Pedro Páramo

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Pedro Páramo [Ebook] ➩ Pedro Páramo Author Juan Rulfo – Polishdarling.co.uk بيدرو بارّامو كتاب ليس من السهل الإمساك به، كتاب غزير لا ينضب معينه، إنه رحلة غير مألوفة يقاد إليها القارئ من بيدرو بارّامو كتاب ليس من السهل الإمساك به، كتاب غزير لا ينضب معينه، إنه رحلة غير مألوفة يقاد إليها القارئ من يده عبر روح خوان بريثيادو الطيبة إلى أعماق البديهة، وليست جميع الرحلات إلى كومالا متشابهة دائماً، ولا تتكشف فـيها الأركان ذاتها لجميع الزوار لذلك فإنه من الصبيانية التزام تفسير واحد لـبيدرو بارّامو.


10 thoughts on “Pedro Páramo

  1. s.penkevich s.penkevich says:

    ‘The sun was tumbling over things, giving them form once again. The ruined, sterile earth lay before him.’

    There are passages of Juan Rulfo’s exquisite ‘Pedro Páramo’ that I want to cut out and hang upon my walls like a valuable painting. Because that is what this novel is, a purely beautiful surrealistic painting of a hellish Mexico where words are the brushstrokes and the ghastly, ghostly tone is the color palate. Rulfo’s short tale is an utter masterpiece, and the forerunner of magical realism¹—a dark swirling fog of surrealism and horror that is both simple and weightless, yet weighs heavy like an unpardonable sin upon the readers heart and soul.

    Nights around here are filled with ghosts. You should see all the spirits walking through the streets. As soon as it is dark they begin to come out. No one likes to see them. There’s so many of them and so few of us that we don’t even make the effort to pray for them anymore, to help them out of their purgatory. We don’t have enough prayers to go around…Then there are our sins on top of theirs. None of us still living is in God’s grace. We can’t lift up our eyes, because they’re filled with shame.
    When Juan Preciado visit’s his mother’s home of Comala to his father, the long deceased and ‘pure bile’ of a man, Pedro Páramo, he finds a town of rot and decay filled with ghosts, both figuratively and literally. This is a place of utter damnation, where the sins of a family are so strong that their bloodstained hands have tainted and tarnished the immortal souls of all they come in contact with, leaving in their wake a trail of withered, writhing spirits condemned to forever inhabit their hellish homes. There is nothing pleasant—aside from the intense, striking poetry of Rulfo’s words—to be found in the history of Comala, a town burdened by a list of sins so long and dark that even the preacher’s soul cannot escape from the vile vortex.
    Life is hard as it is. The only thing that keeps you going is the hope that when you die you’ll be lifted off this mortal coil; but when they close one door to you and the only one left open is the door to Hell, you’re better off not being born…
    This violent, vitriolic landscape forges an unforgettable portrait of Rulfo’s Mexico, eternally encapsulating his vision into the glorious dimensions of myth. The small novel reads like a bedtime story meant to instill good morality in children through fear, while still enchanting their mind’s eye with a disintegrating stage furnished by crumbling, cadaverous buildings and populated by doomed phantoms. His style is phenomenal, effortlessly swapping between past and present, character to character, all in order to build a montage of madness and damnation.

    Rulfo’s book is easily digested in a sitting or two, yet will nourish (or cling like a parasite to) your literary soul for an eternity. A dazzling surrealism coupled with a simple, yet potent prose make this an unforgettable classic, and one that has inspired many great authors since its first printing. A hellish portrait of society, brilliantly incorporating political events to help illustrate an abominable image of the dark side of Mexican history, Rulfo immortalizes himself and his homeland into myth and legend. A must read that will haunt you like the pale specters whose voices echo forever in the streets of Comala.
    4.5/5

    ‘This town is filled with echoes. It's like they were trapped behind the walls, or beneath the cobblestones. When you walk you feel like someone's behind you, stepping in your footsteps. You hear rustlings. And people laughing. Laughter that sounds used up. And voices worn away by the years.’

    ¹ Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, who once said of Rulfo’s novel ‘I could recite the whole book, forwards and backwards,’ (Rediscovering Pedro Páramo), credits the book as playing a major chord of inspiration in his brand of ‘magical realism’.


