Search Results

El espectro de la herencia

la narrativa de Javier Marías


Isabel Cuñado

Desde el primer cuento hasta la última novela, la literatura de Javier Marías está marcada por lo espectral, eje fundamental en torno al cual se despliegan las grandes cuestiones del universo mariense: los efectos que el conocimiento y el desconocimiento tienen sobre la interpretación de la realidad, la relación entre lo real y su registro, las maneras en que el pasado sobrevive en el presente. Este libro, el primer estudio que enfoca la obra de Marías bajo una perspectiva sociológica e histórica, relaciona las múltiples experiencias del espectro con las tensiones entre el olvido y la memoria que caracterizan a la sociedad española contemporánea.

From his first short-story to his latest novel, Javier Marías’s narrative is haunted by the spectral, a fundamental axis around which Marías deploys the fundamental questions of his literary universe: the effects of knowledge and ignorance on the interpretation of reality, the relation between the real and its representation, and the ways in which the past survives in the present. This book-length study, the first to focus on Marías’s oeuvre with a sociological and historical perspective, brings into relation the multiple spectral experiences and the tension between oblivion and memory that characterize contemporary Spanish society.

Companion to Empire

A Genealogy of the Written Word in Spain and New Spain, c. 550–1550


David Rojinsky

This volume traces a genealogy of the varied conceptions and functions of alphabetic writing in Hispanic cultures of the pre-modern and early colonial periods. The historical junctures selected are those at which the written word (in grammatical, historical and legal discourse) assumed increased ideological importance for bolstering different kinds of ‘imperial’ power. In effect, Companion to Empire posits a constellation of historical scenarios, rather than a singular mythical origin, in which the alliance between writing and imperium might be discerned. The corpus of primary texts considered in the volume derives from works by foundational figures in the history of pre-modern language theories (Isidore of Seville, Alfonso X the Wise, Antonio de Nebrija) and from those identified with the early transatlantic expansion of alphabetic writing (Peter Martyr D’Anghiera, Bernardino de Sahagún, Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán). By reading these canonical texts against the grain, the author avoids the totalizing gesture of histories of the language, and instead focuses upon the relationship between prestige written languages, the creation of a ‘literate mentality’ and the need to consolidate imperium on both sides of the Atlantic. Companion to Empire will thus be of interest to those adopting a ‘post-philological’ approach to Hispanic Studies, as well as those interested in medieval and transatlantic imperium studies.

Post/Imperial Encounters

Anglo-Hispanic Cultural Relations


Juan E. Tazón Salces and Isabel Carrera Suárez

Spanish and English are two of the most widely spoken languages in today’s world, and are linked by a colonial presence in the Americas that has often provoked turbulent relations between Britain and Spain. Despite abundant exchanges between Spain and the British Isles, and evident contact in the Americas, cross-cultural analyses are infrequent, and ironically language barriers still prevail in a world the media and globalization would appear to render borderless: English and Hispanic Studies have seldom converged, the islands of the Caribbean continue to be separated by language, while the new empire, the United States, has difficulty in admitting to its Hispanic component, let alone recognizing that the name “America” encompasses a wider continent. Post/Imperial Encounters: Anglo-Hispanic Cultural Relations attempts to bridge this gap through articles on literature, history and culture that concentrate primarily on three periods: the colonial interventions of Britain and Spain in the Americas, the Spanish Civil War and the present world, with its global culture and new forms of colonialism.


Teresa Amado

The relationship between the present in which the chronicle is written and the past that it records is permeated by various forms of existing memories as well as by literary devices that shape particular speech situations in which time is the real subject even if it does not appear to be so. When searching into the forms used by the text to represent time, the reference made to different times within the past that is brought to us by history and to the present to which both writer and readers belong make an interesting object of study. A close reading of such references in three fifteenth-century Portuguese chronicles helps to bring into focus the chronicler’s awareness of the variety of time distances that find actual expression in the historical discourse and to see how the idea of time was woven into the historical network.


Margarida Madureira

This paper analyses the various aspects through which author and translator represent in their texts different ideological conceptions about the Oriental Latin States. Addressing himself to a homogeneous community, with which he shares the feelings and the points of view, Guillaume de Tyr interprets the historical events from a subjective perspective, connecting them to the present. Unlike him, the French translator, as well as his reader, lacks identification with this territory as a geographic reality. They find, thus, on the concept of ‘Christendom’, a point of view that enables the reinterpretation of those historical events, integrating the history of crusades into their own Christian history.


