Mariano Siskind (Department of Romance Languages and Literatures)
Freshman Seminar 33C 4 credits (fall term) Enrollment: Limited to 12
Note: All readings and discussion will be in English.
This seminar introduces students to some of the most important Latin American literary works produced during the twentieth century. We will explore the ways in which these novels, short- stories and poems interrogate the historical traumas, political contexts and aesthetic potential of the region between 1920s and 1980s. We will shed light on their place in the historical and cultural formation of the literary canon, as well as on the concept of ‘classic’. The goal of this seminar is two-fold. On the one hand, it introduces students to the Latin American literary and critical tradition through some of the best and most interesting literary and critical works (each novel or grouping of short stories and poems are paired with an important critical essay that situates them historically and aesthetically). On the other, it provides them with the fundamental skills of literary analysis (close reading, conceptual and historical framing, continuities and discontinuities with the aesthetic tradition). We read Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, Gabriel García Márquez, Alejandra Pizarnik, Juan José Saer and Roberto Bolaño.