  2. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Pedro Páramo = Pedro Paramo (1955), Juan Rulfo
    Pedro Paramo is a novel written by Juan Rulfo about a man named Juan Preciado who travels to his recently deceased mother's hometown, Comala, to find his father, only to come across a literal ghost town─populated, that is, by spectral figures. Paramo was a key influence on Latin American writers such as Gabriel García Márquez. Gabriel García Márquez has said that he felt blocked as a novelist after writing his first four books and that it was only his life-changing discovery of Pedro Páramo in 1961 that opened his way to the composition of his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Moreover, García Márquez claimed that he could recite the whole book, forwards and backwards. Jorge Luis Borges considered Pedro Paramo to be one of the greatest texts written in any language. Pedro Paramo has been translated into more than 30 different languages and the English version has sold more than a million copies in the United States.
    تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانزدهم ماه 1990 میلادی
    عنوان: پدرو پارامو؛ نویسنده: خوان رولفو؛ مترجم: احمد گلشیری؛ چاپ نخست: تهران، کتاب تهران، 1363؛ در 133 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: اصفهان، نشر فردا، 1371؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان مکزیکی - سده 20 م
    عنوان: پدرو پارامو؛ نویسنده: خوان رولفو؛ مترجم: کیومرث پارسای؛ تهران، چلچله، 1395؛ در 176 ص؛ شابک: 9789649027081؛
    عنوان: پدرو پارامو؛ نویسنده: خوان رولفو؛ مترجم: کاوه میرعباسی؛ تهران، ماهی، 1395؛ در 176 ص؛ شابک: 9789649042091؛
    در داستان «پدرو پارامو»، مردی بنا بر وصیت مادرش، در جستجوی ردی از پدر هرگز ندیده ی خویش «پدرو پارامو» راهی سفر میشود؛ پدری که زندگی اش، همانند محتویات صندوق «پاندورا»ست. مقصد سفر، جایی به نام «کومالا»؛ دهکده ای متروک است، که ارواح ساکنان سابقش، در آنجا در گشت و گذار هستند، شاید با تکیه بر همین برهان ـ و به تناسب آشفتگیهای عالم ارواح ـ است، که نویسنده، شیوه ی روایت عجیب و پیچیده ای را برای نگارش داستان خویش برگزیده؛ شیوه ای که باعث میشود خوانشگر در جای جای داستان نه چندان بلند، چندین بار با دیگر شدن موضوع، راوی، و زمان روبرو شود. ا. شربیانی


  3. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    “She [your mother] told me you were coming. She said you’d arrive today.”
    “My mother…my mother is dead.”
    “Oh, then that’s why her voice sounded so weak.”

    This book, really a novella (120 pages), is a Mexican classic, an early example of magical realism. It’s original, startling, unique. According to Wikipedia Gabriel García Márquez has said that he felt blocked as a novelist after writing his first four books and that it was only his life-changing discovery of Pedro Páramo in 1961 that opened his way to the composition of his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Jorge Luis Borges considered Pedro Páramo to be one of the greatest texts written in any language.

    description

    A man’s mother dies and he promised her on her death bed that he would go back to her village to meet his father, Don Pedro, whom he has never met. Near the village he meets a man who tells him Pedro was his father too and that “He’s hate. He’s just pure hate.”

    The god-forsaken village is dead or dying and it’s filled with ghosts. Maybe a few are real people, but most are ghosts.

    “The village is full of echoes. Perhaps they got trapped in the hollow of the walls, or under the stones. When you walk in the street you can hear other footsteps, and rustling noises, and laughter. Old laughter, as if it were tired of laughing by now. And voices worn out with use. You can hear all this. I think someday these sounds will die away.”

    It’s hard to keep track of who is who and who is alive. Maybe they are all dead. Perhaps this is purgatory because there is a lot of talk of the priest, confessions, and waiting for sins to be forgiven. “Can’t you see my sins? Can’t you see those purple stains, like impetigo? And that’s only on the outside. Inside I’m a sea of mud.”

    The noises that the ghosts hear are constant and Stephen-Kingish: screams, animals, men banging on doors with guns.

    description

    A very short book, well-worth a read and quite a trip.

    Catorce, a Mexican ghost town from dailymail.co.uk
    Photo of the author (1917-1986) from notimerica.com








  4. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    Juan Rulfo was one of those who stood at the beginning of magic realism.
    Pedro Páramo is a descent into the hell of human memory, a plunge into an abyss of the dire past – the hero travels to find his father but he finds himself astray in the land of the dead.

    Behind him, as he left, he heard the murmuring.
    I am lying in the same bed where my mother died so long ago; on the same mattress, beneath the same black wool coverlet she wrapped us in to sleep. I slept beside her, her little girl, in the special place she made for me in her arms.
    I think I can still feel the calm rhythm of her breathing; the palpitations and sighs that soothed my sleep... I think I feel the pain of her death... But that isn't true.
    Here I lie, flat on my back, hoping to forget my loneliness by remembering those times.
    Because I am not here just for a while. And I am not in my mother's bed but in a black box like the ones for burying the dead. Because I am dead.

