Monday, April 14, 2008

final thoughts

I don't know why, but I completely forgot to do a last blog. Well, here it is now, better late than never, I guess.
All of the books we read in class had interesting premises, though the amount I enjoyed reading most of them was fairly low. Facundo made me bored to tears (though not literally) and I the Supreme was painful to push through. The President or Feast of the Goat were probably my favorites to read. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is just plain a good writer, though I know Feast wasn't his best work, either. The President was very interesting to me, because the style of it was very unique. It didn't simply complain about regimes, it took on the standpoint of many different people under the regime, and how the dictator system of government affects people psychologically. The Zany was really interesting and I thought it added a whole new layer to the Latin American dictator novel genre. Most authors just talk about how it affected them or the rich and well connected, this novel covered a broad spectrum, and was still saucy in its main relationships.
Facundo was just the most inapplicable for me, which is what I had trouble with. This isn't to say I don't feel for the plight of the political prisoner in exile, or anybody that has experienced the true injustice of a dictatorship, but the way in which most of Facundo was written was just dry as toast. My dad once said to me about his opinion on books, "books didn't start getting good until midway through the 20th century." My dad does tend to have black and white blanketing opinions that are often arguable, but generally there is some truth to them, and I think there is some truth to this opinion. There was a lot of dry, unrealistic language in older books, and a lot of self-indulgent writing because there wasn't just a demand for immediate entertainment. Facundo is a wonderful example of this.
All in all, this class wasn't so bad, but considering how many truly incredible Latin American authors and books are out there, a lot of the time concerning history, it would have been nice to read some more actually applicable, well-written Latin American books. But thank you, Jon, for your dedication and time and effort you put into this class, I enjoyed it overall.


Bessie said...

Yeah I agree with you, Facundo is not very applicable as Sarmiento wrote it in the 19th century and I found it very boring to read as well. Nonetheless, I think one could learn a lot about Argentine history from Facundo, especially Rosas dictatorship.

Erin said...

I agree. It is always hard for me to put myself in the world of the 19th century to relate with authors and their characters. It was especially difficult with Sarmiento, but it was an interesting challenge.

isabel-clase said...

while you forgot to your last blog, i forgot to comment on other's blogs! i agree with u as well...facundo was a little dry for my liking, while the president and the feast of the goat were a lot more enjoyable.