SPAN 329: The Story of the Short Story in Spain
Rei Berroa [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Office: WR 2:45-3:45 or by appointment [Thompson 215 E]
Tel.: (703) 993-1241 / Fax: (703) 993-1245
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Exemplary Stories. Transl. by C.A. Jones. London: Penguin, 1972
Bonnie May, editor, Treasury of Classic Spanish Love Short Stories. New York: Hippocrene, 1997
Angel Flores, editor, Spanish Stories / Cuentos españoles. New York: Dover Publications, 1987
Juan A. Masoliver, ed., The Origins of Desire (Modern Spanish Stories). London: Serpent's Tail, 1993
Gerald Prince, Dictionary of Narratology. Lincoln: University of Nebrasca Press, 1987
Jane P. Tompkins, editor, Reader-Response Criticism. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1980
Jennifer Bothamley, Dictionary of Theories. London: Visible Ink Press, 1993
The objective of this course is the study of the presence and development of the short story in Spain since the rise of the nation as the first modern state under the crown of Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón in 1492 untill the present time. On this side of the Atlantic, the development of the short story coincides with the birth of the American Republics and is, thus, viewed as a reflection of our new cultures. In Spain, on the other hand, it was the ancient culture of the Arabs, brought by the Moors who crossed over to Spain from North Africa in the year 711 and remained there for almost 800 years [until January 2, 1492], that gave rise to the popularity of the short story over the years. [Click here for a general introduction to Spain's history]. Mixed with poetry at the beginning [see the Cantar de Mío Cid] and used for creating a moral as well as a military stand against the invaders (see the names of such narrative poets as Berceo and the Acipreste de Hita or some poems written by Moorish poets), the short story didn't reach the general public until Alfonso X El Sabio (the Learned King), who devoted his life to the arts and the culture of Castille, ordered that the Calila, one of the collections of stories from the Oriental tales that have arrived in Spain hundreds of years before, be translated from the Arabic into Spanish in 1251. [See Alfonso's works.] Although a lot of literary works were scattered all over Europe at that time [see European Middle Ages], this collection of stories was the first such collection in any European language. [See the short story] But it was Alfonso's nephew, Don Juan Manuel, the first to bring forth a collection of stories of his own, although quite a few of them were well known stories adapted from different traditions (Hebrew, Islamic, Byzantine, Judeo-Christian, etc.). The triumph of the Renaissancein Italy, as well as in the rest of Europe (see the English literature of the period), perhaps the most important artistic movement in the history of the arts, is going to place the individual at the center of everything (check here for a good outline of the R.). This individualism is very clear in the first totally original collection of short stories in Spain -the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes (1553), which became the grandfather of all picaresque tales all over the world. It will be Cervantes, though, the one to give maturity to the genre with his well known Exemplary novels. We will study this development through the years, especially during the Romantic period, during which the short story is revived by the many variations of Romantic writers: Naturalists, Realists, etc.
There will be four formal evaluations (each 25% of your final grade): two exams and two five-page analyses of chosen texts. (Stay tuned for schedules and assignments.) It is necessary to be connected to the internet, since part of the information you are going to bring to class might be downloaded from the web. All this material will be used as primary source for classroom presentations, individual observations and group discussion.
[Margaret Greer looks at the work of Cervantes and Zayas and compares their "framing"]
Last Exam [4:30-7:10 PM]