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How much you know about Spanish literature

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    Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 01:20
Just for ignorance on the topic I decided to open this thread.
My question is how much do you know about Spanish classical literature, from Spain of course.

I am interested to know if Europeans and Americans are aware about the masterpieces of the Spanish literature -even in translation. Have you read them? Do you have refferences about it?

Just to know.

Some Spanish literary masterpieces:

The lay of the Cid



Life is a dream


Fuenteovejuna


And lots of other books, including of course Don Quixote.











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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 02:45
Gee, I didn't know that Lope de Vega and Calderon de la Barca were busy at work during the time of Columbus...live and learn. Check your dates and the timeline for the thread not to mention the topical constraints.

Edited by drgonzaga - 28 Jan 2011 at 02:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 11:37
Yes, I knew they were from the Golden Age of Spain, doc. However, if you see the time classifications in this section of the forum, you will see I couldn't put together The Cid with Fuenteovejuna!

Just go to the substance. I bet you know all these classics, given you were born in Galicia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 12:10
From the period you are talking about (whatever it is called in Spain) I only know Quixote and the CID, and some lyric verse, and I only know the CID through Corneille's 17th century French version. I guess because I never studied Spanish when young.
http://www.cleverley.org/translations/spanish/intro.html
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 15:26
Well, in the case of The Cid it is not an advantage to read Spanish. That book was written in Middle Ages Spanish, which is very different from the contemporary Castilian tongue. The language of that time sound as a strange mixture of Latin, Portuguese, French and modern Spanish, but has a flavour I like. I have an edition of the Cid written in ancient Spanish with translation to modern Spanish, traslated page by page. It is fascinating. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 15:38
Like Graham, I never studied Spanish either.  It wasn't hip then.

I do think Spanish is a beautiful language, but its literature is little known here. 

@pinguin:  Thanks for the thread.  Interesting stuff.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 16:58
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Like Graham, I never studied Spanish either.  It wasn't hip then.

I do think Spanish is a beautiful language, but its literature is little known here. 

@pinguin:  Thanks for the thread.  Interesting stuff.

 
 
What do you mean "it wasn't hip then"? It's been hip since the days of Irving, Hawthorne and Longfellow! Or have you forgotten that the last mentioned not only taught Spanish literature at Bowdoin and Harvard but his first published work was a translation into English of the Spanish poet Jorge Manrique (1833). I believe it is needless to mention that his Hiawatha and Evangeline were written in the Spanish lyric style along the epic framework of the Cantar del Mio Cid. In the 1930s through the 1950s, Columbia University was the fulcrum for the study of Spanish literature nationwide and its leading professor, Angel del Rio, wrote the standard survey text used nationwide at that time and well into the 1970s. He and his wife Amelina (who died in 1996 at 100 after a long career at Barnard) were leading lights in the popularization of Spanish literature throughout the United States.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 19:57
Sorry Doc....it wasn't hip at my WASP high school.  LOL  You could take Spanish, but I didn't.

BTW, Russian was hip then, but that has disappeared from the curriculum.




Edited by pikeshot1600 - 28 Jan 2011 at 19:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 20:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Yes, I knew they were from the Golden Age of Spain, doc. However, if you see the time classifications in this section of the forum, you will see I couldn't put together The Cid with Fuenteovejuna!

Just go to the substance. I bet you know all these classics, given you were born in Galicia.
 
If the quality of your research is reflected by your expertise in my genealogy, then all one can say is that your reading skills are more than wanting they are non-existant.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2011 at 21:07
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Sorry Doc....it wasn't hip at my WASP high school.  LOL  You could take Spanish, but I didn't.

BTW, Russian was hip then, but that has disappeared from the curriculum.
 
