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The journey into the text: reading Rulfo in Carlos Reygadas's 2002 feature film Japon.

This article analyses the presence of Juan Rulfo's novel Pedro Paramo in Carlos Reygadas's film Japon. While Pedro Paramo becomes allegorical of the nature of reading, Japon employs equivalent narrative devices to lead the spectator into a reassessment of the nature of film spectatorship. As Rulfo's work questions the division between character and reader, so Japon questions the boundary between actor, character, and spectator. The article firstly analyses points of reference between the novel and the film, especially the journey of the protagonists seen as an allegorical journey into the nature of art. It then investigates the theoretical and allegorical implications of the narratives in regard to the role of the reader/spectator.


The spectator of Mexican director Carlos Reygadas's 2002 feature film Japon will perceive abundant similarities to the acclaimed novel Pedro Paramo of Mexican author Juan Rulfo. (1) In Pedro Paramo an initially unnamed character is travelling to a certain village deep in the Mexican wilderness of Jalisco. He is led there by a man he meets in the area. This guide is revealed (later in the work) to have been a killer and to be now dead. There is death in the village and, indeed, midway through the novel this protagonist dies and yet remains a narrative voice of the text. The village is parched, hot, and dry, 'sobre las brasas de la tierra, en la mera boca del infierno' (PP, p. 66), and, coupled with the prevalence of death, is portrayed with hellish associations.

In Japon the unnamed character is travelling out to a village in the barranca deep in the Mexican countryside (of Hidalgo). He is led there by a man he meets en route. This guide is a killer (a hunter). The man is actively seeking death in the village, as he informs the hunter that he is going there to kill himself. During the voyage and once at the village, this character witnesses numerous killings of animals. Midway through the film the man attempts to kill himself, fails, and returns to remain the narrative focus of the film. The house he arrives at is parched and barren of water, which, coupled with the prevalence of death, evokes an infernal image of the place.

These are the striking similarities between the two works at the level of plot. (2) It is not the intention of this study, however, to investigate these similarities at the level of parodic interplay. Linda Hutcheon, in her detailed analysis of the nature of parody, identifies certain characteristics of parody that are not evident within the textual relationship of these two works. Such elements are 'intention to parody', 'repetition', 'imitation with critical ironic distance', and 'trans-contextualisation' ranging from 'scornful ridicule to reverential homage'. (3) At the level of connection between the two works, at no stage does the work of Reygadas appear to enact any ironic critical reassessment of the work of Rulfo, nor to reassess the former work in the light of the new. There is, quite evidently, neither humorous revision nor travesty of Rulfo's work within that of Reygadas.

The novel Pedro Paramo can be interpreted as bearing a strong allegorical content, relating the motifs of the journey and of death to the nature of authorship, readership, and reading. It is proposed in this article that the dominant similarities and intertextual relationship between the two works alert the viewer/reader to the possibility of a similar allegorical design within the film. Whereas the thematic elements of the first-person narrative, the journey, and the ubiquity of death engage the reader of Rulfo's novel in a consideration of the role of the reader and the nature of reading, the same themes operate within the film Japon to engage the viewer in a consideration of the role of the spectator and the nature of acting, creating, and viewing a film.

This article firstly analyses the numerous points of similarity between the two works in relation to the above themes. Secondly, the questions posed by these allegorical perspectives in relation to the dimension of the reader and the spectator are addressed.

The narrative of Pedro Paramo begins with a statement addressed by the first-person narrator directly (it appears) to the reader: 'Vine a Comala porque me dijeron que aca vivia mi padre, un tal Pedro Paramo' (PP, p. 63). In an attitude customary in the reading of first-person narrative, the reader establishes from the outset a relationship with the narrator, trusting that this narrator/ protagonist will serve as guide and storyteller throughout the narrative. Beardsell comments on this: 'The opening word of the novel "Vine" establishes a relationship between Juan and the reader: that of the story-teller and his audience.' (4) The narrative development of the novel, however, enacts repeated moments of rupture in this relationship between the reader and narrator, where the bonding is stretched and, ultimately, severed.

