ENGL 071A. The Short Story en las Américas
(Cross-listed as SPAN 071 , LITR 071S )
This team-taught course will offer a wide-ranging overview of the short story in the Americas from a comparative perspective, emphasizing continuities and also identifying areas of innovation and transformation.
The course will begin in the early 19th century with masters whose daring work in this "minor" form gave the short story new prominence in literary history: Poe, Hawthorne, and Chesnutt. Later, the class will focus on Quiroga and Borges whose innovations redefined the genre, and moved Latin American fiction into the forefront of world literature.
By focusing on close reading and class discussions, we will seek to discover the distinctive characteristics of the short story, and outline its development and transformation across the continents. Does the short-story bind together the diverse literatures of the United States and Latin America? How should we identify and understand parallels between the works in English and those in Spanish? How should we explain contrasts? Of particular interest will be dialogues and influences crossing languages and literary traditions: Poe and Horacio Quiroga; Hemingway and Borges; Borges/Cortázar inspiring Barth; Rulfo's and García Márquez's (and others') influences on US-based Latinx writers.
Readings, assignments, and class discussions will be in English. No prior knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese is necessary. This class is open to all students, without prerequisites.
For English Literature majors and minors, this course can count either as an 18th/19th or 20th/21st century course.
Eligible for LALS
Spring 2020. Schmidt, Martinez.
Catalog chapter: English Literature
Department website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/english-literature
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