Sunday, April 11, 2010

The course concludes...

Well, I'd be lying if I said I've been on top of my blog posts lately. This past month has been an absolute nightmare for me. Constant problem sets, massive group assignments, presentations and work outside of school really don't equate to me getting a lot of sleep. I guess I was asking for it by taking 6 courses in a semester and working part-time. Personal struggles aside, I really did enjoy the course, and more specifically the novels that we read. While I must admit my attendance started sliding for the latter part of the course, I still took the time to do the readings at home to keep on pace with the course.

To me the way the course panned out was rather innovative, and, at times, demanding. The volume of reading in this course was rather intimidating for me, especially as an econ student where reading isn't of paramount importance. I especially liked the blog posts we were assigned - they acted as an incentive to complete the readings and also come up with something unique or, in the best case, insightful to say. Even if you missed class lectures, by reading through the blog posts of the students in the class, you could get a very broad perspective of the material we covered and derive your own personal interpretations from the collective wisdom of the class. In the end, I think this led to a greater appreciation of the literature we studied. I like to think of the blog posts as a sort of "virtual book club" that we all became avid members of during the course.

As for magical realism itself, I now feel as though I am well versed in the subject - well, okay, as well versed as you can be for a novice literary aficionado. Either way, I firmly believe the manner in which the course was presented allowed us to gain a fuller appreciation of the genre as a whole, from its origins, to its climax. Ultimately, it was clear that the first two novels, while important and well written in their own rights, were just a warm up for Marquez's masterpiece. While I enjoyed Cien años I can't help but feel as though it deserves another, thorough re-read on my part. I think it's fair to say that many of the students in the class probably feel the same way. Marquez's work is not something that can be fully digested and interpreted with one simple reading. That being said, it's not surprising that volumes have been written about his book and that an entire course in itself could probably be devoted to the novel. At the end of the day, however, I feel satisfied with my first exposure to the genre of magical realism, even if I'm a complete noob.

I feel thankful for being a part of this course as it provided me nice gradual path to conquering a a truly great piece of literature.

Read a masterpiece... Check.


  1. Yes, I like the idea of the blogs as a "virtual book club." :)

    Meanwhile, six courses plus part-time work... crazy, man, crazy!

  2. Yes, I will admit I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew this term. However, the thought of graduation is a pretty powerful motivator and makes the stress and frustration I've experienced this term seem reasonable.