Firstly, the narrative abruptly breaks into new textual fragments whose narrators are confusingly undefined. Secondly, the characters that both the narrator and the reader assume to be living appear, one by one, to be dead. This begins with the mule-driver explaining that the eponymous character, the father of the narrator, is in fact dead. The narrator then discovers that although his mother is dead, she has announced his arrival to the character Eduviges. He then discovers that the mule-driver himself had in reality been dead, that Eduviges is dead, that all the characters he meets are dead. The narrator's confusion concerning who is and is not dead reflects the reader's confusion to the extent that the narrator fulfils the role of guide and representative of the reader through the text, despite, however, being unable to answer the reader's questions concerning the other narrative fragments. The reader, therefore, joins the narrator in his despairing question to Damiana, '?es usted viva Damiana?', and his plea to the incestuous couple, '?No estan ustedes muertos?' (PP, pp. 105, 109). The reader thus relies upon the narrator to address these questions and resolve these mysteries. Beardsell likewise notes that 'like Juan, we repeatedly search for the touchstone that would confirm our grasp of reality [...] But like Juan we find each touchstone successively removed' (p. 78).

However, midway through the text it is revealed that this narrator is himself dead, and that, contrary to the assumption that the narrative is addressed to the reader, he is in fact relating the story to his tomb-mate Dorotea. This is a deeply troubling and unprecedented nexus in the text. Where the reader has relied upon the narrator to reveal the authors of the other narrative fragments, to address the questions concerning who is living and who is dead, to narrate the journey and quest, and to relate the story of the man Pedro Paramo, the sudden understanding that the narrator is dead and is not even addressing the reader places the latter in a position described by C. C. D'Lugo as 'decentred'. D'Lugo identifies this moment in the narrative as crucially important:

Although they had come to accept the fact that a majority of the characters in Pedro Paramo were deceased, readers most likely had not suspected that the narrator might also be dead. His being dead violates specific notions of traditional narrativity [...] Readers have been repositioned from their status as receivers of the story; they have been decentred. (5)

Preciado, it is revealed, is in a tomb, and the other fragmented narratives are the voices of neighbouring 'almas en pena' recalling events from their lives and lamenting their current purgatorial condition. Preciado, we remember, had journeyed to the village in order to find his father, about whom he knew nothing. Therefore at this point in the narrative Preciado abandons himself to this medley of voices surrounding him, with no guide or assistance from any tangible character, and begins to reconstruct the events of the death of his father and that of the village. The reader must likewise abandon him/herself to these voices arising in the text, and rely similarly not upon a narrative guide, but upon perceptive reading and rereading in order to piece together the disjointed narratives. It is in this respect that Rulfo's work challenges the reader to abandon the metatextual role as observer and to enter into the text, to participate in the act of creation and interpretation, and thus uncover the intricate discourse within the work.

The central protagonist of Reygadas's film Japon embodies many of the characteristics noticeable in the protagonist of Rulfo's work. The events that surround this character exercise a similar repositioning of the viewer away from the traditional role as mere spectator towards that of participant in the construction and discourse of the work. Reygadas evokes a cinematic equivalent of the novelistic first-person narrative through the hand-held camera, following the journey of the man at the beginning of the film, wandering with the man across the plain, limping and staggering up the hot slope to the house, peering into the shadows with the man's curiosity. In this respect, just as the reader is bound to Preciado through perceiving exclusively what Preciado perceives, so the spectator of Japon is bound to the protagonist from this restricted and personalized perspective. Similarly, the expectations of the spectator are challenged by the revelation at the very beginning of the film that this central character is actively seeking to kill himself. This is an unusual standpoint that provokes the spectator to consider how to deal with a possible dead protagonist.