    The novel is the Gehenna of despair and the Tartarus of sorrow and there is nowhere to hide so one must pass through the labyrinth of insufferable agony.
    Destiny makes us travel though the strange valleys…


  5. WILLIAM2 WILLIAM2 says:

    Second reading. Surprisingly readable prose for such a dense and multi-layered story. A young man follows his mother's dying wish to return to the village of her birth and make Pedro Páramo, the young man's father, pay for the abandonment of his family. What follows is something like Dante's descent into hell as the young man, Juan Preciado, and his Virgil, a burro-driver named Abundio — also a son of Páramo — make their way down the long road to the village. The village of the mother's youth is now a ghost town in which the living and the dead meet freely. What we might call the present action is rendered in the first-person voice of Juan Preciado. Spasmodically then the prose will switch to a third-person narration of life in the village long ago. The Páramos are a murderous bunch of thieves who take what they want, including the young women, who are always inexplicably grateful for being knocked up by them. Once we've switched to the third-person voice and back a few times, we begin to get a number of other first-person voices from those who once lived in the village. But don't let this put you off, for despite the multiple voices and a few touches of surrealism the book's not at all difficult for those who read attentively. (Susan Sontag introduces the text with a bit of well-earned praise and an explanation of how influential Pedro Páramo has been among Latin-American writers.) I suppose my favorite sequence is when those buried in the local graveyard listen to each other and comment on what is being said! Superficially, the novella seems close to Machado de Assis's own worthwhile The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, but that's an acerbic comedy compared to this piece of profound gravitas. Not to be missed.


  6. Fionnuala Fionnuala says:

    People often talk about 'Before and After', as in before something momentous happens and after it has happened.

    There's a 'Before and After' in this book, and though the transition between the two happens from one moment to the next, there's an immeasurable distance between them in everything except time. I think of that distance as the distance between the town of Colima and the town of Comala, both real places in Mexico.

    When his mother dies, Juan Preciado sets out from his home in Colima to find his father, Pedro Páramo, in Comala. As he approaches Comala, he meets a man called Abundio at a crossroads called Los Encuentros. That well-named crossroads marks the transition from Before to After.

    After, for Juan Preciado, is when 'from one moment to the next' no longer exists, all moments are now concurrent, and all places have disappeared except Comala. There is no more Time and no more Distance. There is only Comala.

    As I read about Pedro Páramo and Juan Preciado, and Susana San Juan and her Florencio, and Abundio Martinez and his Cuca, and Eduviges and Dolorita, and Damiana and Dorotea, and Father Rentería and Ana, and Miguel Páramo and El Colorado, the words seemed to shift about on the bright white page, replacing and repeating each other, scattering and reforming like birds in the evening until finally disappearing, taking their meaning with them.

    Then I'd turn the blue-shadowed page and the words would be back in their bright white places, and I'd keep turning pages until once again, the words would fade into the blue shadows and disappear. I became so used to this pattern that when there were no more pages left to turn, I went back to the beginning and started the bright white pages all over again, watching now for the moments when the words would take off like birds at evening, and following along behind them.

    I'd learned how to read Pedro Páramo.

    There is a Before and After in my reading life. Before I read Pedro Páramo and after I read Pedro Páramo


  7. Fabian Fabian says:

    A complete panorama composed of mood & atmosphere, Pedro Paramo came highly recommended by Mario Vargas Llosa in his Letters to a Young Novelist aka the writer's own poetics. I must say that I had some difficulty with the Spanish at first; it took me longer to get through the short book than I intended. The different vignettes come together to form the corpus of the awful man, brutal rancher, sadistic ladies man, Pedro Paramo (like different POVs coalesce in Mrs. Dalloway to describe & embody the actual character).

    Certainly its an exercise in style. Like Hitchcock's famous Psycho shower scene in which the protagonist meets her demise halfway through the story, this one has a voice which talks from beyond the grave. All the different anecdotes, colors, and feelings mesh in the end, & it is assumed that the different ghosts of the tragically-tainted town all have their say. Here's a conglomeration of different voices and stories, of different experiences throughout time, through life & death. Authentic & extraordinarily unique.


  8. Agnieszka Agnieszka says:


    This town is filled with echoes. It's like they were trapped behind the walls, or beneath the cobblestones. When you walk you feel like someone's behind you, stepping in your footsteps.

    Juan Preciado promises his dying mother to travel to her home village Comala to visit his father, the title Pedro Páramo, and claim what’s theirs. This is the starting point of the novel. So he sets off but Comala from his mother’s tales is quite a different thing. Today it is a dead town, where ghosts of the past remind only of defeats and failures. Though it is not a silent place at all. In each house, on every square you may hear whispers and lamenting. Over bygone times, unrequited loves and hardships falling on its inhabitants. At times it reminded me Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano with its chaotic narration and deliric voices.

