The Fiction of Juan Rulfo

April 2012
190 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855662384
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Tamesis Books
BISAC LIT004100, LIT020000

The Fiction of Juan Rulfo

Irony, Revolution and Postcolonialism

Amit Thakkar

This is the first extended, English-language study to focus exclusively on the fiction of Juan Rulfo in over twenty years, analyzing a selection of short stories from Rulfo's collection and also two of the main characters of his masterpiece, Pedro Páramo.
This is the first extended, English-language study to focus exclusively on the fiction of Juan Rulfo in over twenty years. It contains innovative analyses of a selection of short stories from Rulfo's collection, El llano en llamas (1953). It also examines in great depth two of the main characters of Pedro Páramo (1955), Rulfo's masterpiece and only novel.
The book shows how Rulfo's works can be read as exercises in irony directed against the rhetoric of post-Revolutionary Mexican governments. It also demonstrates the relevance of certain legacies of colony in Rulfo's use of irony. Successive Mexican governments promoted a vision of post-Revolutionary society founded on specific notions of ethnicity, family, nation, education, religion and rural politics. The author combines examination of the speeches, images and newspaper articles which disseminated this vision with incisive literary analyses of Rulfo's work. These analyses are informed both by his original theory of irony, based on "internal" and "external" referents, and by existing postcolonial theories, particularly those of Homi K. Bhabha.

Amit Thakkar is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at Lancaster University.

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Table of Contents

Juan Rulfo and Fictional Irony
Centripetal Irony in 'Nos han dado la tierra' and 'El día del derrumbe'
Centrifugal Irony and 'La Unidad Nacional'
Ambivalence and the Crisis of the Mimic Man: Irony and Context in 'Luvina'
The Priest of Pedro Páramo:Fetishistic Stereotyping and Positive Iconography
Pedro Páramo: Irony and Caciquismo


The reader is captivated by Thakkar's exercise of close reading and his penetrating analysis of Rulfo's work against the discourse of the post-Revolutionary state in speeches, newspaper articles, essays and murals. Read against this background, Rulfo's words acquire an additional weight ... Thakkar's remarkable insight and scholarship render this book essential reading for anyone interested in deepening their understanding of Rulfo's works. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

This book is a very welcome addition to the existing body of criticism on Rulfo and an important reminder that 'literary, symbolic, universal' and 'non-literary, regional, context specific' readings are not mutually exclusive. BULLETIN OF SPANISH STUDIES

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