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SP5 Reading List

This paper requires you to work in a comparative manner on the texts studied, understanding them in terms of their place within broad intellectual (and/or historical) currents within Latin America. Your essays in supervisions should for the most part be comparative and take into account at least two texts, as will be the case in examination. This will not prevent you from carrying out close analyses of texts, so long as they have regard to the question being asked. The emphasis of the paper is on culture (including literature, cinema, and visual arts). History is not taught as a separate component, but for many of the topics you are encouraged to set culture within its historical context, and some historical background will be given in lectures. [Some questions which can be answered with historical methodology: please consult your supervisor if this is of interest to you.]

Below you will find the principal texts for the paper in 2019-2020. You are advised to cover as many of these as possible, and to start reading during the Summer vacation. Once you have read these texts, you are free to explore around the topics and discover texts which might suggest new approaches within the overall topics you are studying. For suggested summer reading as preparation for the topics on this paper, please see the description of the paper. During the year you will study the Foundations Topic and three or four of the other topics. For examination purposes you will need to revise a minimum of Foundations and two other topics to be adequately prepared. Each topic except Foundations will have three questions on the paper, one of which may (for relevant topics) be specifically directed at historical issues. This paper can be studied for the Long Essay option.

Texts on which there will be lectures / seminars

Foundations, identity, difference

Colonial

Post-Independence

  • Soledad Acosta de Samper, Dolores (1867)
  • Jorge Icaza, Huasipungo (1936)
  • Alejo Carpentier, El reino de este mundo (1949)
  • Rosario Castellanos, Balún Canán (1957)
  • Excerpts from foundational essays: Domingo F. Sarmiento,Facundo (1845); José Martí, ‘Nuestra América mestiza’ (1891); Roberto Fernández Retamar, Calibán (1971)

Representing the City

  • Roberto Arlt, El juguete rabioso (1926)
  • Eliseo Subiela, Últimas imágenes del naufragio (1989) [film]
  • Guillermo del Toro, Cronos (1992) [film]
  • Walter Doehner Pecanins, Íntimo terror (1990) [film]

Labyrinths of Fiction

  • Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (1944)
  • Adolfo Bioy Casares, La invención de Morel​ (1940)
  • Julio Cortázar, Bestiario (1951)

Charting Revolution 

  • Mariano Azuela, Los de abajo (1915)
  • Juan Rulfo, El Llano en llamas (1953)
  • Jan Bazant, A Concise History of Mexico (chapters on the Revolution and its aftermath)

Penning the Dictator

  • Marta Traba, Conversación al sur (1981)
  • Luisa Valenzuela, Cambio de armas (1982)
  • Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus (1982)
     

Further reading

These texts are suggested for the topics, but will not be lectured on in 2019-20

Foundations, Identity, Difference

  • Bartolomé de Las Casas, Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (1552) *
  • Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Sab (1841) [use the Manchester Hispanic Texts edition,edited by Catherine Davies]
  • Cristóbal Colón, “Carta a Luis de Santángel” (1493), available in Varela, ed., Textos y documentos completos​ (Madrid: Alianza) *
  • José María Arguedas, Los ríos profundos (1958)
  • Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad (essay, 1959)

Please note that the recommended texts by Colón and Las Casas have changed for Tripos 2019. Previously they were: Colón, Diario del primer viaje​ (c. 1492) and Las Casas, “Especies de barbarie” in Apologética historia sumaria (1536). If any student has prepared the previous texts, this is not a problem, they are equally pertinent to the Foundations topic. In that case, they should contact the lecturer, Caroline Egan, for advice or supervision.

Charting Revolution

  • Carlos Fuentes, Gringo viejo (1986)
  • Elena Garro, Los recuerdos del porvenir (1963)
  • Jorge Ibargüengoitia, Los relámpagos de agosto (1963)
  • Elena Poniatowska, La noche de Tlatelolco (1971)
  • Ángeles Mastretta, Arráncame la vida (1985)

For the History of the Mexican Revolution topic:

  • Judith Adler Hellman, Mexico in Crisis (1978)
  • Jan Bazant, A Concise History of Mexico: from Hidalgo to Cárdenas, 1805-1940 (1977)
  • Adolfo Gilly, La revolución interrumpida (1971)

Representing the City

  • Carlos Fuentes, Agua quemada 
  • Juan Carlos Onetti, El pozo (1939)
  • Luis Buñuel, Los olvidados (1950 – film)
  • Hugo Santiago Muchnick (dir.), Invasión [film, 1969]
  • Ernesto Sábato, Informe sobre ciegos (1961)
  • Luis Zapata, El vampiro de la Colonia Roma (1979)

Penning the Dictator

  • Miguel Ángel Asturias, El señor Presidente (1946)
  • Jorge Zalamea, El gran Burundún-Burundá ha muerto (1952)
  • Reinaldo Arenas, Arturo, la estrella más brillante (1984)

Labyrinths of Fiction

  • Felisberto Hernández, Las Hortensias y otros cuentos​ (1949)
  • Carlos Fuentes, Zona sagrada (1967)
  • Gabriel García Márquez, Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1981)
  • Sergio Renán (dir.), El sueño de los héroes [film, 1997]