C'mon if UNC at Chapel Hill can have one of the leading Spanish Literature departments right in the heart of Waspilandia there's no excuse! Just kidding but yes I do recall back in the late 1960s when a push was made to broaden Russian studies; however, it never got "off the ground" so to speak [Chinese never did either when its turn came in the 1970s] not even at the College level. I recall the difficulties my colleagues encountered in recruiting "students" to fill the lecture seats! In contrast--and thanks to retired CIA and State Department officials--"centers" for Latin American studies took off in the early 60s and never looked back--consequently the Spanish Departments enjoyed a steady stream of warm bodies. Competence was also determined early, and if by college you already had a working knowledge of reading and writing the language then you could only enroll in the literature courses--specially at Miami (of Florida) where the reigning expert was Kessel Schwartz (a Columbia Ph.D)
 
 
And believe it or not before coming to Miami, Dr. Schwartz had made his "name" at the University of Arkansas in the late 1950s!
 
I guess what I am saying is...You've really got no excuse Pike!Wink


Edited by drgonzaga - 28 Jan 2011 at 21:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 00:37
Wait a second, Drgonzaga. Does this mean that only the students of Spanish have ever read Spanish authors, in the U.S./Europe?

When I lived in Canada, I knew at least a bit of literature of Spanish/Hispanic origins filtered into the anglosaxon book establishment. For example, Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende and other popular authors were relatively well known. And, of course, most people knew Don Quixote, no matter just a few have read fragments of it.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 02:46
There is a distinct difference between reading literature in its original language and having knowledge of it through a translation! Worse, if it concerns poetry then no translation is capable of capturing the lyrical essence and the intricacy a language projects. Just as I could never ever finish a translation of Rabelais' Pantagruel because at each turn I would catch myself muttering "that's not it", neither would I be satisfied by calling a translation of Neruda's works as "poetic"! For example 50% of the joy in watching a Lorca play is its language something that is utterly lost in translation--and much the same can be said of sitting through Shakespeare in any language but English. Here's an example: In La Casa de Bernarda Alba
 
And no tears. Death must be stared straight in the face. Silence! (To another daughter) Silence, I say! (To another) You can shed tears when you're alone. We'll drown ourselves in a sea of mourning! She, the youngest of Bernarda Alba's daughters died a virgin. Do you hear? Silence, Silence I say! Silence!
 
Y no quiero llantos. La muerte hay que mirarla cara a cara. Silencio! (A otra hija.) A callar he dicho! (A otra hija.) Las lagrimas cuando estes sola. Nos hundiremos todas en un mar de luto! Ella, la hija menor de Bernarda Alba, ha muerto virgen. Me habeis oido? Silencio, silencio he dicho! Silencio!

We will place aside the cultural implications of virgen and why the mother should shout out "ha muerto virgen", yet in translation "died a virgin" can not carry this undercurrent nor comprehend why the mother repeatedly shouts "silence" after giving the inquisitive command "have you heard me"!

And notice the translator has opted for "drown" rather than "sink" and turned a dark passage into melodrama. Why escapes me entirely, particularly since "drown" carries the implication of accident while Bernarda knows that what is involved here is ritual--it's the same in English as any good Shakespearean knows--you sink into mourning not drown in it!

You may think such distictions a bit too much but if you've ever tried to wade into the Quixote in English you will find that the closest approach to the comedic was never reached until a little Broadway musical hit the boards back in the 1960s: Man of La Mancha. OK I am being a tad too theatrical here.  Now what I did find interesting was Gcle's admission that he was solely familiar with the work as an English translation of the French version. Such despite the fact that the first translation of the Quixote (Part I) into another language was English back in 1612 by Thomas Shelton based on the 1607 Spanish printing at Brussels! Shelton did the same for Part II in 1620 (also Brussels text, 1616). And these texts were reprinted in 1652 and 1675. Here's a sound history of the various English editions since 1612:

http://quixote.mse.jhu.edu/Translation.html

The style of the Quixote was essential to the formulation of the English novel at the hands of Henry Fielding.