    I’ve read quite a number novels from Ibero-American writers but somehow Juan Rulfo did escape my attention earlier. And it was probably him who started all this glorious parade of Latin-American authors. Gabriel Garcia Marquez claimed to know the novel by heart and maintained that his iconic today One Hundred Years of Solitude was strongly influenced by Pedro Páramo. And I can believe why. But there when GGM or Vargas Llosa or Fuentes are ornate, baroque even Juan Rulfo’s style feels quite restricted, with no trace of almost proverbial floweriness so representative for Latin culture and life.

    I’m not good at Mexican literaure and culture but I guess it’s still full of such Pedro Páramos, men who because they want to or simply can, reach for lands of their neighbours, their wives and daughters, and if it’s not enough for their lives too. Pedro Páramo ingeniously combines historical facts with local beliefs and mythology. But it’s more than that. The novel is foremost the feeling reader is left with, it’s ambience, it’s desolate, desertic landscape. And stories of people long gone, told in kind of stream of consciousness though at times it’s hard to say who’s talking at the moment. It's nonlinear structure that resembles rather hallucinatory dream than neat narrative.


  9. Garima Garima says:


    . . . I watched the trickles glinting in the lightning flashes, and every breath I breathed, I sighed. And every thought I thought was of you, Susana.

    Like a message in the bottle, some stories float through decades and centuries on the endless ocean of an untold past and bear a timeless appeal by echoing few words of eternal desires – Wish you were here. Pedro Paramo is one such story. Surrounded by an iridescence of magical realism, the wonders of this gorgeous little book can’t truly be captured in the few sentences of English language probably because Juan Rulfo penned his only novel in the language of a different world and obliged us a glimpse of that world through his words.

    The moon had risen briefly and then slipped out of sight. It was one of those sad moons that no one looks at or pays attention to. It had hung there a while, misshapen, not shedding any light, and then gone to hide behind the hills.

    It recounts the tale of a fateful Mexican village where the line of past and present, death and life, hate and love is merged into creating a hazy phantasmagoria that doesn’t demand to be understood but rather immersed in its flow of haunting yet mesmerizing narration. A full circle of loss and search by exploring the dynamics of human memories on hearing the faint sounds of phantom voices is impeccably drawn by Juan Rulfo through his understated and lucid prose. Highly recommended as a perfect reading companion for a short and memorable meeting.


  10. Stephen P Stephen P says:





    Spoken as a literary dream this grim tale bordering the fine line of fable switches past and present, points of view, with whispered elegance. Images are presented out of swirls of dust and cloud myth, tale and hallucination, revealing the cutthroat lives of existence.

    I just finished Knausgaard's, My Struggle #1 and #2 wouldn't arrive for two days. Unable to be without reading a book I picked the slimmest off my shelves in my library. Even being a slow reader 124 pages could be finished in two days. It opened an apocalyptic future vision of books being sold by the pound in a butcher shop.

    Beginning to read I was shocked by what I had in my hands. Please think of this as a provisional review having slipped from the nest prematurely. I wish I had Rulpho's artistic genius to pare and mold this review into what it need to be. Lacking such I will re-read this maybe a couple of times, adding to or subtracting from this review while asking for your patience.

    Juan Preciado is asked by his dying mother to find a man named Pedro Parama in Comala and receive the money owed them for his disinteredness and their need to abandon him in the past. Pedro has been dead for some time. The town of Comala appears abandoned, desecrated, stuck in dust and decay. Juan finds it cared for spiritually by a lapsed priest and the legends of the amoral ruling Paramo family. The citizenry are souls, those already dead but looking for someone alive who has not sinned or one who has been forgiven and can pray for them, their release. The priest does not meet these parameters, neither do the flitting shadows still remaining. There is no one to lift these souls further. The line between the living and dead has been calcified. Juan has found history, myth, hallucinations, and the unsettled bone dust of death. He has stumbled upon life on earth, a living death of sinners where there are no forgiven left to pray for the wandering souls. We live a life of limbo.

    Rulfo worked on this, his only novel, over some time having written much then lifted an angel's scythe and lessened it to its essence. This story seems to tell itself. It conveys what it wishes to say without any apparent intrusion by Rulfo. Earning his wages through non-literary means, he sold tires, had a family, wrote and listened to music at night, writing his grand novel. As Michelangelo, he spent much time paring down the white marble to find the essence of the art within. The natural flow of the spare beauty of his words make the unnatural natural, and sets a tone and mood that places our readerly mind within the literature of dream yet laden with meaning.

