A Meditation (Magill's Literary Annual 1983)
In a series of novels begun in 1967 with the publication of Volverás a Región and continued in Una meditacion (1970; A Meditation, 1982), Un viaje de invierno (1972), and La otra casa de Mazón (1973), Juan Benet has created the chronicle of a mythical area of Spain to which he has given the name Región. Critics have frequently compared Benet to William Faulkner, not only for his invention of a fictional place as the locale of his several novels, but also for his dazzling stylistic innovation and linguistic complexity.
Critics have also noted the similarity between Región and the Macondo of Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1970). In A Meditation, as in García Márquez’s novel, there is an indefinable narrative attitude that seeks a mythic base to the collective identity of a people—the Spaniards of Benet’s novel and the Colombians of One Hundred Years of Solitude. Stylistically, however, the two works are as different as one could possibly imagine, and to that difference is attributable the extraordinary popular success of García Márquez and the very limited appeal of Benet. Because it is a mythic interpretation of the origins of the present generation of the Colombian urban middle class, One Hundred Years of Solitude has an enormous appeal to the general reading public in Latin America as a kind of...
(The entire section is 1669 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Cabrera, Vicente. Juan Benet, 1983.
Choice. XX, September, 1982, p. 90.
Christian Science Monitor. XCIX, July 9, 1982, p. 14.
Compitello, Malcolm. Ordering the Evidence: Volveras a Region and Civil War Fiction, 1983.
Library Journal. CVII, May 1, 1982, p. 902.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. October 24, 1982, p. 7.
Herzberger, David K. “The Emergence of Juan Benet: A New Alternative for the Spanish Novel,” in American Hispanist. I, no. 3 (1975), pp. 6-12.
Herzberger, David K. The Novelistic World of Juan Benet, 1976.
Mantiega, Robert C., David K. Herzberger, and Malcolm Alan Compitello, eds. Critical Approaches to the Writings of Juan Benet, 1984.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVII, May 23, 1982, p. 13.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXI, March 19, 1982, p. 55.
(The entire section is 102 words.)