Juan Preciado is presented in Pedro Paramo with the absolute minimum of biographical information. The paucity of information provided, coupled with this integral bond between Preciado and the reader, encourages the reader to construct a picture of Preciado based upon images, sensations, and possibilities. Preciado is a vessel that the reader fills with his/her own conceptual interpretations. This strengthens even more the bonding between protagonist and reader, as inevitably the reader pours his/her own character projection into that of Preciado. This is a level of textual construction contrary to what obtains in a work of detailed mimetic representation and characterization, where the role of the reader is rather that of observer, judge, and commentator. In Rulfo's work the reader becomes the protagonist to an unsettling degree, highlighted by William Rowe in relation to Rulfo's stories:

What the reader is told in Rulfo's stories is limited almost entirely to what the characters are aware of. But in order to grasp the full meaning of a story, the reader has to go beyond the characters' view of their world. (6)

Thus the reader is compelled to internalize and personalize the interpretation of the events of the novel to a degree that grants the reader a creative role in the text itself. This, from a Barthean perspective, is a condition of the modern narrative, shifting the interpretative focus from the author to the reader. (7) It is reflected, moreover, in Rulfo's view of the reader as co-author (Beardsell, p. 82), and in Rulfo's position as a great influence on the later writers of the Boom. (8)

The protagonist of Reygadas's film appears so free of biographical characterization that he is not even granted a name. Our first knowledge of him, indeed, is not an image of him as an empirical figure, but merely as a set of eyes and ears. The film opens with the camera angle and the sound experiencing the journey in a car and a truck directly from the perspective of the man. Thus, because the camera is the vehicle of the narrative, the spectator experiences the journey relative to the perspective and sensations of the man. The camera then walks roughly over the stony ground, to the crunch of footsteps and the man's laboured breathing. Moments later it is revealed that the man walks with a pronounced limp. This simple and easily overlooked technique fuses together in one montage the separate roles of actor, film-maker, and viewer; indeed, when the small boy urges the man to crouch to avoid the gunshots, the boy is addressing us the audience as much as he is addressing the cameraman, the actor, and the character.

Continuing the journey towards the village, the man rides in the car with the hunters, the camera shot is from his perspective, and the sound records the exuberant chat of the group, eventually silenced by the driver. This incomprehensible babble appears to bother the man as much as it would the spectator. This scene is followed by darkness and a brutal, fearsome squealing of a pig being slaughtered. The man's hands open the curtains, light floods in, and the spectator and the man appear to wake together as one. Later, in the village, the villagers address the camera as if addressing the man, and the camera limps up the slope to the house where the man is to stay. Whenever the man plays his personal stereo, this becomes the exclusive music of the feature, stopping immediately as he removes the headphones.

Thus from the outset of the film the spectator and the character appear to have a shared participation in the events, and the viewer of the film is compelled to identify with the man not solely as the prime focus of the development of the plot, but as the very physical presence within the film embodying the perspective of the viewer. In this respect the viewer is bound to the man as the reader of Rulfo's text is bound to Preciado.

And yet, this attachment to the protagonist is challenged by the very process that creates it. The intimacy established with the viewer witnessing private moments of the man, from the 'first-person' perspective, is taken to an unprecedented level when the man converts the act of aiming a gun to an act of masturbation. And it is taken to even further levels when we are witness to the man's erotic dream. This is where the relationship between character and viewer begins to strain, as the eroticized figure of the dream is the man's elderly and arthritic mestizo hostess, Ascen. This uncustomary desire initiates the perturbation of the viewer obliged to maintain this first-person relationship with an increasingly disturbing character.

As the reader of Pedro Paramo is obliged midway through the novel to abandon him/herself to the swirling vapours of narrative fragments upon comprehending the death of Preciado, so the viewer of upon is challenged to abandon the unified relationship with the protagonist midway through the film. The man has sought out the village and the lofty and dry house of Ascen in order to find a place to kill himself. As the viewer can have no intratextual knowledge of the man's desire for death, he/she can only feel a sense of wrongness at seeing the man place a gun to his chest during the nocturnal scene. Yet it has been clear from the beginning that he is intending to kill himself. In this respect the viewer is in suspense firstly through anticipation of the event, and secondly through considering how the focal perspective of the film will be altered by the death of the main protagonist. The man later leaves the house in a thunderstorm and stands precariously at the edge of the cliff overlooking the wide valley of la barranca. He raises the pistol, the storm rages, and the camera leaves him. He then collapses next to the bloated carcass of a horse, rain wipes blood off his temple, and the camera swings in full range around the two fallen figures, away from the cliff edge and up into the stormy clouds. A scene of extended darkness ensues. Following this we witness the man collapsed on a table in the village bar, and the viewer must wonder whether, like Preciado in Pedro Paramo, the protagonist is now dead. The opposite, in fact, appears to be the case: he is alive and invested with a new vigour for living.

