Span 365 reflection

Posted by: | April 18, 2010 | Comments Off

In the middle of Wiki edits and writing my paper I finally found a moment to give a brief reflection. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into Span 365. I have always had an interest in understanding what magical realism was about and figured it would be kind of interesting to get a chance to analyze and discuss the authors and their works. At first I found it a little intimidating to express my own thoughts about our readings because I wasn’t really sure where to begin. But as the term progressed I felt more comfortable about it. I had a better sense of direction in terms of what to look for and how to convey these interpretations via the ‘blog’ or in class. The course began with analyzing magical realism in stages and it was interesting to see the progression throughout the course examining it as it became more complex. My favorite book that we read is El reino de este mundo. It was my first time reading it and don’t think it will be my last. These novels allowed me to become exposed to Latin-American literature and I found this class made it an enjoyable and fun experience. Thanks Jon for making it a fun class and all the best to the entire class.

McOndo

Posted by: | April 18, 2010 | Comments Off

Although I have noticed some of the other bloggers in this course were surprised that a reading so different from the Magical realism genre included in the class, however I think that it was very important to read a work that reflects a broader and more inclusive type of Latin American litterarure. It would not be fair to stop at a certain time period and style and say this fully represents Latin American litterature, and I think that this is what the authors of McOndo have tried to voice. Most other styles of litterature from Latin America seem to have been overshadowed by Magical Realism and Garcia Marquez, causing an expectation for the Latin American author to produce works centering around magical realism.  This is why these authors, although they definitely respect GGM,  are trying to break away from this almost stereotypical genre. This breaking away is crucial to their careers as authors not because in order to write freely they must not be limited to a certain genra and constrained by its rules, which is furthermore slightly outdated for today’s modern world. Such a contraint would limit the authors’ creativity and imagination, and also not accurately reflect the modern points of view that the authors may have. A story, as we have seen, can be viewed very differently depending on the cultural background of the story-teller, therefore it would be unfair for all modern novels to onyl reflect a single, magical viewpoint of stories.

I thought that the title was very interesting, as the writers are trying to contrast with the classical (Macondo within the novel Cien Anos de Soledad), and showing the reader that there is more to Latin America than that. Since they demonstrate that Latin America is more similar to America in the present than the older genre of Magical Realism shows , the authors show that technology and the modern brands and problems of the american world are just as present in Latin America. I wondered wheather McOndo is supposed to have a connection to the brand name McDonalds at the same time in a play on the word Macondo in order to demonstrate the modernization of Latin American litterature. This use of Macondo and McOndo reflects a vast change in culture from the time when a very magically-oriented village of Macondo to the current world-wide cultural phenomenon of Mcdonalds. This world-wide aspect of Mcdonals is very interesting in this concept because Latin america used to be distinct from the world by its very distinct litterary genra of magical realism, just as the town of Macondo was alienated by from the rest of the world. The current McOndo title represents the drift of Latin American litterature and culture towards the more unified global modern-day culture in which the same technologies and brands appear allover the world. McOndo therefore represents the new modern Latin America that resembles the rest of the world, much like the Mcdonalds brand is present (in relatively identical form) allover the world: lLatin American Litterature is evolving with modernization and can relate to the experiences of everyone else in the world, not only to the traditional experiences of Magical Realism.

Final Reflections

Posted by: | April 17, 2010 | Comments Off

I very much enjoyed the format of the course, especially the Wikipedia project. I had no idea that it was so easy to edit an article on wikipedia and I am certainly glad that I have become more aware of how a tool that we use nearly everyday to look things up is formed. I will not hesitate in the future to edit an article if  I come across one that is missing information or not well referenced if it is within the range of my studies or interests. I have enjoyed becoming a more active member of wikipedia and communicating with other members of the community, especially the person who was in charge of helping our group get acquainted with wikipedia (EyeSerene) - who I thank for his or her help. I did not know that it was possible to communicate with others through wikipedia and that each page had so many different hidden facets (such as history and discussion pages), hence I feel that my experience with this tool has definitely changed and that I can get more out of it in the future, by asking questions for example.

