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Mainly intended as an exercise in Comparative Aesthetics, this course is designed to open students' curiosity for the relationship between literature and the other arts in Spain: Music, painting, dance, film and architecture. It focuses on the main cultural currents that contributed to the creation of the peculiar Spanish culture (Romanesque, Visigothic, Moorish, Renaissance, Romantic, Modernist, etc) and how it affects literature and society. Special attention will be devoted to the cancioneros and romanceros, the history of the guitar (with its popular and classical appeal), the zarzuela, and the nationalist school represented by Granados, Albéniz, Falla (in music), Juan Ruiz, Cervantes, García Lorca and Alberti (in literature), Antonio and Manresa (in dance), Buñuel and Saura (in film), and Gaudí (in architecture).
More than an intellectual reflection on the text through which students and professor search for paths to discover the truth of verbal art, our weekly exercises will be different perspectives to experience art in just a few of its modalities. Some times our perspective might be musical or poetic, other times it might be pictorial or dance-like, even perhaps architectural. But we must always have our senses open, alert to leave aside the intellectual and manage to bring forth the world of our intuitions. Somewhat peripathetic, these weekly tertulias sould help us forge a new academic awareness, very different, indeed, from the one we normally experience in the classroom.
Ann Livermore, A Short History of Spanish Music. London: Duckworth, 1972
Gilbert Chase, The Music of Spain. New York: Dover, 1959
Federico García Lorca, Three Tragedies. New York: New Directions, 1955.
The first and the third books are already in the bookstore. The second is reserved at the Johnson Center Library (no more than two hours per person, so that everyone has access to the books). I also placed a copy of Livermore's book on reserve.
There is not a "history of painting" and its relationship with literature. Two texts were announced for this summer, but their publication has been postponed. One older text whose validity is still intact, is the work of Etienne Souriau, La correspondence des arts [Paris: Flammarion, 1947], in which he studies our subject applied to French artists. We still don't have this work applied to Spanish art in general, so we have to be pleased with three texts that offer specific perspectives to painting and writing:
Estele Irizarri, Writers Painters of Contemporary Spain. Boston: Twayne, 1984.
Jacques Lassaigne, Spanish Painting. From Velázquez to Picasso. Geneva: Skira, 1952.
Judith B. Sobré, Behind
the Altar Table. The Painted Retable in Spain from 1350 to 1500.
Columbia [MS]: University of Missouri Press, 1989.
In the field of literature there are many anthologies. Although we will draw constantly from the poetic perspective to view everything, we will use only the text by Lorca as our primary source of reading and discussion.
In architecture, our main seeds will be harvested at the works of Gaudí, although we will also look at Herrera, Sert, Machuca and Calatrava.
In film and dance our primary sources
will be Buñuel and Saura, on the one hand, and Antonio, José
Greco, and Manresa, on the other.
Click here for the Bibliography on the subject
Real Monasterio y Biblioteca de San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Reading of texts, weekly discussion of assignments, a midterm (administered October 26), and a final exam (Tuesday, December 14 at 16:30). Student's own experiment in interrelating the arts will be shown in a 3000-word (10-12 page) final paper due the day of the final exam.
Altamira to the jarchas: Mozarabic Spain.
Readings: Livermore: Chapters I & II: "Early Spanish Music" [pp 1-23] and "Music of Muslim Spain and the Northern Kingdoms" [pp 24-39]. Chase: Chapter I: "Saints, Caliphs, and Kings" [pp. 19-35]. See also the section "Up to XII Century" in the bibliography.
Visit some sites on the subject, especially Altamira
|2- Alfonso X el Sabio and the Cantigas
Readings: See in the bibliography Dronke (The Medieval Lyric), Keller (Alfonso X, El Sabio) and Jackson (The Interpretation of Medieval Lyric Poetry). John Esten Keller and Annette G. Cash, Daily life depicted in the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Lexington [KY]: University Press of Kentucky, 1998. Connie L. Scarborough, Women in thirteenth-century Spain as portrayed in Alfonso X's Cantigas de Santa Maria. Lewiston [N.Y.]: E. Mellen Press, 1993.
Recordings: There are four excellent CDs of the Cantigas de Santa Maria at the JC library: Cantigas de Santa Maria Strela do dia [M1999.A643 C3]; Las Cantigas de Santa Maria: medieval music and verse in the court of Alfonso X, el Sabio [M1999.A4 C3]; Las Cantigas de Santa Maria [M1999.A4 C3 1970]; For no good reason at all: a fusion of Medieval- Renaissance and traditional American music [M1627.H48 F6 1991]. You must listen to at least three cantigas, study their literary and musical themes, and be ready to bring your findings to class.
In some of the reviews of this music, you will also find pictorial depictions of the cantigas from the manuscript at El Escorial or the ones prepared by Julián Ribera. For some of them, check The Flying Inkpot Review. The most complete discography on the cantigas has been prepared by medievalist Pierre-F. Roberge. See also: Camino de Santiago (visit the cities and the people along the Camino), goliards, Berceo'sMilagros and Juan Ruiz's Libro de Buen amor. [Click here for Juan Ruiz's bio-bibliography.]
|3- Music and poetry at the court
of Fernando and
Juan del Encina and the poet-composers of the Cancionero musical de Palacio. [Listen to any of the recordings we have at the JC with works from the Juan del Encina's collection]. Check a collection of villancicos
Readings: Livermore, chapter III: "Music of the Restoration and the Hapsburg Expansion" [pp. 48-91]; Chase, chapter II: "Secular Songs of the Renaissance" [pp. 36-63].
|4- The many worlds of the Romancero.
Readings are the same as in lecture 3.
|5- Poets, painters and musicians
in the Spanish Renaissance.
Readings: Chase, chapters IV & V [pp. 64- 89].
See sonnets in Spanish and English
|6- The Baroque:
Readings: Livermore, chapter IV [pp. 92-108]; Chase, chapter VI [pp.90-105]
Find two texts of great philosophical value to interpret both Velázquez and Cervantes in Foucault's The Order of Things [chapter I: "Las meninas" and chapter III: "Representing"]
|7- A- The
theater in dance and song.
Readings: Chase, chapters VIII & IX [pp. 121-150]
B- Goya: Enlightenment in search of a man.
Visit museums that have Goya's work and check articles on his work in the Artcyclopedia
|8- The Romantic century: The guitar comes of age.|
|9- The poetry of form: Gaudí and the Modernists.|
|10- The escuela nacionalista:
Readings: Chase, chapters X and XII [pp. 150-165; 182-197];
Livermore, chapter VII [pp. 179-218]
|11- Picasso deconstructs painting|
|12- The Spanish Surrealism: Dalí, Buñuel, Lorca.|
Lorca: poet, painter and musician
A- Blood Wedding [Read the play in Three Tragedies. See the movie by Saura & Antonio]
B- Yerma, Bernarda Alba [Read plays in textbook]
See above for bibliography on Lorca.