Non-Western Literature

Reading Journals for Llosa, week 2


click on the journal question that intrigues you the most.
This will pull up a form for you to fill out responding to that journal.
  1. Llosa doesn’t use magical realism as we saw it in “Like Water for Chocolate,” but he DOES blend reality and fiction in interesting other ways with Pedro’s radio scripts. Indicate what Llosa is saying about the relationship between fiction and reality, as well as the role of fictional stories in society.  answer this question

  2.  The view of writing given in this novel is that it’s either the work of hacks just pounding out whatever they’re told to write or the work of an inspired genius that eventually drives the artist mad. Or is it? Explain what you think Llosa is saying about the life and role of a writer, remembering that much of this story is based on his own life, and thus the attitudes and statements made about Mario’s chosen career are probably fairly realistic.  answer this question

  3. The basic relationship plot about Aunt Julia is based loosely on Llosa’s own life. The relationship between Llosa and his Aunt eventually failed and came to divorce. This novel was written long after the divorce, after Llosa had remarried and begun a family with his second wife. Explain how this knowledge of the eventual fate of the relationship between Mario and Julia is reflected in the novel.   answer this question

  4. There is a theory that soap operas reflect a society’s taboos – that people watch/listen to them in order to see that people who break’s society’s rules will eventually come to sadness and/or ruin. Thus while they are about “shocking” behavior, they actually reinforce what society deems proper behavior by having the characters who behave badly all suffer for that behavior. Based on this theory, and the way that Mario’s family reacts to his situation, what ARE the primary social taboos in South America (at least Peru) in the 1950s? You may also want to deal with the fact that Llosa was writing this 20 years later, in the 1970s – so are the same taboos still present, or is he looking back more critically?   answer this question

  5. Pedro Camacho, by far the hardest worker in the novel, does not prosper in spite of his hard work and talent – in fact, he has a breakdown. Big Pablito, barely functional, ends up wealthy. Varguitas, who never finishes anything he begins, ends up happy (and least for a while). What does this say about Llosa’s worldview? If he is reflecting South American culture, what does he say that the culture rewards, and what do they punish?   answer this question