    Paring down must be one of the more difficult pursuits of an author. Yet when years later Rulfo placed his scalpel onto the tabletop and looked before him, tears must have flooded his eyes. This is a book that lives beyond the limits of category, precursor, movements spawned. It belongs to the few books, and please do not shoot the messenger, that when you die, and you will, you will want to know this is a book you read and experienced. This will not be due to fame, popularity, but because it speaks of the swirled dust midair and all that cannot be said. Please read this book for your own soul.


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10 thoughts on “Pedro Páramo

  1. s.penkevich s.penkevich says:

    ‘The sun was tumbling over things, giving them form once again. The ruined, sterile earth lay before him.’

    There are passages of Juan Rulfo’s exquisite ‘Pedro Páramo’ that I want to cut out and hang upon my walls like a valuable painting. Because that is what this novel is, a purely beautiful surrealistic painting of a hellish Mexico where words are the brushstrokes and the ghastly, ghostly tone is the color palate. Rulfo’s short tale is an utter masterpiece, and the forerunner of magical realism¹—a dark swirling fog of surrealism and horror that is both simple and weightless, yet weighs heavy like an unpardonable sin upon the readers heart and soul.

    Nights around here are filled with ghosts. You should see all the spirits walking through the streets. As soon as it is dark they begin to come out. No one likes to see them. There’s so many of them and so few of us that we don’t even make the effort to pray for them anymore, to help them out of their purgatory. We don’t have enough prayers to go around…Then there are our sins on top of theirs. None of us still living is in God’s grace. We can’t lift up our eyes, because they’re filled with shame.
    When Juan Preciado visit’s his mother’s home of Comala to his father, the long deceased and ‘pure bile’ of a man, Pedro Páramo, he finds a town of rot and decay filled with ghosts, both figuratively and literally. This is a place of utter damnation, where the sins of a family are so strong that their bloodstained hands have tainted and tarnished the immortal souls of all they come in contact with, leaving in their wake a trail of withered, writhing spirits condemned to forever inhabit their hellish homes. There is nothing pleasant—aside from the intense, striking poetry of Rulfo’s words—to be found in the history of Comala, a town burdened by a list of sins so long and dark that even the preacher’s soul cannot escape from the vile vortex.
    Life is hard as it is. The only thing that keeps you going is the hope that when you die you’ll be lifted off this mortal coil; but when they close one door to you and the only one left open is the door to Hell, you’re better off not being born…
    This violent, vitriolic landscape forges an unforgettable portrait of Rulfo’s Mexico, eternally encapsulating his vision into the glorious dimensions of myth. The small novel reads like a bedtime story meant to instill good morality in children through fear, while still enchanting their mind’s eye with a disintegrating stage furnished by crumbling, cadaverous buildings and populated by doomed phantoms. His style is phenomenal, effortlessly swapping between past and present, character to character, all in order to build a montage of madness and damnation.

    Rulfo’s book is easily digested in a sitting or two, yet will nourish (or cling like a parasite to) your literary soul for an eternity. A dazzling surrealism coupled with a simple, yet potent prose make this an unforgettable classic, and one that has inspired many great authors since its first printing. A hellish portrait of society, brilliantly incorporating political events to help illustrate an abominable image of the dark side of Mexican history, Rulfo immortalizes himself and his homeland into myth and legend. A must read that will haunt you like the pale specters whose voices echo forever in the streets of Comala.
    4.5/5

    ‘This town is filled with echoes. It's like they were trapped behind the walls, or beneath the cobblestones. When you walk you feel like someone's behind you, stepping in your footsteps. You hear rustlings. And people laughing. Laughter that sounds used up. And voices worn away by the years.’

    ¹ Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, who once said of Rulfo’s novel ‘I could recite the whole book, forwards and backwards,’ (Rediscovering Pedro Páramo), credits the book as playing a major chord of inspiration in his brand of ‘magical realism’.


