What Fuentes Thinks About Language
What Fuentes Thinks About Language How I Started to Write is one of the many essays written by Carlos Fuentes and it is a good example of how he uses language to convey his ideas simply and beautifully to the reader. His thoughts about language and his notion of telling a story come across clearly. as he begins his tale in a Dickensian manner speaking about his birth and going on to describe the events of his early life. From the very opening of his essay, it is clear that he considers language to be the superior art form compared to silent visual displays of art. His disdain for silent films becomes apparent since he does not expect great fiction to come from silent music and images alone.
His father’s work as a diplomat who continually works with language as his primary tool for business and his own infatuation with reading and understanding the world around him shows that Fuentes was indeed closer to the written and spoken word than anything else. Language becomes an essential part of him as a medium of expression not only of his inner feelings and emotions but also concerning what he sees around him. Coupled with music, language becomes song and spirit which is reflected in the times he lives in and the places he travels to as he becomes older.
As he is an insider to Washington yet an outsider due to his position as a Mexican, language also becomes a mediator for Carlos Fuentes as the cultural collisions experienced by him can be unified through the use of language to translate various ideas from one culture to another. For him, America was a place where great changes were taking place and considerable contrasts could be seen between the rich and the poor where economic depression had taken hold of large parts of the nation. The illusion of grandeur was created by careful use of language and the same could easily be removed through honest discussion about what was going on in the nation.
The allusions and references made by Carlos Fuentes to various authors and characters created by others show that he is not only well versed in literature, he also expects or thinks that the readers are familiar with those characters as well. In essence, Fuentes is speaking a literary language which one must know and understand to better appreciate the language being used by him. However, even without knowing that particular language, the meaning is still well conveyed by Fuentes through his use of simile and situational allusion.
In conclusion, for Fuentes, language is much more than a medium of communication. For him it is an art form which can be practiced and used as a means for many different ends. Whether it is diplomacy, rousing a crowd, creating a novel, writing a poem or even creating leftist political material, language remains vitally important for anyone who wishes to convey an idea or a thought to anyone else in the world.
Fuentes, C. How I Started to Write.