Saturday, April 4, 2009

Juan Rulfo

Congratulations to One Swede Read, who correctly guessed that Mexico's own Juan Rulfo (above, with pre-columbian friend) was the name of the author in this week's trivia contest! Rulfo (1917 or 1918-1986) is primarily famous for two works, his 1953 short story collection El llano en llamas (The Burning Plain) and his 1955 novel Pedro Páramo, but he's almost universally revered in Latin American literary circles for his contributions to the craft of writing. Jorge Luis Borges, for example, called Pedro Páramo one of the best novels ever written, and Gabriel García Márquez has claimed that reading that same novel helped him break the writer's block he was suffering early on in his own career--a breakthrough that would soon lead to the creation of García Márquez' own classic Cien años de soledad (100 Years of Solitude). Rulfo has lately begun to receive a lot of posthumous attention for his wonderful photography, and photographic compilations of his work are now available in both English and Spanish as well as online. The Prize: One Swede Read, please get in touch with me to claim your prize: a copy of El llano in llamas (The Burning Plain) or Pedro Páramo in either Spanish or English. One final note: OT host Bethany somehow managed to guess the author's identity on the very first day of the contest, but she took herself out of the running so that others could have a chance at the prize. How about a round of applause for her sportsmanship? Thanks to everybody who participated in the trivia contest--we'll do another one down the road if you thought it was fun!

A Spanish-language version of Rulfo's classics

An English version of the novel

One of Rulfo's more ethereal photographs: two dancers on a plain in Mexico

8 comments:

bethany said...

Richard, you are very sweet. I am looking forward to the next one! THANK YOU so much for doing this. Congrats to One Swede Read for winning!!

You all did an excellent job and made this so fun. Thanks for joining in, and make sure you check back for more fun stuff, and to follow the links to other OT blogger reviews.

Happy reading!

Emily said...

Wow, I'm indebted to this contest for solving an ongoing mystery that's been bothering me for years! I read "El llano en llamas" (the titular story, not the entire book) in a Latin American Lit class as a college freshman, and loved the vivid atmosphere but promptly forgot the title and author. I've been thinking of it off and on in the near-decade since, and wishing I could remember enough about it to figure out what it was. But when I saw the title on the blog here, it all came flooding back. It's always such a relief when nagging mysteries like that are solved. Thanks again! Now I'll have to go out and buy a copy, so I won't forget again.

One Swede Read said...

Awesome!! I'd like to thank the Academy.... Well, actually, the thanks goes to my old boss who gave me a copy of The Burning Plain a hundred years ago. :) I'll attack you on your website, Richard. Thanks for the great contest!!

Tea said...

Oh my! I love this photograph. He has captured the grace and joy of dance. Thank you.

tuulenhaiven said...

I just read a story by him, and I interlibrary loaned a collection of his photography. I'm excited to check it out.

(Link to my blog entry that talks about the story:http://tuulenhaiven.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/the-vintage-book-of-latin-american-stories/ )

Tea said...

I have put your Orbis Terrarum badge on my blog. I hope this is alright.

Richard said...

*Bethany: Belated thanks for the kind words. I'm glad people had some fun with this!

*Emily: That's a great story! Thanks so much for sharing it--hope you enjoy rereading Rulfo.

*One Swede Read: Props to you! Make sure you come back again to defend your trivia title!

*Tea: Glad you liked the photo--it was hard just picking one!

*Tuulenhaiven: Hope you like the photo collection. I enjoyed the Rulfo mini-review over at your own blog!

claire said...

Richard, what a wonderful thing to do! I should check in here more often. Congratulations, One Swede Read! And cheers to Bethany!