  2. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    Pedro Páramo = Pedro Paramo (1955), Juan Rulfo
    Pedro Paramo is a novel written by Juan Rulfo about a man named Juan Preciado who travels to his recently deceased mother's hometown, Comala, to find his father, only to come across a literal ghost town─populated, that is, by spectral figures. Paramo was a key influence on Latin American writers such as Gabriel García Márquez. Gabriel García Márquez has said that he felt blocked as a novelist after writing his first four books and that it was only his life-changing discovery of Pedro Páramo in 1961 that opened his way to the composition of his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Moreover, García Márquez claimed that he could recite the whole book, forwards and backwards. Jorge Luis Borges considered Pedro Paramo to be one of the greatest texts written in any language. Pedro Paramo has been translated into more than 30 different languages and the English version has sold more than a million copies in the United States.
    تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانزدهم ماه 1990 میلادی
    عنوان: پدرو پارامو؛ نویسنده: خوان رولفو؛ مترجم: احمد گلشیری؛ چاپ نخست: تهران، کتاب تهران، 1363؛ در 133 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: اصفهان، نشر فردا، 1371؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان مکزیکی - سده 20 م
    عنوان: پدرو پارامو؛ نویسنده: خوان رولفو؛ مترجم: کیومرث پارسای؛ تهران، چلچله، 1395؛ در 176 ص؛ شابک: 9789649027081؛
    عنوان: پدرو پارامو؛ نویسنده: خوان رولفو؛ مترجم: کاوه میرعباسی؛ تهران، ماهی، 1395؛ در 176 ص؛ شابک: 9789649042091؛
    در داستان «پدرو پارامو»، مردی بنا بر وصیت مادرش، در جستجوی ردی از پدر هرگز ندیده ی خویش «پدرو پارامو» راهی سفر میشود؛ پدری که زندگی اش، همانند محتویات صندوق «پاندورا»ست. مقصد سفر، جایی به نام «کومالا»؛ دهکده ای متروک است، که ارواح ساکنان سابقش، در آنجا در گشت و گذار هستند، شاید با تکیه بر همین برهان ـ و به تناسب آشفتگیهای عالم ارواح ـ است، که نویسنده، شیوه ی روایت عجیب و پیچیده ای را برای نگارش داستان خویش برگزیده؛ شیوه ای که باعث میشود خوانشگر در جای جای داستان نه چندان بلند، چندین بار با دیگر شدن موضوع، راوی، و زمان روبرو شود. ا. شربیانی


  3. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    “She [your mother] told me you were coming. She said you’d arrive today.”
    “My mother…my mother is dead.”
    “Oh, then that’s why her voice sounded so weak.”

    This book, really a novella (120 pages), is a Mexican classic, an early example of magical realism. It’s original, startling, unique. According to Wikipedia Gabriel García Márquez has said that he felt blocked as a novelist after writing his first four books and that it was only his life-changing discovery of Pedro Páramo in 1961 that opened his way to the composition of his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Jorge Luis Borges considered Pedro Páramo to be one of the greatest texts written in any language.

    description

    A man’s mother dies and he promised her on her death bed that he would go back to her village to meet his father, Don Pedro, whom he has never met. Near the village he meets a man who tells him Pedro was his father too and that “He’s hate. He’s just pure hate.”

    The god-forsaken village is dead or dying and it’s filled with ghosts. Maybe a few are real people, but most are ghosts.

    “The village is full of echoes. Perhaps they got trapped in the hollow of the walls, or under the stones. When you walk in the street you can hear other footsteps, and rustling noises, and laughter. Old laughter, as if it were tired of laughing by now. And voices worn out with use. You can hear all this. I think someday these sounds will die away.”

    It’s hard to keep track of who is who and who is alive. Maybe they are all dead. Perhaps this is purgatory because there is a lot of talk of the priest, confessions, and waiting for sins to be forgiven. “Can’t you see my sins? Can’t you see those purple stains, like impetigo? And that’s only on the outside. Inside I’m a sea of mud.”

    The noises that the ghosts hear are constant and Stephen-Kingish: screams, animals, men banging on doors with guns.

    description

    A very short book, well-worth a read and quite a trip.

    Catorce, a Mexican ghost town from dailymail.co.uk
    Photo of the author (1917-1986) from notimerica.com








  4. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    Juan Rulfo was one of those who stood at the beginning of magic realism.
    Pedro Páramo is a descent into the hell of human memory, a plunge into an abyss of the dire past – the hero travels to find his father but he finds himself astray in the land of the dead.

    Behind him, as he left, he heard the murmuring.
    I am lying in the same bed where my mother died so long ago; on the same mattress, beneath the same black wool coverlet she wrapped us in to sleep. I slept beside her, her little girl, in the special place she made for me in her arms.
    I think I can still feel the calm rhythm of her breathing; the palpitations and sighs that soothed my sleep... I think I feel the pain of her death... But that isn't true.
    Here I lie, flat on my back, hoping to forget my loneliness by remembering those times.
    Because I am not here just for a while. And I am not in my mother's bed but in a black box like the ones for burying the dead. Because I am dead.