Edited by drgonzaga - 29 Jan 2011 at 16:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 15:01
Yes, I know translation is almost impossible with poetry. I have read fragments of Don Quixote in English, though, and it seems the translation can reach very close to the original meaning.
But I wasn't asking if people outside the Hispanic World read Hispanic literature in Spanish. I was asking if they read literature produced in Spain, even in translation.
I just want to know how much influence this literature has had outside the Hispanic world.

Anyone knows La Celestina? Has anyone read Juan Tenorio?

I don't expect they have read Garcia Lorca, or that non-Spanish speakers could enjoy a masterpiece like "The infidel wife". I think than translating it is impossible.

La Casada Infiel
Garcia Lorca
Y yo que me la lleve al río 
creyendo que era mozuela,
pero tenia marido.

Fue la noche de Santiago
y casi por compromiso.
Se apagaron los faroles
y se encendieron los grillos.
En las ultimas esquinas
toque sus pechos dormidos,
y se me abrieron de pronto
como ramos de jacintos.
El almidon de su enagua
me sonaba en el oido
como una pieza de seda
rasgada por diez cuchillos.
Sin luz de plata en sus copas
los arboles han crecido
y un horizonte de perros
ladra muy lejos del rio.

*

Pasadas las zarzamoras,
los juncos y los espinos,
bajo su mata de pelo
hice un hoyo sobre el limo.
Yo me quité la corbata.
Ella se quito el vestido.
Yo, el cinturon con revolver.
Ella, sus cuatro corpiños.
Ni nardos ni caracolas
tienen el cutis tan fino,
ni los cristales con luna
relumbran con ese brillo.
Sus muslos se me escapaban
como peces sorprendidos,
la mitad llenos de lumbre,
la mitad llenos de frío.
Aquella noche corri
el mejor de los caminos,
montado en potra de nacar
sin bridas y sin estribos.
No quiero decir, por hombre,
las cosas que ella me dijo.
La luz del entendimiento
me hace ser muy comedido.
Sucia de besos y arena,
yo me la llevé del río.
Con el aire se batían
las espadas de los lirios.

Me porte como quien soy.
Como un gitano legitimo.
Le regale un costurero
grande de raso pajizo,
y no quise enamorarme
porque teniendo marido
me dijo que era mozuela
cuando la llevaba al río.




Edited by pinguin - 29 Jan 2011 at 15:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 16:24
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

  Now what I did find interesting was Gcle's admission that he was solely familiar with the work as an English translation of the French version.
You misread what I wrote. I'm pretty familiar with classical French literature in the original French, especially the dramatists Corneille, Racine and Molière. And for that matter with French literature before and since the 17th century.
 
I'm also familiar with much German literature in German, and a bit less so with the Russians, though the problem here is that I tend to find the major Russian novelists boring.
 
But I never studied Spanish academically (nor Italian).
 
On the hip question: Russian was 'hip' in the fifties  and everybody talked about how fortuitous it was to have the army willing to spend two years teaching me it. In fact though that turned out to be baseless since I never found occasion to use it more than on two or three occasions.
 
I wonder nowadays sometimes whether my grandchildren, one of whom is studying Mandarin, which is 'hip' in their generation, will have the same experience.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 17:00
Come now Penguin you are bordering on the facetious inquiring as to whether the English speaking world is familiar with Spanish literature and its creations specially with respect to a figure such as Don Juan Tenorio! After all, people in English have absorbed the image into the language (e. g. He's nothing more than a Don Juan). Tirso de Molina's character took up a life of his own (much as Cervantes' Don Quixote--e.g. He's just so totally quixotic when it comes to politics) even within a Spanish setting as transmogrified by Zorrilla in 1844. I can not imagine that given the realities of communication you could assert ignorance as to whether or not Spanish literature has had an impact beyond the hispanophonic ambit--specially since you yourself claim familiarity with Neruda...
 
