‘The Legend Of ‘El Cadejo” by Miguel Angel Asturias

The Legend Of ‘El Cadejo’ by Miguel Angel Asturias, 1930

The magic trick:

Using cultural folklore as the story’s foundation

Asturias wrote this, as well as the entire Legends Of Guatemala collection, based on Mayan origin stories. As such, it blends the timeless quality of folklore with the surreal touches of myth. And that’s quite a trick on Asturias’s part.

The selection:

Horse, cart, man, child passed before her eyes, evoked in country settings, under skies whose tranquil appearance put under a spell the wise eyes of the fountain troughs sitting around the water with the long-suffering air of old women servants.

And the images were accompanied by odors. The sky smelled like a sky, the child like a child, the fields like fields, the cart like hay, the horse like and old rosebush, the man like a saint, the troughs like shadows, the shadows like Sunday rest and the Lord’s day of rest like fresh washing. . . .

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