The man does not kill himself, the camera remains predominantly focused through his perspective, and thus the viewer is still reliant upon him for the delivery of the development of the film. Yet the viewer's mistrust of the man from the erotic dream and his masturbation before the storm grows with the protagonist's rekindled zeal for living. An urgency for sexual contact begins to obsess him, so that his perspective (and with it the camera's) becomes directly related to this longing. The newspaper he reads in the bar shows him only images of girls, he focuses erotically on the ageing and tired figure of the bar owner, he watches the alarmingly graphic and brutal mating of a stallion and mare--his thoughts return to Ascen. He also spends a night drinking heavily and behaving anti-socially. This becomes ever more uncomfortable for the viewer, as the camera sways, lurches, and loses focus with every mezcal, and his act of smashing the stereo in the bar is presented in the blur of the man's, and as such the viewer's, vision. Thus the viewer appears to have been a collaborator in this unpleasant, drunken, and intrusive behaviour.

The ultimate rupture between protagonist and viewer occurs at the inevitable moment when the man asks Ascen for sex. The narrative focus appears to sense the discomfort of this proposal, and abandons the man to follow the aged Ascen into the church for mass, and to focus intently upon her acts of devotion. Although we return to the man, and witness the sex between the two, the camera never returns to represent his perspective exclusively. Thus the acutely embarrassing moment of intimacy between the man and Ascen liberates the narrative focus, and with it the viewer from his/her bond to the protagonist. From this point, although little is left of the film, the man's actions do not appear to control the events and perspective of the film to the degree of the earlier scenes; the viewer is free to disengage the connecting thread with the man, and to observe the resolution of the narrative without the participation or collaboration that had previously existed.

Both the novel of Juan Rulfo and the film of Reygadas, therefore, elicit a response from the reader/viewer that surpasses any customary role of passivity. In both cases the receiver of the art is compelled to form a direct attachment to the protagonist of the work (a man journeying to a village to find death), and to pursue the narrative discourse from the perspective of the protagonist. In both works, however, this relationship is severed at a focal point, repositioning the reader/viewer according to a new set of co-ordinates, and demanding an active interpretation of the text. It remains to be established, however, how this complex role of the reader/viewer is instrumental in revealing the symbolic and allegorical levels of the text, and thereby providing a deeper understanding of the work.

D'Lugo highlights an essential feature of Rulfo's novel, explaining how the reader is enabled 'to intuit a meaning' from a text of complex obscurity:

Rulfo honours readers by presenting them with a pluralistic text which engages and liberates; a paradox perhaps, but when associated with the reading experience of Pedro Paramo, it enables one to intuit a meaning for a simple and sweet complexity. (p. 474)

The reader of Pedro Paramo becomes, as analysed above, almost a participating character within the narrative, fused to the protagonist Preciado until his death, thereafter lying alongside Preciado, reconstructing the story of the man Paramo from the surrounding voices. This demands an intricate, perceptive, and active reading of the text, awakening the reader to the possibility of many levels of signification. The variety of critical responses to the work testifies to this exigency, examining a wide range of paradigmatic possibilities of the text. In this respect the novel can be analysed from the historical perspective, concentrating on the representation of the Mexican revolution, the Cristero wars, and the governmental upheavals. (9) Similarly, the novel can be examined from the social perspective, concentrating on the representation of the peasants of Jalisco, the concept of caciquismo, the role of the Church, (10) the Mexican affinity with death, (11) sexuality, and insanity. (12) It has been analysed with regard to the classical and mythical search for the father and descent into the underworld. (13) It has generated linguistic analyses of the speech of the Jalisco peasants. (14) The work is also a love story and a ghost story. By drawing the reader along the path into the dead village, and into the tomb of Preciado, the text compels the reader to assume the role of Preciado, not of observer but of interpreter, and in relating the reader to the protagonist to such a degree, the text presents an active allegory of the nature of reading, expressing the role of participant that the reader must adopt in the interpretation of a complex text, seeking not empirical answers to questions that the text is unable to resolve, but rather meaning, knowledge, and ideas from the images arising from the work.

