Those pesky courses

“Vos podés estar en el lugar que te proponés,” me han dicho, but it appears I should be at Cambridge since they do things as I would.

I should simply do things and not worry.

♦ The freshman introduction to modern Spanish literature at Cambridge starts in 1800, not 1700, and uses these four texts:

1. Pérez Galdós La de Bringas
2. García Lorca Romancero gitano
3. Unamuno Niebla
4. Almodóvar Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (film)

The students say that those, supplemented by a great deal of additional film (there are all sorts of films, including films made on novels; Buñuel’s Tristana and Jodorowsky’s Fando y Lis [based on an Arrabal play]) are only two of those which come to mind. At the early senior level, which is where this survey is given here, we could read these four texts with enrichment materials, and do a research project perhaps, and leave things at that.

Or we could choose some things for their more advanced course.

And we could use materials from their introduction to contemporary Spanish culture, although their choices of texts are not quite contemporary enough.

♦ The introduction to the study of literature uses four texts. I had chosen the García Márquez, a different Lorca play, some short stories by Cortázar and Borges, Elena Poniatowska’s Querido Diego, and some poetry by Borges and Lorca. Here is their program:

Federico García Lorca, Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín
Carlos Fuentes, Aura
Carmen Martín Gaite, El cuarto de atrás
A multimedia resource for Gabriel García Márquez, Crónica de una muerte anunciada (including extracts for analysis, video clips, and essay questions)

♦ Meanwhile, we can have a poetry and performance class using this book, and poetry will not be boring at all.

Que me las pelen. I refuse to believe I must always thread my students and myself through these annotated anthologies of excerpts, just so that we can say we have shown them something by each author, or because our students are (allegedly) less capable than others.

Axé. 

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