Sunday, January 10, 2010

Span 365. Asturias

I found this text somewhat difficult to read because of my level of comprehension in combination with the remarkable use of language of Asturias. I believe I got the gist of most of the legends, however, I feel I cannot fully appreciate their value as Asturias seems to be amazing in his choice of words, along with the use of literary devices. To me, the language used to recount the legends seems almost poetic in nature, which is very interesting because I believe that poetry was an important and respected art in Mayan culture. As such, the text itself emphasizes aspects of Mayan culture with its rich use of language. I found the manner in which Asturias describes things very interesting. For example, I really enjoyed Asturias’ description of the tree and time in the phrase, “El árbol que cuenta los años de cuatrocientos días por las lunas que ha visto,” (41). It seems like such an interesting and poetic way to describe time.

I also found it very interesting that the introductory letter emphasizes the power of the language contained within the text. Paul Valery makes it seem as if Asturias’ words are filled with some type of narcotic that has the power to take you to another world. Although the introductory letter steers away from the historical aspect of the text, I found it extremely interesting that Asturias included an appendix to explain many of the terms used throughout the legends. Although many of the terms are not common, to me, the appendix almost mirrors the type found in most history books. Not only does it help explain the legends, it is almost as if the appendix strengthens their credibility making them historically important.

I believe I will have to read this text a few more times to fully appreciate the linguistic skill of Asturias. I really enjoyed these legends, especially the wonderful use of language used throughout the text. I am looking forward to reading the second half of the book.

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