    The novel is the Gehenna of despair and the Tartarus of sorrow and there is nowhere to hide so one must pass through the labyrinth of insufferable agony.
    Destiny makes us travel though the strange valleys…


  5. WILLIAM2 WILLIAM2 says:

    Second reading. Surprisingly readable prose for such a dense and multi-layered story. A young man follows his mother's dying wish to return to the village of her birth and make Pedro Páramo, the young man's father, pay for the abandonment of his family. What follows is something like Dante's descent into hell as the young man, Juan Preciado, and his Virgil, a burro-driver named Abundio — also a son of Páramo — make their way down the long road to the village. The village of the mother's youth is now a ghost town in which the living and the dead meet freely. What we might call the present action is rendered in the first-person voice of Juan Preciado. Spasmodically then the prose will switch to a third-person narration of life in the village long ago. The Páramos are a murderous bunch of thieves who take what they want, including the young women, who are always inexplicably grateful for being knocked up by them. Once we've switched to the third-person voice and back a few times, we begin to get a number of other first-person voices from those who once lived in the village. But don't let this put you off, for despite the multiple voices and a few touches of surrealism the book's not at all difficult for those who read attentively. (Susan Sontag introduces the text with a bit of well-earned praise and an explanation of how influential Pedro Páramo has been among Latin-American writers.) I suppose my favorite sequence is when those buried in the local graveyard listen to each other and comment on what is being said! Superficially, the novella seems close to Machado de Assis's own worthwhile The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, but that's an acerbic comedy compared to this piece of profound gravitas. Not to be missed.


  6. Fionnuala Fionnuala says:

    People often talk about 'Before and After', as in before something momentous happens and after it has happened.

    There's a 'Before and After' in this book, and though the transition between the two happens from one moment to the next, there's an immeasurable distance between them in everything except time. I think of that distance as the distance between the town of Colima and the town of Comala, both real places in Mexico.

    When his mother dies, Juan Preciado sets out from his home in Colima to find his father, Pedro Páramo, in Comala. As he approaches Comala, he meets a man called Abundio at a crossroads called Los Encuentros. That well-named crossroads marks the transition from Before to After.

    After, for Juan Preciado, is when 'from one moment to the next' no longer exists, all moments are now concurrent, and all places have disappeared except Comala. There is no more Time and no more Distance. There is only Comala.

    As I read about Pedro Páramo and Juan Preciado, and Susana San Juan and her Florencio, and Abundio Martinez and his Cuca, and Eduviges and Dolorita, and Damiana and Dorotea, and Father Rentería and Ana, and Miguel Páramo and El Colorado, the words seemed to shift about on the bright white page, replacing and repeating each other, scattering and reforming like birds in the evening until finally disappearing, taking their meaning with them.

    Then I'd turn the blue-shadowed page and the words would be back in their bright white places, and I'd keep turning pages until once again, the words would fade into the blue shadows and disappear. I became so used to this pattern that when there were no more pages left to turn, I went back to the beginning and started the bright white pages all over again, watching now for the moments when the words would take off like birds at evening, and following along behind them.

    I'd learned how to read Pedro Páramo.

    There is a Before and After in my reading life. Before I read Pedro Páramo and after I read Pedro Páramo


  7. Fabian Fabian says:

    A complete panorama composed of mood & atmosphere, Pedro Paramo came highly recommended by Mario Vargas Llosa in his Letters to a Young Novelist aka the writer's own poetics. I must say that I had some difficulty with the Spanish at first; it took me longer to get through the short book than I intended. The different vignettes come together to form the corpus of the awful man, brutal rancher, sadistic ladies man, Pedro Paramo (like different POVs coalesce in Mrs. Dalloway to describe & embody the actual character).

    Certainly its an exercise in style. Like Hitchcock's famous Psycho shower scene in which the protagonist meets her demise halfway through the story, this one has a voice which talks from beyond the grave. All the different anecdotes, colors, and feelings mesh in the end, & it is assumed that the different ghosts of the tragically-tainted town all have their say. Here's a conglomeration of different voices and stories, of different experiences throughout time, through life & death. Authentic & extraordinarily unique.


  8. Agnieszka Agnieszka says:


    This town is filled with echoes. It's like they were trapped behind the walls, or beneath the cobblestones. When you walk you feel like someone's behind you, stepping in your footsteps.

    Juan Preciado promises his dying mother to travel to her home village Comala to visit his father, the title Pedro Páramo, and claim what’s theirs. This is the starting point of the novel. So he sets off but Comala from his mother’s tales is quite a different thing. Today it is a dead town, where ghosts of the past remind only of defeats and failures. Though it is not a silent place at all. In each house, on every square you may hear whispers and lamenting. Over bygone times, unrequited loves and hardships falling on its inhabitants. At times it reminded me Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano with its chaotic narration and deliric voices.

    I’ve read quite a number novels from Ibero-American writers but somehow Juan Rulfo did escape my attention earlier. And it was probably him who started all this glorious parade of Latin-American authors. Gabriel Garcia Marquez claimed to know the novel by heart and maintained that his iconic today One Hundred Years of Solitude was strongly influenced by Pedro Páramo. And I can believe why. But there when GGM or Vargas Llosa or Fuentes are ornate, baroque even Juan Rulfo’s style feels quite restricted, with no trace of almost proverbial floweriness so representative for Latin culture and life.

