles or country side scenery, which are traits of magical realism. So the reality of it is the concept of magical realism is still lost on me.

Ending the course with the anti magical realism book McOndo which proved to be quite different from everything else we have read. The short stories seemed relatively pointless they are like individuals stories to themselves, with no real significance, just stories of I guess common peoples life's. These stories dont appear to go into any great depth, there set in a urban environment and are about real life with no magical or anything unexplainable even in the romanticized pheromonal state of attraction people call love which in the one story is called a chemical reaction.

Over all out of everything we have read the best book was kingdom of this world. It was a lot more interesting than the other two novels just in the way everything is laid out, the events that happen and its a lot more straight forward than 100 yrs of solitude which was just confusing as hell with 100's of different ways of looking at it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Span 365 McOndo

The various stories read are a lot different form the other books read. They feel more real, they deal with real life and have more basic and human themes, the most prominent of which is sex and relationships between people as well as life.

These stories being of a realistic nature seem a bit boring, but the different writing style and story telling makes up for the simplicity of the stories. The over all themes discussed in each of the stories are really of no interest to me and it was hard to pick out which random stories to read so I choose the shortest ones. There mostly about the mundane life's of the character and there intimate encounters with various women. Travel and moving around was also a prominent issue in a few of the stories. The realism is a bit refreshing compared to the other stuff we have read in this coarse as well as the brevity of each of the stories. The stories are all human stories in that they deal with human life and there sexual nature and gives us a gimps into some latin peoples life's.

Compared to the other books that we have read this book a lot more gritty and human, telling the life stories of each of the protagonists from different encounters all over the world with different women in He conosido a mucha gente to the traveling and preforming in La gente de latex. Each of the stories that I read are all a bit different but there major themes are sex and life.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Span 365 the 3 books

The three books that we have read have all been examples of magical realism and have all been historical in nature. The first book Legends of Guatemala is by far the most random of the 3 books as it had various legends in it, all about Guatemala. For the most part the legends described the history and beliefs of the maya and the history of the creation of the country and its belief system.

The second book and the easiest to read, Kingdom of this world which is also a history related book tells us about the freedom of the slaves in Haiti and the history that lead to the liberation. This short book was the best of the 3 book as it was very straight forward to read and easier to understand than the other two books. The simplicity to the story line and the language used in the text makes it easier to read as theres really no need for dictionaries or foot notes (stuff I never resort to anyways). The book doesn't really go into huge depths like 100 yrs of solitude so its a way better read and given the amount of time we had to read it made it I was able to understand it way better than 100 yrs.

The final book 100 yrs of solitude which is a long and tedious read. The book starts off strong in my mind and captivates the reader but withing 150 pages it becomes boring and drags on completely losing me out of sheer boredom and the need to read the rest in the least amount of time possible. This book is the history of the Buendia family and the town of Macondo; this follows the history nature of the 3 books we have read. This book really lost me with all the details and the long pages of apparent nothingness that was being said, rushing through the book really left me with a general understanding of the book but the depths and alternative meanings of the book where lost to me. So over all the was a boring bibliography of a family to me and really nothing I would ever want to read.

The 3 books being examples of magical realism seem to go from more magical in nature to more realistic as we progress from one book to the next. The first book is very magical talking about gods, magic and mysticism. The 2nd book employs a bit of magic but heavily relies on the realism of the slave revolution in Haiti. Finally the third book has a few magic elements but there very discreet this book is mostly realism even though its about a fictional town and family.

The similarity's between the books would be the the fact that there all historical, take place in Latin America and are mostly depressing or morbid.

I have no idea what to say about this but if I had to choose Kingdom of this world is my favorite of the 3 as I got the most out of it

Span 365 4 Marquez

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Span 365 4 Marquez

For starters I have to say that bloody hell this is one long carried out book that gets really boring from the beginning of the civil war up until the end of the rain fall. The book from the point of the civil war to the ending the three year rain fall seems like its a filler. It becomes very bland and boring and almost doesn't seem like its that important in respect to the rest. Both the civil war and banana company stages of the book seem to be very long and carried out which becomes agonizing to read.

This book is all over the place at all different points in time reflecting upon the characters past; but showing a steady progression from a small town in the middle of know where, into a small commerce town, the location of the rise and fall of the civil war, to the busy banana production town which is the peak of Macondos history. From this point on the town descends into nothingness a mas genocide leaves the town nearly vacant, followed by a flood that destroys everything and leaves the town in shambles and abandoned.

