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SP5 Reading List

Below you will find the full reading list for SP5, but note that you will only be studying a selection of these texts in supervisions over the year. You are strongly advised to complete a good amount of primary reading before the start of the year, and you should ask your supervisor for guidance on which texts to read in advance. If you do not have a supervisor yet, you could start by reading the texts marked with an *asterisk below. Texts listed in bold will be covered in lectures and seminars during the year, but your supervisor may suggest other texts on the reading list for you to study in depth.

All students (including Long Essay candidates) should have at least one supervision on the first topic (Foundations, Identity, Difference), which is a compulsory topic for the examination. You must cover at least three of the remaining four topics in supervisions over the year. You are also strongly encouraged to write on at least one text from the colonial period in a supervision essay.

General introductions to Latin American literature

You may find it useful to read some of these recommended texts before starting the primary reading for SP5:

  • Rolena Adorno, Colonial Latin American Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2011)
  • Roberto González Echevarría, The Voice of the Masters (1985)
  • Gerald Martin, Journeys Through the Labyrinth (1989)
  • Jean Franco, An Introduction to Spanish American Literature (1995)
  • Roberto González Echevarría, Modern Latin American Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2012)
  • John King, Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America (London, 2000)

Foundations, Identity, Difference

Colonial

  • Guaman Poma de Ayala, Nueva corónica y buen gobierno (c. 1615)
  • Bartolomé de Las Casas, Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (1552)
  • Popul Vuh: consult editions translated by Adrián Recinos, and Tedlock or Allen Christenson (for an English version, see http://www.mesoweb.com/publications/publications.html)
  • Cristóbal Colón, “Carta a Luis de Santángel” (1493), available in Varela, ed., Textos y documentos completos (Madrid: Alianza)

Post-Independence

  • Soledad Acosta de Samper, Dolores (1867)
  • Jorge Icaza, Huasipungo (1936)
  • *Alejo Carpentier, El reino de este mundo (1949)
  • *Rosario Castellanos, Balún Canán (1957)
  • Excerpts from foundational essays: Domingo F. Sarmiento, Facundo (1845); José Martí, ‘Nuestra América mestiza’ (1891); Roberto Fernández Retamar, Calibán (1971)
  • Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Sab (1841) [use the Manchester Hispanic Texts edition,edited by Catherine Davies]
  • José María Arguedas, Los ríos profundos (1958)
  • Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad (essay, 1959)

Representing the City

  • *Roberto Arlt, El juguete rabioso (1926)
  • Luis Buñuel, Los olvidados (1950) [film]
  • Hugo Santiago Muchnick, Invasión (1969) [film]
  • Luis Zapata, El vampiro de la Colonia Roma (1979)
  • Eliseo Subiela, Últimas imágenes del naufragio (1989) [film]
  • Guillermo del Toro, Cronos (1992) [film]
  • Walter Doehner Pecanins, Íntimo terror (1990) [film]
  • Carlos Fuentes, Agua quemada 
  • Juan Carlos Onetti, El pozo (1939)
  • Ernesto Sábato, Informe sobre ciegos (1961)

Labyrinths of Fiction

  • *Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones (1944)
  • *Adolfo Bioy Casares, La invención de Morel (1940)
  • Gabriel García Márquez, Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1981)
  • Julio Cortázar, Bestiario (1951)
  • Felisberto Hernández, ‘Las Hortensias’ from Las Hortensias y otros cuentos (1949)
  • Carlos Fuentes, Zona sagrada (1967)
  • Sergio Renán, El sueño de los héroes (1997) [film]

Charting Revolution

  • *Mariano Azuela, Los de abajo (1915)
  • *Juan Rulfo, El llano en llamas (1953)
  • Carlos Fuentes, Gringo viejo (1986)
  • Elena Garro, Los recuerdos del porvenir (1963)
  • Jorge Ibargüengoitia, Los relámpagos de agosto (1963)
  • Elena Poniatowska, La noche de Tlatelolco (1971)
  • Ángeles Mastretta, Arráncame la vida (1985)

For the History of the Mexican Revolution topic:

  • Judith Adler Hellman, Mexico in Crisis (1978)
  • *Jan Bazant, A Concise History of Mexico: from Hidalgo to Cárdenas, 1805-1940 (1977)
  • Adolfo Gilly, La revolución interrumpida (1971)

Penning the Dictator

  • *Marta Traba, Conversación al sur (1981)
  • *Luisa Valenzuela, Cambio de armas (1982)
  • Isabel Allende, La casa de los espíritus (1982)
  • Miguel Ángel Asturias, El señor Presidente (1946)
  • Jorge Zalamea, El gran Burundún-Burundá ha muerto (1952)
  • Reinaldo Arenas, Arturo, la estrella más brillante (1984)

* texts suitable for preparation over the summer (but please consult your supervisor for more detailed guidance)