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Spanish Literature

Advanced—Spring

This seminar will focus on the literary production of Spain between the 1830s and today. Our journey will start in the early decades of the 20th century, when three teenagers destined to become artists of universal stature attended the same college in Madrid and became friends: Federico García Lorca, Salvador Dalí, and Luis Buñuel. After reading prose works by each of them, we will conduct a selective exploration of the Spanish poetic canon, from medieval ballads to the latest manifestations by contemporary authors. Two philosophers, José Ortega y Gasset and Miguel de Unamuno will help us map the intricacies of Spanish cultural history. The most important segment of the class will be devoted to the study of the Spanish narrative tradition, with an emphasis on women novelists. The course will acknowledge the cultural and linguistic diversity of Spain, a country with four distinct literary traditions in as many languages: Castilian, Basque, Galician, and Catalan. Authors under study will include a significant number of canonical writers from the recent and not so recent past, such as Ana María Matute, Carmen Laforet, María Zambrano, Pedro Salinas, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, and Benito Pérez Galdós. Students interested in this course must have a very solid command of the language. This course is taught entirely in Spanish. Permission of the instructor is required. All interested students who have not taken at least Intermediate III at Sarah Lawrence College are strongly urged to take the Spanish Placement Test in addition to interviewing the instructor.