In 1961, Jorge Luis Borges shared the Formentor prize with Samuel Beckett, thus internationalizing Latin American culture and supposedly initiating the “Boom.” Whether the swagger of the ensuing decades marked the apex of the continent’s artistic production, or was simply the result of a single Spanish publishing house’s hype, feeding a neo-imperialist world’s expectations of Latin America back to itself, is open to debate. The proposal is not merely to study the rather difficult literary work of the “Big Four” magical realists, but also to compare it to the pre- and post-Boom periods, to contextualize it as a social, even economic, phenomenon. The course will therefore include historical texts, art, film, and innumerable clouds of yellow butterflies. Students will forge, write and debate opinions with evidence gleaned from research. Conducted in Spanish, and not for the fainthearted. Advanced level.
Corequisites: attendance at two Language Series events.