Although through out the book the most evident theme to me was progression as mentioned in the previous paragraph, many have mentioned the state of solitude that everyone ends up in as another prominent theme. Thinking of the book as a whole no one really ends up happy they all end up suffering in one way or another and end up in a state of solitude isolating them self's from the world; most being fully content in doing this such as Remedios that lived in her own world, or the General Buendia who once defeated had nothing to do or a care in life committed himself to be locked away fabricating little gold fish, to then melt down and preform the work over and over again till his death. So in reference to the title of 100 years of solitude, the lives of all these characters from the beginning of the book to the end all end in solitude; the 100 years is about the time frame that the book takes place in if we think about how old Ursula that is mentioned to be 115 at one point in the book. The 100 years of solitude is the Buendias family's curse no one in the family ends up happy they are cursed to solitude and appear to damn all those around them.

The book reads like its a family or towns bibliography or history from the time of foundation to there demise. in respect to the magical realism that is the core concept to this course this book seems to have its few magical moments but over all seems like its a history book.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Span 365 3 Marquez

I guess for starters I have to say that the last 113 pages where not as interesting as the first portion of the book. The whole civil war thing going on in the book is really boring and seems like its a filler just extending the story on further. Its not overly interesting and continues at a fast pace but not with really interesting stuff happening like the first portion of the book where the town was less civilized and unworldly.

In what I have read so far in the book it is quite apparent that the civilization of Macondo is evolving from a tiny town made up of a small group of people that all know each other and just enjoy life; into a town that is introduced to the outside world by the discovery of a path that takes two days to get to the outside world that brings more people, knowledge and commerce to Macondo. Then into a state of government ruler ship over the people with the introduction of the corrector and the soldiers; leading into the disputes over liberals and conservatives that incite the whole civil war tearing up the town leading to the death of many characters and a whole mess for the town. This leads me to believe that the most prominent theme in the book is progression as everything in the book seems to go from a simple state to a more complex one be it in the town itself or in the relationships the characters have.

Time is still all over the place in these 100 or so pages since the last entry which leads to more confusion in the book the characters dont seem to age even though it seems like so many years have passed and there is referencing to different periods of time from before int he book and from events that happened in other times. So the theme of time is still quite evident in this portion of the book but not so much as in the previous part.

I still cant figure out why this book is the most popular Latin book out there it has its moments but seems so bland right now from reading it almost as if the story should have ended around the 230ish mark there was something I read that seemed to read like it was the end with the execution that the book starts off with; instead we are put through the torture of reading many things about the civil war and other conquests. My only hopes are that the last 2 sections of this book are not as bland as this one has been because it took for ever to read along with everything for my biochem midterm.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Span 365 2 Marquez

This book so far has been an interesting and strange read. There so much happening in the book most of which seems quite random at the time its happening but some of which makes more scene as the book progresses. The book is similar to our previous book Reigno de este Mundo, in that its more historical in nature than magical. This book is a fact of fiction but it reads like a family history if that makes any scene. There doesnt seem to be to many magical element so far but the one that stood out the most would be the man that was converted into a snake for disobeying his parents on page 121.

The books is all over the place when it comes to time past, present and future. Doing this makes it a bit confusing at times because the story goes from talking about the present but the next chapter they jump into the past or the future making you read further, out of a desire to know what happens which is probably what makes this book so interesting to read. The constant changing of time and the speed than the story seems to be moving makes this book seem like a historical narration of the Buendia's family.

Theres just so much happening in this book and Marquez just keeps it fresh, different and interesting as the story progresses, although I haven't discovered the purpose to this book such as where the book is going with this story or what the action its leading up to yet so in my opinion nothing major has happened yet just a lot of side story's and the central story line of the development of the Buendia family.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Span 365 1 Marquez

From what I've gotten through the book is fairly interesting and the main character Jose Buendia seems like he's a bit gullible and a genius.

The book seems to fly through time incredibly fast which along with the description of there town and its surroundings creates a magical element to the book.
The town is hidden deep in the forest and is almost impenetrable and as they try and travel North they say theres no point in turning back because the vegetation grows back almost before there eyes; this makes the town appear mystical as its hidden from the rest of the world where the people in it are ignorant of the discoveries that have been found such as the earth being round. Only having the Gypsy's as a window to the outside world bringing in trinkets and tales from around the world.

The book appears to progress quite rapidly and just keeps you reading but so far theres really nothing major happening.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Span 365 Reflection so far

Well I'm not sure really how to address this but here it goes.

From the first book Legends of Guatemala we were introduced to the concept of magical realism although this first book seemed more magical with a light splash of realism if any. In contrast Reino de este mundo was a lot more realistic as it comes from Haiti's history but with a little magick in it in the form of shape-shifters (changing from human to other creatures) and the use of voodoo. So far magical realism just seems like regular story telling nothing overly special in my opinion compared to other books I've read in the past and its been a bit of read and forget although Carpentier's book kind of seems to stick to the mind more so than the first book which was for lack of better words boring.

