Spanish & Portuguese | Topics in Spanish 18th- &19th-Century Literature
S630 | 3918 | M. Bieder

Professor Maryellen Bieder

TR 4:00pm - 5:15pm/section #3918/3cr./Ballantine Hall 135

Topic in Spanish 18th- & 19th-Century Literature
Reading the Spanish Short Story: A Narratological Approach

The truly popular genre in Spain in the 18th and 19th centuries
is short fiction, from the early fábulas, leyendas, and cuadros de
costumbres to the modern short story. With an increasingly literate
public, the relato, especially in the shape of the short, short
story, became the most accessible form of fiction. Leopoldo Alas and
Emilia Pardo Bazán were among the most prolific and accomplished
writers of short fiction, and their experimentation with the genre
forged the characteristics we recognize today. This course will read
selected stories by a range of authors, both male and female,
starting with some 18th-century and early 19th century examples,
before concentrating on the ascendancy of the cuento in the second
half of the 19th-century. It will end with some early stories by
Unamuno, Valle-Inclán, Carmen de Burgos, and other writers at the
turn of the century.  In analyzing these stories, we will draw on the
concepts of narratology.

Many critics invoke the basic terminology of narratology–implied
author, narrator, implied reader, etc.–in their analyses, but
frequently they misdefine or incorrectly apply these concepts. We
will review the current status of narratology and the most recent
discussions of its basic terms (Prince, Chatman, Genette, Bal).
Narratologists have traditionally formulated their theories and
developed their analyses exclusively from texts written by men. Using
stories by Carolina Coronado, Pardo Bazán and other women, we will
take up the question of whether gender is a viable category of
narratological analysis. We will examine the fundamental tenets of
recent feminist narratology (Lanser, Warhol, Mezei) to discover what
insights they open up for the study of Spanish fiction and whether
these insights might apply as well to stories written by men.

Each student will have the opportunity to present one or more
stories to the class. There will be one short paper early in the
semester and one longer paper at the end.
The texts for this course are a course pack of short stories and
critical articles and perhaps a volume of stories by Leopoldo Alas.
Complete editions of fiction and criticism will be available for
consultation on reserve.