 
Perhaps you should go out and get Miss Baez's 1974 album Gracias a la Vida
 
 
Now as for Garcia Lorca his dramatic repertory is stock-in-trade in the American theatre as just a simple Internet search would reveal. After all even he composed a little piece titled El Poeta en Nueva York nor should you forget the intricate relationship between American poetry (Walt Whitman) and its relationship to Modernismo...but as I said before the relationship is an old one going back to the rise of "American" Literature and Washington Irving.
 
Now if you are speaking about "the man on the street"...hell since most can not even name the capital of Washington State it would be ridiculous to presuppose he has even heard of Manrique much less Zorrilla, but you can bet he'd react to being called a Don Juan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 17:36
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

  Now what I did find interesting was Gcle's admission that he was solely familiar with the work as an English translation of the French version.
You misread what I wrote. I'm pretty familiar with classical French literature in the original French, especially the dramatists Corneille, Racine and Molière. And for that matter with French literature before and since the 17th century.
 
I'm also familiar with much German literature in German, and a bit less so with the Russians, though the problem here is that I tend to find the major Russian novelists boring.
 
But I never studied Spanish academically (nor Italian).
 
On the hip question: Russian was 'hip' in the fifties  and everybody talked about how fortuitous it was to have the army willing to spend two years teaching me it. In fact though that turned out to be baseless since I never found occasion to use it more than on two or three occasions.
 
I wonder nowadays sometimes whether my grandchildren, one of whom is studying Mandarin, which is 'hip' in their generation, will have the same experience.
 
Oops my bad...I was not looking at your post during the composition of my reply and what stuck in recall was that "only" conditional albeit you did write affirming Quixote and the rest applied to the Cid. Now I can sympathize with the conditional you placed as to the "hipness" and frustration particularly since the Russian language does require a totally different script and one wonders as to why since the Slavic has been reduced to the Latin alphabet without too much of a bother. Interestingly, I had not a bit of interest in learning modern Russian, but hey I am a whiz with old Rus and what is now called "old Ukrainian" but is in reality Old Church Slavonic. I have to confess that I too found Tolstoy tedious and have no inkling or urge to pick up War and Peace in search of relevant passages. But not so with Dostoyevsky whose style is much more sympathetic to the episodic and one can always pick up The Brothers Karamazov and pore into sections with satisfaction (after all "The Grand Inquisitor" can stand alone [Chapter 5] and often does in publication).
 
But as you can gather from this exchange, the question posed by Pinguin as to "familiarity" is a function of individual cultural curiosity and not exactly dependent upon whether one has undergone a blitz at the hands of Berliotz on "language learning". Geez how many people know that Verdi's La Forza del Destino [1862] is actually the musicalization of a Spanish play, Don Alvaro, o la fuerza del sino [1835] and just simply shout "That's Italian!".
 
As for the poor student of Mandarin...well he'll discover his problem once he ventures out into the Chinese countryside.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 18:42
I'd forgotten about Don Juan.
 
These southern European themes can get very confusing with an Austrian composer writing an opera with an Italian libretto from a French play about a Spanish barber....Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 21:01
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I'd forgotten about Don Juan.
 
These southern European themes can get very confusing with an Austrian composer writing an opera with an Italian libretto from a French play about a Spanish barber....Smile 
 
I am sure that GBS will exact his tuppence for your memory lapse, once you reach the "other side", and insist that you take in three performances of Don Juan in Hell followed by four full sittings through Man and Superman so as to understand the context!Wink
 
It is interesting to note how our own communications technology has made us oblivious to the fact that the past had its own intellectual and cultural "networks" and that your veiled reference to Mozart is a grand example of such. The fact that the music prepared by Mozart was for a bowdlerized version of the Beaumarchais play (all of the subversive elements removed) stands as firm evidence that the "couth" were well aware of the intellectual currents of their world and the dangers of "crossing the line".
 