The journey that Japon compels the viewer to embark upon in the company of the man enacts a similar allegory of the nature of art, and a similar opening of the text to the full scope of paradigmatic possibility. Of thematic dominance within the film is the above-mentioned connection between character and viewer. This can be viewed from a further significant perspective questioning the relationship between spectator and film-maker, film-maker and actor, actor and character, provoking questions concerning the means of representation of reality, the possibility of mimesis, and the construction of art.

Throughout both the film and the filming, the distribution of roles between actors and characters, reality and art appears to be dismantled. Paul Julian Smith explains: 'Shot entirely in an authentic, indeed positively primal location, it uses a cast of non-professional actors so inexperienced that they not only look at the camera, they occasionally even say hello to it.' (15) As the camera fuses the roles of actor and spectator by becoming the focal perspective of the man, so the viewer becomes the camera and the cameraman through the same process. During the extended procession of children filing past the man, all of whom stare straight at the camera, no application of Coleridge's maxim of 'suspension of disbelief' can eliminate the viewer's knowledge that the children are staring not at the man, but at a physical camera, and that the presence of this camera, and not the demands of art, causes their curious excitement. Similarly, the juez or village chief welcomes the man to the village in a stammering, seemingly unrehearsed monologue, all the while telling an off-screen voice to be silent. This is quite evidently the real village chief really inviting the director and crew to the village for the shooting of the film. At the destruction of Ascen's barn, meanwhile, a drunken fellow criticizes the lack of food and drink that 'los de la pelicula' have provided.

This blurring of genres of documentary and feature film, actor and non-actor grants the film an astonishingly vibrant level of mimetic representation, providing a wholly compelling theatre for the artifice of the man's drama. However, the very creation of the film pushes through the finished feature to an unsettling degree, once again with the sex scene of Ascen. In an interview Reygadas explained the presence of Magdalena Flores in the film:

I found Magdalena in a village near the one we filmed. When I approached her of course at first she said no, but when I visited her again and spoke to her children--who are themselves in their fifties--she eventually agreed. Right from the start I said there would be nude scenes. (16)

The fusion of the man, the camera, and the viewer reaches unsettling levels during the scene when the man requests sex with the octogenarian Magdalena. Characters on screen are, indeed, performed by people. Reygadas explains further the levels of mimesis achieved with the creation of this scene:
   I knew Magdalena would be struggling not to do it, and I knew he
   would struggle to get her in position and, when he thought he was
   going to penetrate her, would be very nervous. Of course my plan
   was that when they were come together I would say, 'Cut, that's

   But why make them go through all that?

   Because I wanted that struggle to exist between the characters.
   (Matheou, p. 12)

The drama that is played out, therefore, fuses reality and artifice to a level that grants the film an impact beyond the immediacy of the screen. It is not so much mimetic, being the representation of reality, as reality itself, the spectator him/ herself becoming integrally involved in the struggle of these people/characters. This of course can be disturbing, and Paul Julian Smith describes the mimetic perturbation:

Reygadas is not documenting the real here; he is intruding upon it. The avowed aim of Japon is to show the superiority of the elderly, uneducated woman but this exquisitely embarrassing scene reveals rather her vulnerability to those urban sophisticates, the Man and the film-maker [...] A protracted song from a performer so drunk he can barely speak is equally voyeuristic. (Smith, p. 50)

