yesterday, today and tomorrow…love is entirely contained in everything

Posted by: | February 3, 2009 | Comments Off on yesterday, today and tomorrow…love is entirely contained in everything

Miguel Angel Asturias writes with what I consider a form of magical realism…Perhaps it might be called romantic surrealism. I’m not sure how to classify it or what his agenda or message is. I found the legends engaging because of the language and the imagery he was able to create in my mind. Overall though, I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening in my head. What I was reading felt like I was picturing a stream of disconnected dreams. Images of ancient cities, 19th century zocalos, Maya steleas, natural beauty and fantasy worlds went through my head. I really like the book 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and read similarities here, but I didn’t as much sense a narrative with Asturias. I couldn’t help wondering what a Maya person would think reading these ‘legends.’ Would different images with symbolism pop out to them?
One common theme that seemed to come up was ideas about the past, present and future. The singing tablets legend included the line, “by speaking, I make the present, by keeping silent, I make the past, and by speaking in my sleep, I make the future” (85). The Legend of the Dancing Butchers contains the line, “This woman has yesterday in her ears, the present inher mouth, and the future in her eyes…” (117), as wel as, “the intact body of the one who in life had ears which heard rumors of yesterdays, ember lips which ignited the present, and eyes filled with divinations of the future” (126). These lines indicate some sense of continuity to me, but I question what his agenda is in perpetuating this concept. Does he acknowledge the Maya present through time?
Part of what seems a part of Latin American culture, as demonstrated by these reading is the idea of the parable, legend or story. Either as a form of oral history, as a means to convey morality or social norms, or for entertainment. There are probably other functions of these kinds of pieces but I don’t know yet what they might be. The Pongo’s Dream made me evil laugh in my head…It’s nice to see an underdog overcome the big dog…Strong moral implications in that story as well.


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