'Muchos Méxicos': widening the lens in Rulfo's cinematic texts

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Brennan, Dylan Joseph
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University College Cork
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It is difficult to overstate the importance of Juan Rulfo’s two major pieces of fictional narrative work—his haunting, enigmatic novel Pedro Páramo (1955) and his unrelenting depictions of the failures of post-revolutionary Mexico in his short story collection El Llano en llamas (1953). In her foreword to the Margaret Sayers Peden English translation, Susan Sontag hails Pedro Páramo as ‘not only one of the masterpieces of 20th Century world literature, but one of the most influential of the century’s books’. García Márquez has compared the influence of Rulfo on 20th Century world literature to that of Sophocles: ‘No son más de 300 páginas, pero son casi tantas y creo tan perdurables como las que conocemos de Sófocles’ and, completing this oftrepeated triumvirate of recommendations, Jorge Luis Borges has referred to Pedro Páramo as: ‘una de las mejores novelas de las literaturas de lengua hispánica, y aun de la literatura.’ Despite the praise heaped upon Rulfo’s two most famous books, when his third book of fiction, El gallo de oro y otros textos para cine, was finally published in 1980, just six years before his death, it was greeted with almost critical silence. It is precisely this publication that provides the focus of this investigation. The collection contains three texts—El despojo, La fórmula secreta and El gallo de oro. Constituting a third of the fictional work he published in his lifetime, expanding upon themes present in El Llano en llamas and Pedro Páramo while, at the same time, examining new ground, no thematic discussion of Rulfo’s written output is complete without including these texts. Yet they are frequently dismissed. In this way this investigation attempts to go some way towards filling this critical gap in the work of one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century
Rulfo , Film , Literature , Dylan Brennan , Mexican cinema , Hispanic studies , Mexican studies , Mexican literature
Brennan, D. J. 2015. 'Muchos Méxicos': widening the lens in Rulfo's cinematic texts. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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