By diminishing the distinction between the drama of the character who goes to the village and the director, actors, and film crew who go there, Japon demands an uncustomarily active response of the spectator. Just as the demands upon the reader of Pedro Paramo provoke all the social, historical, etc. questions mentioned above, so at this level further degrees of interpretation are elicited from the spectator of Yapon. Herein lie questions of life and death, death and resurrection, youth and age, white and mestizo cultures, the urban and the rural; indeed, paradigms of immensely broad variety are possible. Yet, as is the nature of provocative and compelling art, questions are addressed but nothing is answered. Demetrios Matheou highlights the absence of direct and easily digestible themes and resolutions of the film:

Reygadas has no interest in pursuing his death-wish scenario as drama, melodrama or even mystery; rather, he uses it as a springboard for a meditative film on such unashamedly fundamental themes as life, death, sex, love and redemption. (p. 10)

These themes are as broad as art can hope to aspire to, and in essence they establish the thematic framework of the film Japon as much as the novel Pedro Paramo.

Establishing a cross-genre comparison of these two works can be justified, therefore, at various levels. Firstly, both works embody techniques particular to the other genre. Not only was Rulfo a screenwriter, but the novel Pedro Paramo itself incorporates dominant cinematic elements such as fragmentation of sequences, abrupt cuts, dissolves, tones of light and darkness, shadows, voiceovers, flashbacks in time, stark violence, dreamlike scenes, etc. (17) In 1967 the novel was in fact successfully transformed into a film, which remained remarkably true to Rulfo's original (screenplay by Carlos Fuentes). (18) Carlos Reygadas, meanwhile, is a self-declared auteur movie-maker, concerned with the creation of a feature that provokes an active and not simply passive and observing response from the audience (Matheou, p. 11). Moreover, both Rulfo and Reygadas project into their art engaging concerns regarding the nature of fiction and reality, art and life. When questioned about the realistic elements of his novel, alluding to the plight of the peasants of Jalisco and their role in the Cristero rebellion, Rulfo indicates that the novel is both real and imaginary, as his art is a projection of his particular perspective on reality:

Mi obra no es de periodista ni de etnografo, ni de sociologo. Lo que hago es una transposicion literaria de los hechos de mi conciencia. La transposicion no es una deformacion sino el descubrimiento de formas especiales de sensibilidad. (19)

In this respect the novel is wholly mimetic in its design, and yet the reality that it is transcribing is reality as perceived by the subjective mind, then interpreted by another subjective spirit, the reader's. Reygadas, meanwhile, explores the whole concept of art and reality fusing in the artistic creation. The film provokes questions concerning how life becomes art and art becomes life in indistinguishable crossovers; and yet all the while the art is merely another perspective of a subjective reality. 'There's nothing "magic" in cinema,' Reygadas declares, 'what you see is just something that's put in front of a camera at a certain moment, mixed with sound and edited' (Matheou, p. 12). The film highlights this absence of magic, bringing to the fore the process by which a film is created, by which the levels of actor, character, and audience are intertwined. The spectator, moreover, is challenged to abandon the position of mere viewer, removed and apart, and to participate in the discursive and creative process of the film.

The final element of connection at the thematic level occurs at the ending of both the film and the novel. Juan Preciado, protagonist of Pedro Paramo, does not find his father alive, but is able to reconstruct the life and death of his father through listening to the voices that comprise the narrative fragments of the novel. The final words that we read of the cacique Paramo is his murder at the hands of his son Abundio, where, in dying, 'Dio un golpe seco contra la tierra y se fue desmoronando como si fuera un monton de piedras' (PP, p. 185). (20)

In upon, the woman who has granted the man a new desire for life, Ascen, rides off the hillside sitting atop the stones taken from her barn. She, her nephew, and his companions are then killed on the railway line. The final lengthy travelling shot of the film shows the scene of death and scattered stones, passing over the bodies and the stones strewn together alongside the track. Ascen, in a style reminiscent of Pedro Paramo, is now in death scarcely distinguishable from the 'monton de piedras'. Thus, where throughout the development of the film thematic references are made to Rulfo's novel, the final scene concludes this intertextual enactment with an image of death and its conversion of life into the permanence of stone.

