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SPAN2111 - The Short Story in Spanish America

Value: 0.5 course units
Dr Constanza Ceresa
Teaching structure:
one 3000 word essay (40%); and one unseen two-hour written examination (60%).

Module Description:

This module will examine the transformations of the short story from modernismo in the 1880s to García Márquez’s experiments with marvelous realism in the 1970s. Each of the authors’ stories will be studied on the level of both form and historical content. We will explore to what extent each story contains a commentary of modernity and modernization by paying close attention to issues of regionalism, cosmopolitanism, and the fluctuations between realism and wonder. The transnational scope of the module allows student to see the different manifestations of the short story genre during a century of dramatic literary, political, and cultural transformations in Latin America.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

The texts to be studied in class will be taken from the following collections:

  • Gutiérrez Nájera, Manuel. Cuentos frágiles (1883)
  • Darío, Rubén. Azul (1888)
  • Lugones, Leopoldo. Las fuerzas extrañas (1906)
  • Quiroga, Horacio. Cuentos de locura, de amor y de muerte (1917)
  • Ocampo, Silvina. Viaje olvidado (1937)
  • Hernández, Felisberto. Nadie encendía las lámparas (1947)
  • Carpentier, Alejo. “Viaje a la semilla” (Guerra del tiempo) (1958)
  • Bioy Casares, Adolfo. “Trama celeste” in Historias fantásticas (1972)
  • García Márquez, Gabriel. “El ahogado más hermoso del mundo” (1968).