Desire and Limits for Intellectuals in Twentieth-Century Mexican Fiction
Chapter 1. Juan Ruflo as the “Author Function:”
Chapter 1 Juan Rulfo as the “Author Function:” Coopted Imagination of Mexicanness in Pedro Páramo Pedro Páramo (1955), the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo’s only published novel, has been perceived as one of the most influential works of Spanish American literature of the 1960s and the early 1970s, known as the Boom literature. i Both the eminent success of the novel at a domestic and international level and Rulfo’s status as a Boom writer have impelled scholars to scrutinize Rulfo’s single novel from multiple angles. Among numerous, exhaustive discussions on the novel, some critics have pointed out the resemblance between the Mexican novel and James Joyce’s and William Faulkner’s works, focusing on their modernist aesthetic narrative techniques as well as on the themes of human existence, condition, and psychology.ii Others have drawn attention to the blending of elements of Greek tragedy with the regional and rustic ambience.iii The studies which operate on a comparison of the Mexican novel to Western literature, usually, underscore a link between the novel and Western literature, positioning Pedro Páramo on the threshold of Western literature. iv For instance, Carlos Fuentes, in his study on major Boom writers, La nueva novela hispanoamericana, considers Pedro Páramo as a transitional novel from the Spanish American literary tradition of realist-naturalist, Juan Rulfo as the “Author Function” 18 documentary productions to a new beginning, underscoring the juxtaposition of the traditional and new aesthetic tendencies (14–16). Fuentes seems to claim this transformational moment from the old to...
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