Paul Trio

The starting point of this research is the chronicle ascribed to Oliver of Dixmude, which deals with the period 1377-1443 and which has hitherto always been characterized as a regional ‘Flemish’ chronicle. However, the study of this often cited chronicle offers us new (after Ghent) evidence that during the fifteenth century the genre of the town chronicle was also rather successful in the Southern Low Countries, contrary to what has always been supposed. There are several reasons why the chronicle by Oliver of Dixmude has never before been given the epithet of urban chronicle. One of them is that the edition by Lambin from 1835 – the only edition of the manuscript, which was lost in 1914 – does not faithfully present the original text. Apart from omitting the annual lists of the members of the town government, Lambin also left out several of the ‘Ypres’ fragments. It is only thanks to a previously unstudied copy of the text found in the Courtrai Town Library, that these ‘lost’ passages could be retrieved. Besides, this chronicle should be studied in the context of a much broader fifteenth-century local tradition of recording important urban events in the form of a narrative account. Indeed, the hardly known chronicle ascribed to Pieter van de Letuwe, which discusses the immediately following period 1443-1480, is very similar in structure. Even if the authorship of the persons mentioned above can be maintained, it should be kept in mind that there existed a kind of collective authorship, the members of which belonged to the leading urban elite.

The Last Good Land

Spain in American Literature


Eugenio Suárez-Galbán

Books studying the presence of Spain in American literature, and the possible influence of Spain and its literature on American authors, are still rare. In 1955 appeared a pioneer work in this field – Stanley T. Williams’ The Spanish Background of American Literature. But that book went no further than W.D. Howells’ Familiar Spanish Travels, published in 1913. The Last Good Land covers most of the twentieth century, including such groups as the Lost Generation and African American writers and exiles. It also considers then recent revolution in Spanish cultural and historical thought introduced by Américo Castro, which several American writers discussed in this volume may be said to have anticipated. Recent studies have expanded on Williams’ volumes, but in the majority of cases these works limit their scope to a single period (the nineteenth century, the Spanish Civil War), a movement (predominantly Romanticism) or authors known for their interest in Spain (Irving, Hemingway). The result is often a lack of continuum, or the exclusion of such authors as Saul Bellow, William Gaddis or Richard Wright. Within American literature itself, The Last Good Land contains revisions of traditional interpretations of certain writers, including Hemingway. The variety of authors treated, both in respect to ethnicity and gender, guarantees a varied and global view of Spanish culture by American writers.

A Recipe for Discourse

Perspectives on Like Water for Chocolate


Edited by Eric Skipper

Slender and yet panoramic in scope, historical and yet relevant to current-day concerns, Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate has provoked from the outset a divergent range of critical opinions. The essays in A Recipe for Discourse: Perspectives on Like Water for Chocolate represent the novel’s problematic nature in their many diverse approaches, perspectives that are certain to awaken in the reader new ways of approaching the text while challenging old ones. This volume’s ‘dialogue’ format, in which essays are grouped thematically, is particularly effective in presenting such a diverse range of viewpoints. The reader will find herein lively discussion on LWFC as it relates to such themes as gastronomy, superstition, mythology, folklore, the Mexican Revolution, magical realism, female identity, alteration, and matriarchy/ patriarchy. It is the editor’s hope that a diverse readership, from undergraduate students to seasoned scholars, will find this volume engaging and enlightening.

Producing the Pacific

Maps and Narratives of Spanish Exploration (1567-1606)


Mercedes Maroto Camino

Producing the Pacific offers the reader an interdisciplinary reading of the maps, narratives and rituals related to the three Spanish voyages to the South Pacific that took place between 1567 and 1606. These journeys were led by Álvaro de Mendaña, Pedro Fernández de Quirós and Isabel Barreto, the first woman ever to become admiral of and command a fleet.
Mercedes Maroto Camino presents a cultural analysis of these journeys and takes issue with some established notions about the value of the past and the way it is always rewritten from the perspective of the present. She highlights the social, political and cultural environment in which maps and narratives circulate, suggesting that their significance is always subject to negotiation and transformation. The tapestry created by the interpretation of maps, narratives and rituals affords a view not only of the minds of the first men and women who traversed the Pacific but also of how they saw the ocean, its islands and their peoples. Producing the Pacific should, therefore, be of relevance to those interested in history, voyages, colonialism, cartography, anthropology and cultural studies.
The study of these cultural products contributes to an interpretive history of colonialism at the same time that it challenges the beliefs and assumptions that underscore our understanding of that history.