Guatemala Literature and Cinema

Literature. – Among the writers of the generation considered the starting point for the new Guatemalan literature – and which had had the highest expression in MA Asturias – they continued to write in their exiled homeland L. Cardoza y Aragón, who besides being a poet he distinguished himself for a consistent non-fiction production on art in general and on politics; and A. Monterroso, an author with a synthetic, clear and refined language, of which at least the stories of La oveja negra y demás fábulas (1969), Movimiento perpetuo (1972) and Lo demás es silencio (1978) should be remembered.

In the 1970s, a new generation emerged, whose dominant themes are the political crisis and the indigenous condition.

On the first one converges the work of MA Flores (b.1937) who, better known as a poet and as a playwright, has linked his name to the novel Los Compañeros (1976), in which the details of the daily life of the petty bourgeoisie intersperses profound reflections on the tragedy of the urban warfare. The indigenous world, on the other hand, is the referent chosen by the Indian writer L. de León. Among his stories, never collected in volume until now, we remember Puerta del cielo, published in the collection Antología del cuento contemporáneo Central American. In the work of this writer, the underlying intention is more social than literary, but this does not reveal weaknesses in writing. Another notable narrator is R. Obregón (1940-1970), author of the controversy Apendiz de profeta (1967). Always linked to the denunciation of the conditions of the indigenous world, a secular problem of Guatemala, is the socio-literary experiment that allowed the Indian Mayan-Quiché R. Menchú (b.1969) to write his own autobiography, dictated in Spanish to an anthropologist, who transcribed it while keeping the linguistic rhythm of the oral version intact. In this work, published in Mexico in 1982 under the title Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia, in retracing the history of her own life, the author compares the mythical dimensions of her own culture with the distorted vision of it. give whites.

Among the poets of a certain importance, one cannot fail to mention OR Castillo (1936-1967), killed by the armed forces. Like almost all the poetry of this last generation, Informe de una injusticia, an anthological collection of a very large part of his works, published posthumously in 1975, is centered on the denunciation of the violence and abuses to which the Guatemalan population has been subjected for a long time.

According to sourcemakeup, the theater in Guatemala – whose most significant representative is MJ Arce (b. 1933), author of Compermiso and Delito, condena y execución de una gallina (1969), by Viva Sandino! and Sebastián sale de compras (1975) – went through a profound crisis, finding the possibility of expressing himself, even if simply as a popular communication channel, only in hiding.

Cinema. – One of the least developed countries from the point of view of the film industry, Guatemala has always limited itself to producing films on an occasional basis: from the day of the first public screening of the Lumière cinema – 26 September 1896 – to the making of the first national short film sixteen years: A. de la Riva signs Agent no. 13 in 1912. An even greater number of years must then pass before being able to attend the screening of a sound film, Rhythm and dance (1942) by Fleischmann, Aguirre and Gavarrete, and that of a real feature film, El sombreron (1950) by Fleischmann and Andreu. The documentary Vamos patria a caminar dates back to 1983, which recalls the anti-imperialist struggle fought since 1954.

The causes of the lack of development of cinema are twofold: on the one hand the heavy influence of Mexican cinema, which has always considered Guatemala a branch of its own industry (dozens of Mexican films have been made in Guatemalan territory for years), on the other the very limited freedom of expression that directors have always disposed of. Currently, the film market is almost entirely covered by US production.

Guatemala Literature