One other part of the course that  enjoyed was the chronological order of the works which enabled me to see how the Latin American identity was changing throughout the years, from the very magically-oriented Leyendas de Guatemala to the very realist McOndo.

Overall, I had a very pleasant experience, although taking 5 courses, 4 of which in Spanish Litterature, has definitely strained my reading-time. I enjoyed sharing many classes with the same awesome  group of people, which i find is a pleasant touch of thespanish department, since classes are small and personal. I would like to thank my group members in particular for their fantastic work and research and excellent co-operation. To the many of you who are graduating this year,  I extend a great ig congradulations!!! I wish all of you a fantastic summer, and as I will be returning to UBC for graduate school in counselling psychology next year, I can also say see you around to those who are comming back in the fall.

Take care everyone!
~ Svetlana

Final Reflections

Posted by: | April 17, 2010 | Comments Off

I very much enjoyed the format of the course, especially the Wikipedia project. I had no idea that it was so easy to edit an article on wikipedia and I am certainly glad that I have become more aware of how a tool that we use nearly everyday to look things up is formed. I will not hesitate in the future to edit an article if  I come across one that is missing information or not well referenced if it is within the range of my studies or interests. I have enjoyed becoming a more active member of wikipedia and communicating with other members of the community, especially the person who was in charge of helping our group get acquainted with wikipedia (EyeSerene) - who I thank for his or her help. I did not know that it was possible to communicate with others through wikipedia and that each page had so many different hidden facets (such as history and discussion pages), hence I feel that my experience with this tool has definitely changed and that I can get more out of it in the future, by asking questions for example.

One other part of the course that  enjoyed was the chronological order of the works which enabled me to see how the Latin American identity was changing throughout the years, from the very magically-oriented Leyendas de Guatemala to the very realist McOndo.

Overall, I had a very pleasant experience, although taking 5 courses, 4 of which in Spanish Litterature, has definitely strained my reading-time. I enjoyed sharing many classes with the same awesome  group of people, which i find is a pleasant touch of thespanish department, since classes are small and personal. I would like to thank my group members in particular for their fantastic work and research and excellent co-operation. To the many of you who are graduating this year,  I extend a great ig congradulations!!! I wish all of you a fantastic summer, and as I will be returning to UBC for graduate school in counselling psychology next year, I can also say see you around to those who are comming back in the fall.

Take care everyone!
~ Svetlana

Asturias, Marquez, and Carpentier

Posted by: | April 17, 2010 | Comments Off

First of all I have  found that it was very interesting to experience the theme of identity in vary different ways throughout the books.
 
In El Reino de Este Mundo, for example, we have seen how Haitians have had to form a sense of national identity. At the beggining of hte novel, their identity was a mixture of the remains of their chilhood culture and of the identity imposed upon them by "los amos". Over the course of the book, everything from the economic order of the country to national identity had to be reformed, therefore it was interesting to ‘witness’ the formation of a national identity.

In Cien Anos de Soledad, however, we have seen how a town has lost, in a sense, its common identity. At the start of the novel, the town is united and comes together for example to watch the gypseies bring in fogeign artifacts (technologies); the excitment that is felt around these ‘showings’ as well as the sense of community within the town give it "spirit" in a sense. The town is full of magical beliefs which give it a sense of unique cultural identity and separates it – in a good way – from the rest of the world. Over the course of the novel we see how this good separation turns into alienation and solitude as technologies from the outside world begin to enter the town and the sense of magic, as well as the sense of community in the town dissipates and Macondo loses its "spirit".  In this case, the book does not take us through the creation of an identity as it does in El Reino de este Mundo but rather through the destruction of an identity.

