Comparative Literature | Faulkner and Spanish American Authors
C611 | 1147 | Cohn, D


Section taught in Spanish
Section meets with HISP S781

Class Meets:  TR 9:30-1045A

Authors writing in Spanish America in the 1950s and 1960s were
acutely conscious of forging a new literary style for themselves,
one that they hoped would be better able to express the region’s
reality and experiences than they perceived traditional realist
discourses to be.  This course situates the emergence of la nueva
narrativa and the Boom in relation to the decline of realism and
regionalism and the contemporary interest in Euro-American modernist
prose, focusing in particular on William Faulkner’s influence on
this transitional period.  The course begins with readings from
Faulkner, whom Spanish American writers claim inspired them to
problematize the traditional structuring principles of realism and
thereby distance themselves from the novela de la tierra.
Subsequently, we study the question of influence by examining the
evolution in the stylistics of Spanish American literature at the
level of technique, structure, and theme.  We focus on the
transformations in the representation of time and place, and the
repudiation of notions of linearity, causality, and chronological
order.  Authors read include:  Rosario Ferré, Carlos Fuentes,
Gabriel García Márquez, Juan Carlos Onetti, Juan Rulfo, and Mario
Vargas Llosa.  We also ask just what it was about Faulkner that
appealed to the Spanish American authors, and what image of the
South resonated most strongly with them; we further examine the
implications of their view of Faulkner and the South for the
regional consciousness that was being cultivated and promoted by
Boom authors during this period.  Students are also encouraged to
think about the nature and dynamics of literary influence, as well
as other movements, media, and authors that also contributed to the
transformation of Spanish American literature during and after the
Boom years.