Pedro Páramo


El Arbolito, by Josephine Sacabo

Surreal and beautifully written, this is one of the strangest and most fascinating stories I’ve read. It took a while to realize that almost everyone in Pedro Páramo, by Juan Rulfo, was dead. The dead talk to each other and to the living, constantly. Three different narrators and storylines interweave. You float in and out of reality and surreality as you read, and I found that if I simply gave myself over to the book and the language, and allowed the experience to happen, reading this book was beautiful, lyrical, amazing!

The photograph above, by Josephine Sacabo, was part of a series of photographs inspired by Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo. Her collection, called “The Unreachable World of Susana San Juan: Homage to Juan Rulfo,” is beautiful and haunting, and, for me, adds another dimension to my experience of the book.

I read this book for J.T.’s November Novella Challenge!

9 thoughts on “Pedro Páramo

  1. Robin Post author

    Jenclair, I loved discovering Sacabo’s work! It’s worth spending some time exploring her web site. She’s a wonderful artist!

    SFP, I’d like to read more of his work, too. This one was quite an incredible experience.

    Petunia, I agree! I keep going back to her web site and looking through her many photographs. They’re all amazing.

    Stacybuckeye, I don’t know about enchanting…because it’s quite a dark story…but it’s beautifully written and so unusual.


  2. raidergirl3

    It was probably one of the first magical realism books I read, and I .. just didn’t get it. It was like holding smoke – tantalizingly close to getting it, and then, poof, anther narrator or ghost or whatever would come along.

    I was trying to be very literal and it just didn’t work.
    I like reading that you got it, and what it was that I missed.


  3. Robin Post author

    Hi Raidergirl3. I don’t feel like I really “got it” either. But I was tired enough this week when I read it that I just gave myself over to it without expectations or analysis, and found it to be quite amazing reading it that way. I’m sure I’ll have to read it again to truly understand it.


  4. jorgeve

    This is our true masterwok. It’s the finest piece of mexican and latin-american literature. It was written years ago the term “realismo mágico” was invented as a way to promote a very very bad piece of work (I refer of course to Cien años de soledad, or One hundred years of solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez).

    There are other mexican writer who used to write like smoke (as raidergirl said). I’d recommend you the novels and tales by Elena Garro and René Avilés Fabila.



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