In Leyendas de Guatemala, the sense of identity also appears. The theme of identity int his novel revolves around the meeting of two identities, especially in the Leyenda del Sombreron, for example. The anecdote in which the ball enters the religious world from the outside world can serve to symbolize the fact that once two identities are living together there is no way that they will not affect eachother, (eventually becoming intertwined) therefore overall the sense of identity in this novel can be expressed as the combination of two identities into a new, common one.

 

Gabriel Garcia Marquez 3

Posted by: | April 17, 2010 | Comments Off

The theme of death becomes quite apparent in this last section of the book as the Colonel Aureliano Buendia and Amaranta both pass away. These events seem to change the overall tone of the book as Macondo plunges into further darkness as sadness and solitude deeply affects each of its residents.

I thought it was very interesting that there may be a slight symbolic relation between Aramanta’s death and the loss of ‘innocence’ of the town of Macondo. Aramants dies with her chastity, and as her attribute of innocence dies with her, so does the town’s it seems. The people and the town lose their innocence through the increased appearance and acceptance of foreign technology that used to be strage to them. With the arrival of technology, their imagination and the concept of magical realism seems to fade. It is almost as though the arrival of technology makes the town loose a little of its spirit that it held through its ‘magical’ culture, and hence loose even more hope. the town is no longer so isolated and unique, and neither is its culture.

This loss of spirit or magical culture is also seen through the progrssion of Aureliano Buendia’s character, who in his youthwas the most imaginative character in the story who cared for feelings, whereas towards the end of the story he is detached from everyone else. I also found it interesting that although the characters become cold and distant there are relationships mentioned in this last section. I think that what differentiates these relationships from real closeness is the fact that they are mainly physical and do not serve for the most part for characters to be able to share and explore their feelings, hence no real closeness is established, and the feeling of emotional distance despite physical closeness is emphasized.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez 2

Posted by: | April 17, 2010 | Comments Off

Over the course of this book, I am finding very much repetition in terms of actions but more pronouncedly in terms of the Character’s names.

The family name Buendia repeats itself so much that it is making the reading quite difficult as all the characters are not very distinctive of eachother. This seems to be a deliberate attempt by the author to create a sense of cyclical patterns within the story: the misfortunes that happen to the characters seem to follow one another and their actions seem similar and equally unable to prevent misfortunes.

The concept of the passing of time s also quite cyclical in this novel, in the sense that Macondo seems to remain stuck at a certain point in time while events outside it, such as the war, are evolving. Not only is the town difficult to get to but also it seems isolated in terms of the news it recieves. For example, its residents were unaware that there was another town nearby, and refuse much of the modernization that is going on in the outside world. The town seems to get more and more secluded over the course of the book as residents town inward into solitude in order to cope with their misfortunes.

The idea of one hundred years of time is also quite interesting. Throughout the chapters of the book, there are vary different spans of time that are covered. Some days are delved into quite deeply whereas at times it seems as though quite a few years ave been glossed over slightly or skipped overall. This makes me think that perhaps the title of the book does not refer to actual lineal time as the exact quantitative passing of years is not emphmasized, if not widely ignored in the book therefore it may relate to how slow  time may feel when one is in solitude as the characters and the town are in the book.

Late, but done!

Posted by: | April 17, 2010 | Comments Off

I know that this post is very very very late, but I feel like it is better to do it now rather than never.

La clase me gusto mucho y este semestre se termino muy rapidamente. El libro favorito que habemos estudiado en clase fue Cien Anos de Soledad y tengo que decir que estoy muy contenta que esta vez pudo terminarle. La razon porque me gusto tanto es porque primero fue un desafio de leerlo y segundo porque hay tantas temas y symbolos en esta obra que se pueden analisar.
El final del libro es muy logico porque el autor signala el fin del ciculo de esta familia. Hemos dicho que la casa de los Buendias es como un muno ficticio donde se puede escapar del resto de la magia de Macondo. Me gusto mucho el hecho de que decimos en clase que la destruccion de Macondo fue inevitable porque fue una ciudad imaginaria, creada por la magia y como el libro debe terminar, Macondo tambien debe acabar. La pregunta a que respondemos en clase “Porque el libro acaba asi?”, me ayudo a comprender el final apocalyptico describido en este obra, y me di cuento del hecho de que el autor no espera que el lector se recuerda del pecado de cada uno de los personajes, pero de los pecados del colectivo de Macondo.