    I’m not good at Mexican literaure and culture but I guess it’s still full of such Pedro Páramos, men who because they want to or simply can, reach for lands of their neighbours, their wives and daughters, and if it’s not enough for their lives too. Pedro Páramo ingeniously combines historical facts with local beliefs and mythology. But it’s more than that. The novel is foremost the feeling reader is left with, it’s ambience, it’s desolate, desertic landscape. And stories of people long gone, told in kind of stream of consciousness though at times it’s hard to say who’s talking at the moment. It's nonlinear structure that resembles rather hallucinatory dream than neat narrative.


  9. Garima Garima says:


    . . . I watched the trickles glinting in the lightning flashes, and every breath I breathed, I sighed. And every thought I thought was of you, Susana.

    Like a message in the bottle, some stories float through decades and centuries on the endless ocean of an untold past and bear a timeless appeal by echoing few words of eternal desires – Wish you were here. Pedro Paramo is one such story. Surrounded by an iridescence of magical realism, the wonders of this gorgeous little book can’t truly be captured in the few sentences of English language probably because Juan Rulfo penned his only novel in the language of a different world and obliged us a glimpse of that world through his words.

    The moon had risen briefly and then slipped out of sight. It was one of those sad moons that no one looks at or pays attention to. It had hung there a while, misshapen, not shedding any light, and then gone to hide behind the hills.

    It recounts the tale of a fateful Mexican village where the line of past and present, death and life, hate and love is merged into creating a hazy phantasmagoria that doesn’t demand to be understood but rather immersed in its flow of haunting yet mesmerizing narration. A full circle of loss and search by exploring the dynamics of human memories on hearing the faint sounds of phantom voices is impeccably drawn by Juan Rulfo through his understated and lucid prose. Highly recommended as a perfect reading companion for a short and memorable meeting.


  10. Stephen P Stephen P says:





    Spoken as a literary dream this grim tale bordering the fine line of fable switches past and present, points of view, with whispered elegance. Images are presented out of swirls of dust and cloud myth, tale and hallucination, revealing the cutthroat lives of existence.

    I just finished Knausgaard's, My Struggle #1 and #2 wouldn't arrive for two days. Unable to be without reading a book I picked the slimmest off my shelves in my library. Even being a slow reader 124 pages could be finished in two days. It opened an apocalyptic future vision of books being sold by the pound in a butcher shop.

    Beginning to read I was shocked by what I had in my hands. Please think of this as a provisional review having slipped from the nest prematurely. I wish I had Rulpho's artistic genius to pare and mold this review into what it need to be. Lacking such I will re-read this maybe a couple of times, adding to or subtracting from this review while asking for your patience.

    Juan Preciado is asked by his dying mother to find a man named Pedro Parama in Comala and receive the money owed them for his disinteredness and their need to abandon him in the past. Pedro has been dead for some time. The town of Comala appears abandoned, desecrated, stuck in dust and decay. Juan finds it cared for spiritually by a lapsed priest and the legends of the amoral ruling Paramo family. The citizenry are souls, those already dead but looking for someone alive who has not sinned or one who has been forgiven and can pray for them, their release. The priest does not meet these parameters, neither do the flitting shadows still remaining. There is no one to lift these souls further. The line between the living and dead has been calcified. Juan has found history, myth, hallucinations, and the unsettled bone dust of death. He has stumbled upon life on earth, a living death of sinners where there are no forgiven left to pray for the wandering souls. We live a life of limbo.

    Rulfo worked on this, his only novel, over some time having written much then lifted an angel's scythe and lessened it to its essence. This story seems to tell itself. It conveys what it wishes to say without any apparent intrusion by Rulfo. Earning his wages through non-literary means, he sold tires, had a family, wrote and listened to music at night, writing his grand novel. As Michelangelo, he spent much time paring down the white marble to find the essence of the art within. The natural flow of the spare beauty of his words make the unnatural natural, and sets a tone and mood that places our readerly mind within the literature of dream yet laden with meaning.

    Paring down must be one of the more difficult pursuits of an author. Yet when years later Rulfo placed his scalpel onto the tabletop and looked before him, tears must have flooded his eyes. This is a book that lives beyond the limits of category, precursor, movements spawned. It belongs to the few books, and please do not shoot the messenger, that when you die, and you will, you will want to know this is a book you read and experienced. This will not be due to fame, popularity, but because it speaks of the swirled dust midair and all that cannot be said. Please read this book for your own soul.


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