Often, people are not aware of the "source" material for much of the contemporary. A perfect example of such is given by the abundant work of the Spanish "realist", Benito Perez Galdos (after Cervantes, the other giant in the schema of letters). Were I to drop such names as Viridiana, Tristana, and Nazarin you might make the connection to films or the directorial art of Luis Bunuel. But few would realize that these works are based upon the works of Perez Galdos. His Torquemada novels (1889-1893) are classic (the 1988 English translation of all of them in a single volume is worth its price) and they essentially served as a model for Galsworthy's The Forsythe Saga a generation later.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 22:28
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Come now Penguin you are bordering on the facetious inquiring as to whether the English speaking world is familiar with Spanish literature and its creations specially with respect to a figure such as Don Juan Tenorio! After all, people in English have absorbed the image into the language (e. g. He's nothing more than a Don Juan). Tirso de Molina's character took up a life of his own (much as Cervantes' Don Quixote--e.g. He's just so totally quixotic when it comes to politics) even within a Spanish setting as transmogrified by Zorrilla in 1844. I can not imagine that given the realities of communication you could assert ignorance as to whether or not Spanish literature has had an impact beyond the hispanophonic ambit--specially since you yourself claim familiarity with Neruda...


Well, I wasn't thinking about "Don Juan" itself, the women tricker, but the most evil image that book has. I am thinking in the image of the walking statue, where the spirit of a victim lives, in Mozart's Don Giovanni. I bet not many know that image comes from Don Juan Tenorio.



I wonder if Europeans or Americas knew that image comes from a Spanish play.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


Now as for Garcia Lorca his dramatic repertory is stock-in-trade in the American theatre as just a simple Internet search would reveal. After all even he composed a little piece titled El Poeta en Nueva York nor should you forget the intricate relationship between American poetry (Walt Whitman) and its relationship to Modernismo...but as I said before the relationship is an old one going back to the rise of "American" Literature and Washington Irving.


Interesting, that was what I was looking for.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


Now if you are speaking about "the man on the street"...hell since most can not even name the capital of Washington State it would be ridiculous to presuppose he has even heard of Manrique much less Zorrilla, but you can bet he'd react to being called a Don Juan.


Well, the man of the street doesn't even know who was Washington Irving! (A superb writer)
Nope, the question was about the "EDUCATED man on the street".

For instance, twenty years ago, when I lived in Canada, I could find a single book of Neruda in a Canadian public library of an important city. Confused

There I realized that, perhaps, our literature was not very well known outside the Hispanic World.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 22:36
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I'd forgotten about Don Juan.
 
These southern European themes can get very confusing with an Austrian composer writing an opera with an Italian libretto from a French play about a Spanish barber....Smile 


The original Don Juan comes from the Don Juan of Tirso de Molina, a play written in 1630. He become so famous at the time and copied so often that nobody remembers him anymore, it seems. At least outside the Hispanic World.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Juan


In the Hispanic World, however, Tirso de Molina's book is part of the basic education of teens.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 23:07
Where did you live in Canada, La Loche in the wilds of Alberta? Twenty years ago, was 1991 and I can not imagine that my good friend Jacques Barbier had not had some effect before his retirement at the University of Ottawa so that a tome by Neruda would not be available at least within a university setting. Canadian public libraries? Well that's a different kettle of fish but somehow I doubt you tried very hard. I can very well tell you that today the Toronto Public Library has 227 books by or on Neruda:
 
 
--and that in terms of acquisition they also had them in 1991. Naturally, smaller branches have different priorities as to what one will find on the shelves. By the way welcome to the world of libraries in the Internet Age. Perhaps you should investigate this site and find out who has what worldwide:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2011 at 23:15
Indeed, I lived the province. Saskatchewan to be precise. But what I wondered was the influence of Hispanic literature, and from that random test it wasn't much.
I found out Isabel Allende's House of Spirits sold in many libraries, though. That was the single Spanish speaking writer "pop" book I saw been sold in mass in Canada at those year.