En conclusion, puedo decir que esta clase me ayudo a mejor comprender la nocion del realismo magico.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1

Posted by: | April 17, 2010 | Comments Off

This book being very famous it was definitely great to finally read it.

From the start of the book, I was reading with the notion of "magical realism" in the back of my mind as it has been a central theme in the course. I was very surprised with the way this theme presented itself in the book however. What I mean by this is that real objects that are mundane to us are presented in this book as magical. Ice, for example is one of the objects that are presented. It is spoken of as if it were an artifact with many magical properties and many unknowns. This seems odd because in the priod readings that which was presented as magical usually consisted of things that were foreign to the europeans. For example, in the Kingdom of tis World, the perspective through which the slaves see Mackandall’s fall into the fire as a flight  reflects a point of view that isunknown to the europeans. This perspective introduces the europeans to the point that there are other views out there than their own, and that even though they may not see these alternate views as correct, these alternate views do influence the thoughts and behaivours of those who believe them to the same degree as ‘reality’ would for the europeans. In this book, the reader is aware of what the object is however the characters are not. Therefore there is also a play on the different points of view int his novel. There is also some variance as to whom is correct and which view of reality will be taken as "true".
 

Ahora que hemos leido todo estos libros tenemos que compararles para ver las semejansas y las diferencias. Todas las tres incorporan el elemento del realismo magico y experimentan con la mezcla de lo real y lo fantastico. En mi opinion, el libro Leyendas de Guatemala incorpora los mas elementos fantasticos, como se ve en el caso de la leyenda Del Volcan y la Leyenda del Sombreron. El motivo porque vemos a tantos elementos magicos en estos cuentos es porque Asturias esta tratando de explicar la creacion de la nacion de Guatelmala en una manera que va a captivar la atencion de los lectores y que va a presentar a los guatemaltecos como eran son seres fuera de comun. Entonces, este libro construye un sentido de identidad en una comunidad con el uso de lo sobrenatural. Estos cuetos ficcionales presentan a Guatemala como un lugar de sueno y de la magia mas que un lugar real. Con las Leyendas de Guatemala, Asturias trata de mostrar el hecho de que la idea del realismo magico no es algo nuevo. Al contrario, esta metoda fue desrarollada por los indigenos.

Como se puede ver en Leyendas de Guatemala, El reino de este Mundo tiene como meta de distinguir entre el realismo magico de America Latina y el surealismo que existia en Europa. Como hemos visto en al libro de Asturias, Carpentier se enforca tambien en la voz del “underdog” (en el caso de Leyendas, entendimos la perspectiva de los conquistados). La obra nos habla no solo de la guerra y de la revolucion pero tambien de la poder la magia. . Este libro se enfoca mas en la relaciones de personajes concretos y la accion perece ser mas real que en Leyendas de Guatemala.

El tercer libro, Cien Anos de Soledad, es en mi opinion el que es lo mas real. Como El Reino de este Mundo, el autor se enfoca mucho en las relaciones entre la gente y tambien en la injusticia de la guerra. La presencia de la magia es obvia cada vez que se menciona a los gitanos o a la ciudad de Macondo. Se puede tambien decir que este libro construye a la ciudad ficticio de Macono como Leyendas de Guatemala construye al pays natal de Asturias.

Los libros mencionados tienen unas difencias en el estilo usado, pero todos los tres usan el realismo magico.


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