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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Fall 2008

SPN 385M • Survey of Twentieth Century Canonical Literature

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
48305 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

This is a survey course designed to prepare students for the MA Comprehensive/Doctoral Qualifying Examination in the area of twentieth century Spanish literature, and hence, the textual selections and their presentation are closely related to the required reading list for that exam. In addition to studying the contributions of the authors in the context of their own corpus of works, we will discuss several "isms": existentialism (Unamuno); neo-traditionalism (Machado, García Lorca); liberalism (Machado); 'vanguardismo' and surrealism (Ortega y Gasset, García Lorca, Cernuda, Valle-Inclán, Goytisolo); tremendismo (Cela); postmodernism (Martín Gaite, Mendoza, Gimferrer). Several readings have a pronounced social, historical, political dimension, or some combination thereof, which is also essential to contextualize these canonical readings. Luces de Bohemia and La verdad sobre el caso Savolta satirize dominant values of the teens and twenties. Miguel Hernández poetry reflects poetically on the Spanish Civil War. La colmena, El cuarto de atrás, and Señas de identidad correspond to the decades of postwar dictatorship. Pere Gimferrers poetry points to one direction beyond it. This course will include two in-class essay exams designed to help prepare students for the Hispanic Literature program examinations. Critical readings and a short paper, which may be on one of the texts or authors listed, or on a text by another twenty to twenty-first century peninsular writer, are also intended to help in overall preparation for program requirements.

Grading Policy

One textual explication in class (8%) Two 75 minute essay exams (36%) One article presentation in class (10%) Short term paper, 10-12 pp. & annotated bibliography (38%) Class Participation (8%)


Miguel de Unamuno, Niebla. Ramón del Valle Inclán, Luces de Bohemia. Federico García Lorca, La zapatera prodigiosa. José Ortega y Gasset, La deshumanización del arte. Camilo José Cela, La colmena. Juan Goytisolo, Señas de identidad. Eduardo Mendoza, La verdad sobre el caso Savolta. Carmen Martín Gaite, El cuarto de Atrás Una selección de poesía de: Antonio Machado; Federico García Lorca; Luis Cernuda, Miguel Hernández, Pere Gimferrer.


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