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Course Details

Fall 2012-2013
* LAS 322 / SPA 324 (LA)   na, npdf

Gossip: Autobiographical Fiction from Vargas Llosa to Bolaño

Álvaro Enrigue Soler

Thirty-five years ago, Vargas Llosa's La tía Julia y el escribidor had a cold reception because of its autobiographical content. Today Bolaño's Los detectives salvajes, an autobiographical novel, is the most influential book in Spanish. Globalization, democracy, the rise of Latin America's middle classes, produced a different idea of what literature should say. Personal matters became public, politics private, nationalities indistinct and allegories hollow. We will read a series of intimate fictions in search of the traditions that interweave them, developing a corpus of ideas that can explain the reason for the success of this hybrid genre.

Sample reading list:
Mario Vargas Llosa, La tía Julia y el escribidor
Roberto Bolaño, Los detectives salvajes
Reinaldo Arenas, Antes que anochezca
Fernando Vallejo, La vírgen de los sicarios

Reading/Writing assignments:
The readings assigned for this course seek to find a point of equilibrium between canonic and recent autobiographical fictions written in 20th century Latin America. The students are expected to read an average of 120 pages a week and prepare brief response notes to ensure class participation. They will write an 8 to 12 pages essay on the topic of autobiographical fiction in lieu of final exam.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%
Other (See Instructor) - 40%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
A 200-level Spanish course or equivalent..

Other information:
Course will be taught in Spanish. Readings are available in Spanish or English. Discussions can be conducted in Spanish, English or both. Presentations will account for 40% of the final grade.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23137 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T   Aaron Burr Hall   213   Enrolled:5 Limit:25