Thus one can perceive the numerous thematic and narrative connections between the film Japon and the novel Pedro Paramo. While, owing to the absence of 'critical ironic distance', the film is not to be considered a parody of the novel, the overwhelming presence of Pedro Paramo within the film alerts the viewer to the novel, to the novel's allegorical perspective, and thus to the possibility of the allegory within the film.



(1) Japon, dir. Carlos Reygadas, Mexico, 2002; Juan Rulfo, Pedro Paramo (1955), ed. by Jose Carlos Gonzalez Boixo (Madrid: Catedra, 2000). This edition will be referred to hereafter as PP.

(2) To date I have found only one reference to the similarities between Japon and Pedro Paramo: Alberto Angerstein, 'Japon: la busqueda de la identidad' ( articulos_sepiensa/2003/12_diciembre_2003/20031219_cine.html) [accessed 16 June 2005].

(3) Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms (London: Methuen, 1985), pp. 22, 37.

(4) Peter Beardsell, 'Juan Rulfo: Pedro Paramo', in Landmarks in Modern Latin American Fiction, ed. by Philip Swanson (London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 74-96 (p. 77)

(5) Carol Clark D'Lugo, 'Pedro Paramo: The Reader's journey through the Text', Hispania, 70 (September 1987), 468-74 (p. 471)

(6) William Rowe, Rulfo: El llano en llamas', Critical Guides to Spanish Texts (London: Grant & Cutler, 1987), p. 9.

(7) Roland Barthes, Barthes: Selected Writings, ed. by Susan Sontag ([London]: Fontana/Collins, 1982), P 52.

(8) 'His bold and inventive technique led some of the early critical reviews to complain of an unjustified randomness in the novel, but it was this technique that soon led him to be recognised as a forerunner of the Boom' (Beardsell, p. 81).

(9) Neil Larsen, 'Mas alla de lo "trans cultural": Rulfo y la conciencia historica', Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispanicos, 22 (1998), 225-36.

(10) Manuel Antonio Arango, 'Correlacion social entre el caciquismo y el aspecto religioso en la novela Pedro Paramo de Juan Rulfo', Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, 341 (1978), 401-12.

(11) Carlos Fuentes, 'Mugido, muerte y misterio: el mito de Rulfo', Revista Iberoamericana, 47 (1981), 11-21.

(12) Maria Elena de Valdes, 'Sexuality and Insanity in Rulfo's Susana San Juan', Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispanicos, 18 (1994), 491-501; Julio Rodriguez Luis, Algunas observaciones sobre el simbolismo de la relacion entre Susana San Juan y Pedro Paramo', Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, 270 (1972), 584-94

(13) Beardsell; Nicolas Emilio Alvarez, Analisis arquetipica, mitico y simbologico de Pedro Paramo (Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1983).

(14) Julio Rodriguez Luis, 'La funcion de la voz popular en la obra de Rulfo', Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, 421-23 (1985), 135-50.

(15) Paul Julian Smith, 'Review Japon', Sight and Sound, 13.3 (March 2003), 50.

(16) Demetrios Matheou, A Good Place to Die', Sight and Sound, 13.2 (February 2003), 10-12 (p. 11).

(17) 'What Rollo appears to have sought is a medium that is almost as cinematographic as it is literary. The author acts like an instrument that picks up sounds, sights, feelings, thoughts and so on, in Comala' (Beardsell, p. 81).

(18) Pedro Paramo, dir. Carlos Velo, Mexico, 1967.

(19) Reina Roffe, Juan Rulfo: autoboiografia armada (Barcelona: Montesinos, 1992), p. 33 (emphasis original).

(20) Beardsell notes that it is not explicit in the text that Abundio does murder Paramo, explaining that 'other inferences are important for an understanding of the book' (p. 95)
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Author:Rowlandson, William
Publication:The Modern Language Review
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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