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¡Diles que no me maten! por Juan Rulfo - Spanish Reading Group-Melbourne

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Lulu Cafe & Gallery

506 Queensberry Street

North Melbourne, VIC 3051

Australia

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Join Fiona for Spanish Book Club for absolute beginners at Lulu Cafe Gallery - RSVP to spanishbookclubbeginners@gmail.com or pop over to the Facebook page #SpanishReadingGroupMelbourne.

Each month we read a short story in Spanish - this is for absolute beginners, and really good if you are trying to learn Spanish.

Juvencio Nava cries out, “Tell them not to kill me!,” pleading with his son, Justino, to help him. Juvencio, who is in his sixties, has just been arrested for a crime he had committed thirty-five or forty years earlier. At first, Justino is reluctant to interfere, fearing that the police or the soldiers may arrest him too or even shoot him. Then there will be no one left to care for his wife and children. He finally relents and offers to see what he can do to assist his father.

As he waits, tied to a post, Juvencio recalls the past events that led up to his present predicament and circumstances.

This work is from Juan Rulfo’s 1950’s collection of short stories El llano en llamas, which presents scenes from life in rural Jalisco, Rulfo’s native region of Mexico. The collection has been translated by George D. Schade as The Burning Plain (1967). Many of its stories, like this one, involve family relationships in difficult situations. Rulfo himself was an orphan; his father was killed in the long years of the cristero revolts during the time of the Mexican Revolution and his mother died several years later. The theme of the search for the father, for family roots, and for personal or even national identity permeates Rulfo’s writings.

Rulfo is noted for his powerful evocation of scene, for the sense of place created in his work. He employs dialogue and popular speech to add to the realism of the social situations depicted. All five senses are invoked as the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of the landscape are described. The reader can feel the impact of the hard, rugged life of the region. Rulfo’s literary devices include some repetition, as in this story, to underscore a character’s desperate psychological state. The reader can feel Juvencio’s fear and dread as he thinks about the events leading up to his capture. The heat, the dust, the harshness of the scene are all conjured up for the reader’s imaginative consideration.

Rulfo also varies verb tenses in order to illustrate alternations between past and present, between memory and current reality; events are not revealed in a directly linear, chronological order. A character’s memory is used to portray the past, and dialogue among characters is interspersed with the protagonist’s own thoughts. Rulfo utilizes language in a disciplined, economical style. His setting often is one of intense and grinding poverty, desperation, and desolation; towns are seen to be depopulating as people seek a better life elsewhere. Sometimes only the dead are left behind, as in his novel Pedro Páramo (1955), with its use of Magical Realism (joining the possible with the imaginary). His stories, in contrast, are predominantly and truly realistic.
uvencio Nava cries out, “Tell them not to kill me!,” pleading with his son, Justino, to help him. Juvencio, who is in his sixties, has just been arrested for a crime he had committed thirty-five or forty years earlier. At first, Justino is reluctant to interfere, fearing that the police or the soldiers may arrest him too or even shoot him. Then there will be no one left to care for his wife and children. He finally relents and offers to see what he can do to assist his father.

As he waits, tied to a post, Juvencio recalls the past events that led up to his present predicament and circumstances.

This work is from Juan Rulfo’s 1950’s collection of short stories El llano en llamas, which presents scenes from life in rural Jalisco, Rulfo’s native region of Mexico. The collection has been translated by George D. Schade as The Burning Plain (1967). Many of its stories, like this one, involve family relationships in difficult situations. Rulfo himself was an orphan; his father was killed in the long years of the cristero revolts during the time of the Mexican Revolution and his mother died several years later. The theme of the search for the father, for family roots, and for personal or even national identity permeates Rulfo’s writings.

Rulfo is noted for his powerful evocation of scene, for the sense of place created in his work. He employs dialogue and popular speech to add to the realism of the social situations depicted. All five senses are invoked as the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of the landscape are described. The reader can feel the impact of the hard, rugged life of the region. Rulfo’s literary devices include some repetition, as in this story, to underscore a character’s desperate psychological state. The reader can feel Juvencio’s fear and dread as he thinks about the events leading up to his capture. The heat, the dust, the harshness of the scene are all conjured up for the reader’s imaginative consideration.

Rulfo also varies verb tenses in order to illustrate alternations between past and present, between memory and current reality; events are not revealed in a directly linear, chronological order. A character’s memory is used to portray the past, and dialogue among characters is interspersed with the protagonist’s own thoughts. Rulfo utilizes language in a disciplined, economical style. His setting often is one of intense and grinding poverty, desperation, and desolation; towns are seen to be depopulating as people seek a better life elsewhere. Sometimes only the dead are left behind, as in his novel Pedro Páramo (1955), with its use of Magical Realism (joining the possible with the imaginary). His stories, in contrast, are predominantly and truly realistic.

You can read the story in Spanish here;
http://ciudadseva.com/texto/diles-que-no-me-maten/

You can read an English Translation here
https://cms.springbranchisd.com/Portals/171/staff/rhodes2d/Tell%20Them%20Not%20to%20Kill%20Me.pdf?ver=2014-09-02-103214-040

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Lulu Cafe & Gallery

506 Queensberry Street

North Melbourne, VIC 3051

Australia

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