Spanish Language Authors of the 21st Century

Open—Spring

Conditioned by swift technological advances and radical sociopolitical changes, what was hitherto known as the abiding space of literature has become a place of infinitely elastic crossings and exchanges. Formerly well-established boundaries such as national origin or language of expression have become rather porous. Twenty-first century writers feel that they have entered uncharted territories in which reading, writing, and publishing have taken on altogether new meanings. In this class, we will study the most recent literary production of the Spanish-speaking world as fully integrated in a rapidly shifting global map. The contours of the cultural paradigm inhabited by the younger generations of writers across the globe are subject to new currents of cross-cultural interdependence. An example: David Foster Wallace and Roberto Bolaño are arguably the two most influential authors for contemporary Spanish and Latin American writers whose preoccupations are to forge new literary idioms. Such juncture demands a radically new way of approaching the latest literary productions from the Spanish-speaking world. As a corollary of the transnational, cross-cultural preoccupations of these writers, new textual crystallizations that defy generic classification have come into being. These include the contemporary chronicle; new forms of journalism, essays, and reportage; and the emergence of technology-based creative works. Authors to be studied include Roberto Bolaño, Alvaro Enrigue, Jordi Soler, Valeria Luiselli, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Enrique Vila-Matas, Javier Marías, Alejandro Zambra, and Guadalupe Nettel—along with others whose work was never meant to appear on paper.