Apr 27, Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly rated it it was amazing When you open this book for the first time, do not make the mistake of expecting to read a novel with a strightforward plot, or even a series of connected stories. Prepare yourself instead to read a dream. Have you ever heard of the language called "Quechua"? I had not, until I stumbled upon this book. One of these countries is Peru.
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Apr 27, Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly rated it it was amazing When you open this book for the first time, do not make the mistake of expecting to read a novel with a strightforward plot, or even a series of connected stories.
Prepare yourself instead to read a dream. Have you ever heard of the language called "Quechua"? I had not, until I stumbled upon this book. One of these countries is Peru. Jose Maria Arguedas - was a Peruvian. When he tried to commit suicide in April, the same was a national event. Cabinet ministers called on him expressing deep concern. Hundreds kept vigil at the hospital where he recuperated. His mother died when he was just two and a half years old.
His father--a white man described in the book as having blue eyes--married again, to a bitch who already had three children of her own. She was apparently rich, owned half the town, and had many indigenous servants--Indians, whom she treated with contempt.
In his own words, given during his opening remarks at a public gathering of fiction writers in Arequipa on June 14, -- "The Indians, particularly their women, saw me as one of them, with the difference that being white I needed even more comforting than they did, and this they gave me in full.
But consolation must contain within it both sadness and power; as those tormented comforted those who suffered even more, two things were sadly driven into my nature from the time I learned to speak: 1 the tenderness and limitless love of the Indians, the love they feel for each other and also for nature, the highlands, rivers, and birds; and 2 the hatred they felt for those who, almost as if unaware and seeming to follow an order from on high, made them suffer.
My childhood went by, singed between fire and love. Published in , this is the product of his recollection of this conflicted past.
He practically invented a language here, using Quechua syntax and words with mostly Spanish vocabulary, making translation into other languages almost impossible. The images are breathtakingly magical, its remembered world superstitious and surreal. Often I wondered how passages like this read in its original "Quechua-Spanish": "People raised a lot of pigs in that district.
The flies swarmed contentedly there, pursuing one another, buzzing around the heads of passers-by. The water in the puddles became foul in the heat, turning different colors, all of them murky. But it was here too that the limbs of some royal lemon trees hung down over the tops of the very high mud walls that abounded in Abancay.
The trees displayed their green and ripe fruit on high, and the children coveted them. When one of the little boys from Huanupata brought down one of those royal lemons with a stone, he would take it up almost ecstatically in his hands, and run off as fast as he could.
Hidden away somewhere inside of his clothing, perhaps in a knot in his shirttail, he was almost certain to have a chunk of the cheapest kind of brown loaf sugar made in the haciendas of the valleys. The Abancay lemon, large, thick-skinned, edible within and easy to peel, contains a juice which, when mixed with brown sugar, makes the most delicious and potent food in the world.
It is burning and sweet. It instills happiness. It is as if one were drinking sunlight. As to Jose Maria Arguedas, my tocayo, he shot himself to death in saying, in his last letter, that he "no longer have the necessary energy and inspiration to continue to work and consequently to justify his existence.
José María Arguedas
His mother died when Arguedas was two years old, and his father, an itinerant lawyer whose clients were mostly Indians and mestizos, remarried shortly thereafter. According to Arguedas, his stepmother and her family despised him and relegated him to the Indian kitchen of the household, where he was welcomed and loved by the Indian servants and where he learned the Quechua language. For the rest of his life, Arguedas felt a filial attachment to the Quechua that helped shape his work. Frustrated by the discrimination they endured, and suffering clinical depression, Arguedas committed suicide in Since the s, highly organized agricultural societies had existed in the highlands and coastal regions of Peru. In the s a relatively new culture emerged in the southern highlands, centered at Cuzco.
In English translation. Jos Mara Arguedas is one of the few Latin American authors who loved and described his natural surroundings, and he ranks among the greatest writers of any time and place. He saw the beauty of the Peruvian landscape, as well as the grimness of social conditions in the Andes, through the eyes of the Indians who are a part of it. Ernesto, the narrator of Deep Rivers, is a child with origins in two worlds. The son of a wandering country lawyer, he is brought up by Indian servants until he enters a Catholic boarding school at age In this urban Spanish environment he is a misfit and a loner.
Los ríos profundos
The book appeared when Indigenismo was in full swing in Peru. Education Minister at the time, Luis E. This Ernesto is unmistakably the same as the Deep Rivers character. A text of Arguedas which was published in in the form of autobiography Las Moradas, vol. II, No. The push to complete the novel emerged years later in , while conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the Mantaro Valley. He then worked hard to its completion.