SPANG029 - The Hispanic Novel of Dictatorship

Value: 30 credits
Tutor: Dr Gareth Wood
Teaching structure:
Assessment: one 5000 word essay


Module Description:

This course will consist of literary analysis and discussion of four Hispanic novels which either depict or reflect upon dictatorial regimes in both Latin America and Spain. Students will be invited to learn about how these four authors, among whom are two winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, have sought to overcome the aesthetic, political, and ethical challenges posed by writing about autocracy and its attendant cruelties. The novels themselves vary in their strategy for depicting dictatorial regimes from the allegorical to the satirical, taking as inspiration either real historical despots or overtly fictional ‘hybrids’ of such figures. This course is open to non-Spanish-speaking students, hence the inclusion on the reading-list of English versions of the texts.

Primary texts Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, Tirano Banderas, ed. by Alonso Zamora Vicente (Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1978 [1926]) OR Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, Tyrant Banderas, trans. by Peter Bush (New York: NYRB, 2012)

Mario Vargas Llosa, Conversación en la Catedral (any Spanish edn.) OR Mario Vargas Llosa, Conversation in the Cathedral, trans. By Gregory Rabassa (London: Faber & Faber, 1993)

Juan Goytisolo, Don Julián (Madrid: Cátedra, 2009 [1970]) OR Juan Goytisolo, Count Julian, trans. by Helen Lane (London: Serpent’s Tail, 1989)

Gabriel García Márquez, El otoño del patriarca (Barcelona: Mondadori, 1987 [1975]) OR Gabriel García Márquez, The Autumn of the Patriarch, trans. by Gregory Rabassa (London: Cape, 1977)

Secondary sources will include:

The Cambridge Companion to Gabriel García Márquez, ed. by Philip Swanson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

The Cambridge Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa, ed. by Efraín Kristal and John King (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Dru Dougherty, Guía para caminantes en Santa Fe de Tierra Firme (Valencia: Pre-Textos, 1999)

Bradley Epps, Significant Violence: Oppression and Resistance in the Later Narratives of Juan Goytisolo, 1970-90 (Oxford: OUP, 1996)

Efraín Kristal, The Temptation of the Word: the Novels of Mario Vargas Llosa (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1998)

Abigail Lee Six, Juan Goytisolo: the Case for Chaos (London: Yale University Press, 1990)

Gerald Martin, Gabriel García Márquez: A Life (London: Bloomsbury, 2008)

Dominic Moran, ‘Interview with Vargas Llosa’, Hispanic Research Journal, 7 (2006), 259-73.

Alison Ribeiro de Menezes, Juan Goytisolo: the Author as Dissident (London: Tamesis, 2005)

Verity Smith, Valle-Inclán: Tirano Banderas, Grant and Cutler Critical Guides (London: Grant and Cutler, 1971)

Alonso Zamora Vicente, Vida y obra de Valle-Inclán (1866-1936) (Barcelona: Círculo de Lectores, 1990).