Free at last! After two months of struggling, I eventually managed to finished this second novel by Mario Vargas Llosa from cover to cover.
Nevertheless, I did not fully enjoy the plotline, nor did I comprehend thoroughly neither.
As far as I am concerned, there were four dimensions that hinder me from reading the great fiction with ease and joy.
1. Book Content
I've read "La Ciudad y Los Perros" (Time of the Hero) previously and I quite enjoyed the book since La Ciudad y Los Perros has lesser pages compared with La Casa Verde. To me, it was not easy, still, to read the English fiction (translation) for a total of 400 pages. I still have much room to improve my reading skills.
In La Ciudad y Los Perros, there were only four , well, five rather, main characters and it's easier to tell who speaks which sentences and also to differentiate the characteristics from each protagonists.
However, in La Casa Verde, there are more than 10 something main or supporting characters if my poor memory did not fail me. Sometimes, I did not really know who speaks which sentences and who the addressee is. Then, under this circumstance, how on earth could I possibly enjoy the plotline without fully understanding what they are addressing.
3. Writing style
I wouldn't say Mario Vargas Llosa's writing style is horrible, I did not have the stance at all. But, I did find much more difficult to read this section fiction of his than the first fiction.
Llosa writes in Stream of Consciousness (wow, I could still remember this literal term.) so much in the book so I could not even tell the time sequence of each and every paragraph. Which paragraph is a narration for the time being, and which others are only the monologue about the things happened in the past! So, I got totally confused with the time. It's truly challenging for me to buildup the whole picture of the story.
I've read in the essay that Mario Vargas Llosa is deeply influenced by the writing style of the American writer, William Falkner. Mario Vargas Llosa is also regarded as the master of Structural Realism. But, I really don't know the real definition of it but this fiction will have a clear demonstration of what structural realism is for those literature fanatics.
4. Cultural Barrier
The fiction depicts the story happened in Piura, a modern city in the desert and also in Santa Maria de Nieve, a small town in the Amazona, emphasizing describing the cultural, religious, and politic aspects during 1920's to 1960's Peruvian society.
Though I'd been to Peru but I'd just been to the cities below Lima. I've never set my foot on the Amazonas in Peru so I could not really feel related to the locations, nor could I possibly understand what the life had been like during 1920's to 1960's in Peru.
Therefore, I feel extremely painful to learn all of the difficult Spanish nouns, but not understand the meaning/ definition behind it at all.
In a nutshell, after reading through the fiction, I got more understanding and awareness on the Peruvian society. About the gap between the poor and the rich during 20's to 60's in Peru. An also, I got to know more about the background knowledge about Peru. Had I never traveled to Peru, I would not get to understand thus much. That is why we all should have a grand tour somewhere sometimes in our limited life.
Ps. The builder of The Green House, Senor Anselmo, served as misah to the Piuranians for they to open their hearts and souls. I felt surprised when first knowing the name is so similar to Elmo.
Ps 2. Should you feel deeply interested in La Casa Verde, plase also read into the graduate essay written by Yuan-Ta Hsu. He researches the material and resources before writing such a comprehensive and detailed essay.