Over all to me magical realism seems like most books trying to add a bit of magick to reality and alter it to be pleasing to the readers.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Span 365 2 Reino de este mundo

Well Reino de este mundo was a pretty good book that kept me reading which most books grow persistently boring but the effective combination of the history, realism and a little bit of magick made it entertaining.

My favorite part about the second half of this book would have to be the irony. They fraught to get rid of the the white people due to slavery but in the end, end up in a more morbid state of slavery where they were treated worse than before; forced to build the empire of there new black king, who's monarchy ended much in the same way as the white slave masters.

The magical realism is quite apparent in this book as it describes the historic revolution of Haiti against slavery and puts it in a magical form which helps mystifies the revolution. All the magick in this book can be explained as over exaggerations of the violent truth in this book.

It was a good and entertaining book which most likely has many other meanings than what I have grasped but thats what the class discussion is for so Im going back to studying biochem.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Span 365 1 Reino de este mundo

Well for starters this book is way more interesting than the legends of Guatemala and a lot easier to read, coupled with short chapters makes this book a delight to read.

Magical realism is quite evident in this book although it seams to be a lot more realistic than magical. But the element of mysticism and magick, such as the poison or Mackandal's ability to metamorphose into different creatures. On the realism side the book seem like it describes some of the slave history of Haiti and the way life was back then.

Over all I cant really say much about this book it seem s like a standard novel; although the chapters are incredibly small something I must say I love because it makes it easier to read a bit at a time.

There seems to be some either grammar mistakes in the book or it was just a different sentence structure used in older times I cant remember where in the book it was that I read the lines but it just didn't seem right.

I like what I've read so far but hopefully it becomes even more interesting.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Span 365 2 Asturias

Lo primero que diría de la segunda parte de Leyendas de Guatemala es que me recuerda de las obras de Shakespeare las cuales solo entiendo la mitad del tiempo. Los diálogos hacen que los cuentos sean difíciles de seguir o leer porque no están en forma de un cuento entonces las encuentro muy aburridos y confusos.

El uso de lenguaje es mas simple que en la primera mitad del libro, pero la segunda mitad siendo en forma de dialogo me dejo confundido había tanto que estaba pasando en los varios cuentos, los varios personajes y eventos que al fin me dejo pensando que ha pasado y que fue el punto de todo esto que he leído.

La primera mitad del libro aunque usaba lenguaje mas complicada y tenia muchas referencias indígenas que no entendía, era mucha mas simple de seguir y las disfrute mas que la segunda mitad cual me dejo rascando la cabeza tratando de descifrar la importancia de lo que leí.

Creo que esta obra siendo de una leyenda tiene que ver con la religión maya y explica la leyenda del dios del sol y de como se pasa de la mañana a la tarde después a la noche y de regreso al día. Pero encuentro todo esto un poco extraño y un poco caótico como Shakespeare. Entiendo que igual que la primera mitad del libro la segunda también es influido por la naturaleza y como toda la cultura de los indígenas era influida por su vista de la naturales. Pero aun estoy completamente confundido de cual es la tema de la segunda mitad.

Hay muchas personificaciones de animales, hay metáforas y visualizaciones que hacen que la segunda mitad sea interesante aunque aun es muy confuso.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Span 365 1 Asturias

The first half of the book legends of Guatemala seems to be a compilation of various magical legends which depict Guatemala's past.

The book can be viewed as a work of history or anthropology talking about the various cities and the sacrifices as mentioned in the first tale Guatemala as well as the way the natives were and their types of beliefs in the past. The various legends in this story talk about different beliefs they have in gods, sacrifices and nature and help us visualize what life must have been like in their time.

The book uses a lot of visualization in its depiction of nature and the way the natives lived in Guatemala. Nature seems to be a key component in almost all the tales; the use of so many descriptions and metaphors creates a vision of what the world Asturias is describing in these legends. A world where nature appears to be of the greatest importance and influences both the natives lives and mystical beliefs.

The legend I liked the most would have to be "Leyenda del Volcan" the co-existence with nature and the presence of only 6 people. 3 that could see in water and 3 that could see in the air, half sharing the land above and the other half sharing the land under the water. The depiction of a state of harmony with nature is what I like about this story. Near the end where the volcano ravages the land and water destroying everything is tragic and the flow of magma destroying everything in its path could also be viewed as a symbol of the destruction caused by the conquistadors when they came to Latin America.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010



Mi nombre es Matt.