Rulfo is one of the greatest Latin American writers. His spare, startling short fiction, set in tumultous post-revolutionary Mexico, possesses an elemental, universal qualityAt the turn of the millennium, the Uruguayan daily El País asked writers and critics to vote for the greatest Latin American novel. The winner, by a clear margin, was Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo, the book Jorge Luis Borges called one of the best works of Hispanic literature, or indeed of any literature. If the paper had asked its voters to choose the greatest Latin American short story collection, Rulfo’s The Plain in Flames would probably have come second only to Borges. Remarkably, these two books, published in 1953 and 1955, constitute two-thirds of Rulfo’s entire bibliography, despite the fact that he lived until 1986. “In my life there are many silences,” Susan Sontag quotes him as saying. “In my writing, too.”The silences yawn in Rulfo’s writing. Its rhythms seem to slow time, and reality’s edges fray into a strange gulf. In a story such as They Have Given Us the Land, where a group of peasants trudge across an arid plain, four pages seem to become a vast expanse. It is a negative space, lacking “the …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books