Pedro Páramo

By Juan Rulfo

Literary Fiction

I first learned of what is considered “one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century world literature” while reading Paul Theroux’s, “On the Plain of Snakes.” In his critique of Mexican literature, he mentions “Pedro Páramo” because, unlike many Mexico’s best-known authors, Rulfo wrote about rural Mexico. He mentions that the book was published in 1955 and was one of procurers of “magical realism”, which influenced many of Latin America’s best authors.

When I told my Guatemalan wife about the book, she told me she “hated it.” Evidently, the Belgium nuns who ran her school in Guatemala made this obligatory reading in 6th grade! Oh well, obviously I got a late start to catching this great piece of literature, but was not disappointed one bit.

According to Susan Sontag, an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist described as “one of the most influential critics of her generation,” who wrote the foreword to the book, Garcia Marques said that “Pedro Páramo ” is a legendary book by a writer who became a legend.

Book reviewed by Mark D. Walker
United States