Introducción al estudio de las literaturas hispánicas, primavera 2014


• This course provides an introduction to Hispanic literature and to the analysis of literary texts. In particular, it focuses on retooling something many take for granted: reading. We will learn how to read both critically and creatively, analyzing the strategies that different authors use to express their ideas, create their literary worlds, and engage the reader.

• We will practice the techniques of close reading in Spanish, while also reflecting upon the historical and cultural contexts in which our writers formed their work. You will become familiar with the basic tools for the analysis of four literary genres: narrative, poetry, drama, and essay. We will question the limits of textual interpretation (is any interpretation of a text valid?) and work towards producing readings that are creative, insightful and grounded.

• The course will also focus, therefore, on techniques of analytical and argumentative writing in Spanish, and on the building of your textual interpretation in both oral and written form. The analytical tools that you acquire in this course will prepare you for more advanced classes in literature and culture. They will also empower you to be more critical and creative thinkers across the board, whatever your major or interests.

• In Spring, 2014 we will emphasize traditional and contemporary theoretical work in narratology and poetics, as we continue to improve our Spanish language skills through slow reading and interesting discussion of poetry, theatre, literary essays, and short to medium-length narrative by four major Hispanic authors of the twentieth century: Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina), Federico García Lorca (Spain), Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia), and Elena Poniatowska (Mexico).

• Interested in fiction as artifice, Borges is best known in English as a writer of short stories; he is, however, also an accomplished poet and essayist, writing as well on questions of history and cultural identity. Well known in English as a poet, Borges’ contemporary García Lorca also wrote important essays and plays that he directed and staged himself.

• García Márquez works at the intersection of folktale, journalism, and the novel; the novella we will read explores and experiments with the detective genre. Poniatowska also works between fiction, journalism, literary criticism and social commentary; the work we will read by her is an epistolary novel on the relationship of painter Diego Rivera and his Russian-Parisian wife, before the time of Frida Kahlo.

• There will be brief, daily in-class writing in response to prompts related to the reading; four short formal essays; four short oral presentations, given in groups; and a final examination.

Books in addition to online readings are: Borges, Nueva antología personal (México: Siglo XXI, 2009); García Lorca, Bodas de sangre (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1988); García Marquez, Crónica de una muerte anunciada (New York: Vintage, 2003), Klein, La narración (Buenos Aires: Eudeba, 2007), and Poniatowska, Querido Diego (México: ERA, 2007).

Reading, discussion, and writing are in Spanish. Required for the major in Spanish, counts toward the minor; suitable for Honors contracts; satisfies University requirement in literature.


Recursos para la lectura de Crónica de una muerte anunciada — Willamette University — very good
Meister et al., The Living Handbook of Narratology


→Medieval/Golden Age narrative: Cantar del Cid, Conde Lucanor, “El celoso extremeño” de Cervantes, “El prevenido engañado” de Maria de Zayas.
→Medieval poetry: the romancero. We should read Golden Age poetry but I say, wait until the survey this time.
→García Lorca: essay, poetry, theatre. Complete works are on line. I say: Diván del Tamarit, “La imagen poética en don Luis de Góngora,” and El público, in a more advanced course; also, I can present the romancero when I give my Lorca class.
→Cortázar, Carpentier.
→There is also an online textbook, similar to Aproximaciones. NO.
→I would like an introducción a los estudios literarios in Spanish, like Lapesa but modern, or Lapesa and something modern.
→ Genette for narratology.
→A different course would Klein, La narración, in another way. Talk about it, then talk about Medieval/GA narrative, then Crónica de una muerte anunciada. Then some Medieval and GA poetry, and GA theatre, and then García Lorca.
→ Carreter, Cómo comentar un texto literario, is good but is the Spanish too hard for this level?

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