Edited by pinguin - 29 Jan 2011 at 23:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 12:25
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Indeed, I lived the province. Saskatchewan to be precise. But what I wondered was the influence of Hispanic literature, and from that random test it wasn't much.
I found out Isabel Allende's House of Spirits sold in many libraries, though. That was the single Spanish speaking writer "pop" book I saw been sold in mass in Canada at those year.
 
I will waive consecutive translation in tackling the above in this stated rebuttal of the cited criticism, Mr. Speaker. Were I to find myself on the island of Chloe, I would hardly expect to discover a copy of Salvatore Antonio's In Gabriel's Kitchen in English, much less a Spanish translation (paticularly in a Chilean setting); however, such can not be employed as a basis for the blanket condemnation of Chileans as blissfully ignorant of our literature. True, when it comes to publications and their dispersal Canada like much of the rest of the world is dependant upon the international publishing houses that dominate the language markets and have done so since time immemorial. Shall we complain that most of the "art" books published today are actually "printed" in China and employ such a fact as an example that our own public stands convicted of ignorance in printing technology? The fact that Salvatore Antonio, Italian surname and all, is actually a Canadian writer and that the critic's chosen example, Ms. Allende, is an United States national should underscore the forces at work when it comes to the marketing of books. Naturally, there are some that would classify Allende as the producer of pulp fiction and hardly an example of literary genius in any language and more a product of marketing techniques than true genius. We need not look for a Canadian critic to reach such a conclusion since noted Chilean writers all on their own have rejected the quality of her writing--admittedly politics are also involved here since her fiercest critics are on the Chilean "Left" and like her have been quite peripatetic as to their actual places of residence. Could one consider Allende as in the same league with towering figures such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Octavio Paz, or Mario Vargas Llosa as representatives of their own national genres? Truthfully, the reponse to that question would be a resounding NO! In Spanish, Ms. Allende's prose is anemic but it does translate well into the realm of English as does much of what can be classified as "soapy" pulp. Besides, in the world of literature time is a fickle fellow. Keep in mind that Trollope and not Dickens was the favored Victorian in terms of "sales" during their lifetimes and then what? But of what need to read either in Spanish when a greater luminary, Perez Galdos, was at hand within their own circles. So no, Mr. Speaker, such conclusions as presented but the quoted miscreant should stand rejected out-of-hand.


Edited by drgonzaga - 30 Jan 2011 at 12:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 12:34
Ms Allende may not be at the level of Shakespeare or Cervantes, sir. But calling her a bad writer is something -In my oppinion- rooted more in envy than in anything else.
As the matter of fact, very few Spanish-speaking writers can live of theirs books. So, obviously, those guys get green of envy when they see a regular writer making millions of green bucks with her soap-opera books.
However, I stand by my beloved Isabel for a simple reason. I read her when I was a teen, and I loved what he wrote. I have read some of her books "Ines of my soul", for instance, and I found them not such bad. And I couldn't forget when she danced with feathers at the Bim-Bam-Bun.

By the way, the island you mention is not called Chloe but Chiloe.


Edited by pinguin - 30 Jan 2011 at 12:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 14:01
By the way, the island you mention is not called Chloe but Chiloe.
 
Oh great. now people are going to turn typos into a reason for further verbosity. Beware Penguin, or I shall take red-pen to your posts. Besides, you knew very-well which island I was utilizing as reference. Imagine what you would have made of the term Isla Grande given that Chiloe is an entire archipielago?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 19:45
Isabel Allende dancing at the Bim-Bam-Bum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA2iPrjGba0









Edited by pinguin - 30 Jan 2011 at 20:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 19:57
I would like to restate a reminder given by the moderators of the forum: post links and do not embed videos--unless you are willing to pony up the cost of such to the maintenance of the Forum.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2011 at 20:49
Back to Spanish literature, if you don't mind.
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