The Latin American novel and short story from the second half of the twentieth century to the present day: Juan Rulfo
In the twentieth century Latin American narrative are two major guidelines relating to
worldview of the authors: the realistic and innovative, which reached its splendor with the works of the new
The break with traditional realism involved a challenge to the world perceived as real and
concept of probability, the work of Jorge Luis Borges and the influence of surrealism were fundamental
in this process of change.
In the decade of the forties, published a series of works that showed the change, but
final consecration did not come until the sixties. However, had previously written some
anticipated that this approach works as Mad Toy (1926), Robert Alt, or Not everyone is waking the
the eyes open, Macedonio Fernández.
In the new narrative different trends are observed, but particularly emphasized realism
magical, it incorporates wonderful and fantastic realism, which introduces the apparent normality
irrational, inexplicable, or that presents reality as a fiction, an illusion.
Within the range of the latest trends include three lines: literature testimonial
protest and complaint, which arises in the late seventies: If I may speak (1977) Domitila Neighborhoods
Chungara, the postmodern, which continues with the experimental techniques and the anti-realism:
Artificial Respiration (1980) of Ricardo Piglia, and the majority line, which shows a return to
realism, a style more accessible to the reader, the presence of humor and a preference for subjects such as love or
Feminism: Of Love and Shadows, Isabel Allende, Like Water for Chocolate, or Malinche by Laura Esquivel, The
Neruda's postman, I dreamed the snow burned or dancing the victory of Antonio Skarmeta.
New Latin American fiction was configured with its own thematic and formal features of a
In the thematic aspects can be highlighted certain constants:
1. The magic. The reason is not sufficient to account for reality. The stories incorporate magic
and wonderful as other parts of the real. What is extraordinary is not only permissible but common. This is the
line of magical realism.
2. Fantastic. One perceives a complex reality, messy, ambiguous, which is reflected well in
outbreak of the mysterious, the inexplicable or irrational in everyday life or in the creation of worlds
fiction in which there is speculation about reality and the possibility of knowing.
3. The human condition. It posed great problems of man in society
contemporary, rooted in the historical, social and physical in Latin America. Finding highlights
identity of the protagonists, symbolized sometimes travel by geographical or historical events
that have marked Latin American culture. The vision, in general, is rather pessimistic: predominate
fatalism and despair (Rulfo), defeat and unhappiness of the characters (Cortázar, Onetti) and
loneliness and the circularity of history (García Márquez).
4.La literature. The narrators in his works show a concern for literary creation and
present their views (Borges, Cortázar).
5. The humor. Has several expressions: the joke funny (Cabrera Infante), satire (Garcia
Marquez, Vargas Llosa) and the metaphysical or tragic humor (Borges, Cortázar).
6.The eroticism. Part of the human condition and appears related to the circumstances
social and cultural character, but in general, love is not a way out of trouble
From the perspective of discourse, we must highlight some features:
1. The narrator. The omniscient narrator gives way to the protagonist, a character or a witness, and occurs
the multiplicity of angles.
2. Time. It breaks through the temporal linearity of resources such as time reversal, the stories
interleaved parallel, temporary breaks or temporal chaos, which is obtained by combining all
procedures referred to together to sleep, memory and hallucination.
3. Language. Among the new narrators there is great concern about the linguistic development, by
prose rhythm and the use of images and suggestions, to the extent that there has been talk of a trend
Baroque style of these novels. The tendency to neologism, typical of Latin American Spanish, it becomes
literature on the invention of a language like gíglico Rayuela, by Julio Cortázar.
At the beginning of the new narrative was determining the influence of Surrealism, which questioned
the notion of reality of the time. The renovation was manifested primarily in two trends: realism
magical and fantastic realism.
Magical realism is a wonderful poetic integrates into the fictional universe without producing
strangeness or viewed as opposing or different from the real. It is the search for one's own reality through
nature, myth and history, to say the stamp of originality and uniqueness in the world American.
The writers who began the journey of magic realism were the Guatemalan Miguel Angel Asturias and
Cuban Alejo Carpentier.
The narrative introduces fantastic or extraordinary events that disturb the order inexplicable
everyday or create unreal worlds that delve into the enigma of existence. In the decade of the forties
emerged the undisputed master of the new narrators: the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges.
The idealistic conception of Jorge Luis Borges led him to build fictional worlds that question
logic of reality. His works are Ficciones, El Aleph, The Book of Sand, and other stories collected
in different publications.
Parallel to the contributions of the writers mentioned, big works that confirm the
search for new forms of expression. As an example we cite the short life of Juan Carlos Onetti, The
Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato, Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch, Three Trapped Tigers by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, The
Death of Artemio Cruz, Carlos Fuentes, La Ciudad y los Perros by Mario Vargas Llosa One Hundred Years of
Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, one of the masterpieces Hispanic, of which combines the best
technical elements that summarize the features of magic realism.
The emergence of Juan Rulfo in the literary scene provided confirmation of a new narrative.
Juan Rulfo (1918-1986). Born in Sayula town of Jalisco (Mexico), within a family
landowners ruined during the years of the revolution. Held various jobs before becoming
Editorial director of the Department of National Indigenous Institute.
His work is practically reduced to two books: El llano en llamas (1953) and Pedro Páramo (1955). He also published a
screenplay, The cock of gold and other material for film (1980).
The plain in flames together stories set in rural areas anticipated features of magic realism
Pedro Paramo. Rulfo using realistic techniques and incorporates the magical and mysterious vision of a desolate world. The
main issues are inevitable, misery, violence, death and guilt. Most stories are told
in first person and are characterized by their brevity. The language includes dialect and popular features
oral speech of peasants and brief statements in which the poetic bursts.
Pedro Páramo offers new features that make it a point of reference of the new narrative: structure
fragmentary temporal disorder, complexity and interrelatedness of narrative drawings stories.
The story revolves around a character, Pedro Páramo, dead in the time of the story. History
begins with the arrival of an illegitimate child Comala yours, Juan Preciado, who had never met. John is a
uninhabited village full of ghosts. Realizing that it is in a world of death, he dies
terror, while the dead narrate the events of life Comala in Pedro Páramo.
Pedro Páramo is presented in two ways: as a violent and ambitious chief, and as a lover
disconsolate Susana San Juan, all he has done in life was to get her, but she died. Also
in Comala two opposing realities: an ideal village, beautiful, remembered for the characters, and an infernal Comala in
ruins, which is reached Juan Preciado.
The novel incorporates aspects of the Mexican tradition of death, considered as a daily event, and
popular beliefs as those of the souls. This environment shows the loneliness and despair about
characters who never fail to realize their dreams. Neither do the promise of salvation religion
Christian characters are wandering in a world of death, the suffering, denying them the representative of
the Church, Father Renteria, the absolution of their sins.
Pedro Páramo's novelty lies in the treatment of time, which succeeds in creating a world where
that blend reality and fantasy. The novel, fragmented structure, superimposing different levels: the
Juan Preciado dialogue with Dorotea, in which the entry to Comala and sensations, and the interrelation of
stories covered by different narrators, who are often dead memories or hallucinations.
Juan Rulfo represented by his short work, the culmination of the novel of the Mexican Revolution. But
Rulfo's narrative intensity, its refinement of style and its ability to penetrate into the human cause
exceed the limitations of gender