Saturday, September 21, 2013

Notes for a Commonplace Book (12)

The preferred reading matter of the Mexican writer and photographer Juan Rulfo, as described in Luis Harss & Barbara Dohmann's Into the Mainstream: Conversations with Latin-American Writers (1967):
He was always particularly fond of Russian literature — Andreyev, Korolenko — and, above all, a great admirer of Scandinavia literature: Selma Lagerlöf, Bjørnson, Knut Hamsun, Sillanpää. "Once upon a time I had a theory that literature had been born in Scandinavia, then gone down to Central Europe and spread from there." He is still an assiduous reader of Halldor Laxness, whom he considers a great renewer of European literature, from a position diametrically opposed, say, to that of French intellectualism. United States literature, he thinks, has also has a salutary influence in latter years. But Rulfo, with his love of the diaphanous, favors the Nordics, because of their "misty atmosphere."
Rulfo's own books are set entirely in rural Mexico, but literature is not a respecter of borders.

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