Fall 2005
SPAN 329: The Story of the Short Story in Spain
Rei Berroa  [rberroa@gmu.edu]
Office: W 2:30-3:30 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

Recommended Textbooks:
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
You should also acquire a dictionary of criticism in English. The best one would be The
New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, although a somewhat expensive proposition, you wouldn't be sorry owning one. If you cannot afford it, then you should getThe Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, prepared by J. A. Cuddon & Claire Preston. It is not as good as the Encyclopedia, but it will be enough to help you understand and decipher the critical and literary language you will be confronted with during this class and throughout your literary studies.

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 very 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 1256. [See Alfonso's work and an interesting study on his most famous Cantigas de Santa María.] 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. [Click here to learn more about Sefarad, name the Jews had for Spain.] The triumph of the Renaissance in 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 Romanticism and contemporary Spain. During the first, the short story was revived by the many variations of Romantic writers: Naturalists, Realists, etc.; during the second, the short story is enriched by the many strides humanity makes in the sciences, especially in anthropology, sociology,and psychology, among others.


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.


First week:
General Introduction: "The Story of Spain: Land of Cultures"

Second week:
El Cid , Anonymous (no reference in our books [= nriob])
Click to read the digital version of this book at the UC-Berkeley
Gonzalo de Berceo [nriob]. See the translation of his "Introduction" to Milagros de nuestra señora.
Read M. J. Kelley's article "Blindness as Physical and Moral Disorder in Berceo," 
Don Juan Manuel (in Flores, 2-11)
Juan Ruiz, Arcipreste de Hita [nriob]
 Jorge de Montemayor (in May, 8-45) [Read this article: Abencerraje]
[Consult the Internet Medieval Sourcebook for a wealth of information on the period]

Third week:
Lazarillo (in Flores, 12-61) [You can read a bilingual edition of Lazarillo online]
Cervantes ("The Wedding..." in May, 124-157) [Read Cervantes' brief bio

[Read this article by Peter Dunn comparing Cervantes' work with the picaresque novel]

Fourth week:
Cervantes, Exemplary Novels
Introduction, 7-18
"The Little Gipsy Girl," 19-84 (Click here to learn about the gipsies)
"Rinconete and Cortadillo," 85-120
    "The Power of the Blood" (in Flores, 62-89)

Fifth week:
Cervantes, Exemplary Novels
"The Glass Graduate," 121-146
"The Jealous Extremaduran," 147-180
"The Deceitful Marriage," 181-194
"The Dogs'Colloquy," 195-252
[Visit the site of the Cervantes Society of America and read hundreds of articles on Cervantes's work]

[Margaret Greer looks at the work of Cervantes and Zayas and compares their "framing"]

Sixth week:
First Exam (first part of the class)
   Bécquer (in May, 46-75)
[Click here for an article on Bécquer's "feminine writing" or here to read some of his Rimas]
Key ideas of the Romantic movement and the Oxford Dictionary definition. Unfortunately the Spanish Romantic movement does not have a good presence on the web. Click here for selected electronic texts in English.
Three essential texts on Romanticism: Schiller (German), Baudelaire (French), Shelley (English).

Seventh week:
Alarcón (in Flores, 90-103)
 Bazán ("Revolver" in Flores, 116-127; "Dream Story" in May 76-85)
Emilia Pardo Bazán and Leopoldo Alas, "Clarín" are the key figures of Spanish Naturalism. We don't have much on the web, but learn here about key ideas of Naturalism.

Eigth week:
Clarín (in Flores, 128-145) & Unamuno
("The Marquis" in Flores, 146-175; "A Story of Love" in May, 86-123)

Ninth week:
Cela (in Flores, 238-257)
 Goytisolo (in Flores, 258-275)

Tenth week:
Masoliver, editor, "Introduction"
  Saladrigas, Moix, Vázquez Montalbán, Tomeo, Marías, Millás, Riera (1-63)

Eleventh week:
Merino, Pombo, Tusquets, Vila-Matas, Monzó, Fernández Cubas, Díez, Puig.
 (Masoliver, 64-119)

Twelfth week:
Puértolas, Murillo, Martínez de Pisón, García Sánchez, Díaz-Mas,
   García Montalvo, Muñoz Molina (in Masoliver, 120-149)

Thirteenth week:
Pamies, Zarraluki, Cercas, Millán, Freixas, Cerezales, Atzaga
  (In Masoliver, 159-201)

Fourteenth week:

December 14
Last Exam [4:30-7:10 PM]