Burnt Water (Magill's Literary Annual 1981)
The most esteemed Mexican novelist writing today, Carlos Fuentes, is also an accomplished writer of short stories; or, in the Hispanic tradition, of cuentos. To be sure, Fuentes’ achievement as a novelist has outshone his work as a cuentista; however, from the very beginning of his career as a writer he has demonstrated a link with the traditions of folk and oral literature which are so much a part of the cuentista’s art. It is futile here to seek the full relationship between Fuentes the author of short fiction and Fuentes the novelist. Let it merely be said that his efforts in one literary form have influenced and strengthened the other; and if Fuentes is to be lauded as a novelist, his short fiction is of complementary importance. Indeed, his stories are so interrelated that they read like a novel.
His first book of short stories, Masked Days appeared in 1954, much before the successes of Where the Air Is Clear (1960), The Good Conscience (1961), The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962), and A Change of Skin (1968)—the novels which have secured the position of prominence as a contemporary novelist which Fuentes holds. A second volume of short stories, Song of the Blind, was published in 1964 and now in 1980 comes Burnt Water, a collection of some of the stories in...
(The entire section is 2349 words.)
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