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Questions tagged [spanish-language]

Questions about literature in Spanish: works of literature which were originally written in the Spanish language, whether from Spain, Latin America, or elsewhere.

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Where does this Federico Garcia Lorca quote come from? Is it a fake?

The quote is the following: Besides black art, there is only automation and mechanization. I ran into this quote in a book named Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems ...
matiascelasco's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there any deeper significance to the Borges story "The End"?

"The End" is a very short story, not much over 1000 words, in Borges's collection Fictions. It describes a paralysed man, Recabarren, who observes an unnamed black guitar player avenge himself on ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is Macondo a city of mirages?

In the conclusion of One Hundred Years of Solitude: [I]t was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind ... We know why Macondo is a city of mirrors: José ...
muru's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
4k views

What's the point of the hen in Juan Rulfo's "They Gave Us the Land"?

The short story "Nos han dado la tierra" ("They Gave Us the Land") is a dismal portrayal of the Mexican government's land reform in the mid-20th century. A group of men are given ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
309 views

What does Borges' reference to the Greek mean in "The Lottery in Babylon"?

In the first section of his short story "The Lottery in Babylon", Borges writes: I have known that thing the Greeks knew not -- uncertainty. As far as I know, there was nothing specific ...
Benjamin Schneider's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
5k views

Does Don Quijote in fact say "Facts are the enemy of truth"?

I recall a quote of the sort "Facts are the enemy of truth" attributed to Miguel de Cervantes in his book Don Quijote de la Mancha. However, I could not find the quote in the book by ...
Jannik Pitt's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
329 views

Why is "pensión" left untranslated in "The Shadow of the Wind"?

In The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, they attempt to find a place to live for Fermín Romero de Torres, a former street beggar with a great mind, who they hire to help them find the books ...
Benjamin's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
531 views

What is the meaning of "Not even Jonah’s wife would swallow that story" in Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera"?

In the book of the Colombian novelist García Márquez Love in the Time of Cholera there is the following phrase: She said: “Not even Jonah’s wife would swallow that story.” I tried to find some ...
Rose's user avatar
  • 111
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does Modesta Gómez demand payment from the indigenous girl?

In Rosario Castellanos's short story "Modesta Gómez," we see how a girl named Modesta with bright dreams for the future has them destroyed first by a wealthy family and then by her working-...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the original manuscript of Don Quixote extant?

Apparently, there are 27 known copies of the first edition (1605). But Cervantes' hand-written original is not extant, correct?
Rodney Dunning's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does the "crimson hexagon" represent in "The Library of Babel"?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker says, They were urged on by the delirium of trying to reach the books in the Crimson Hexagon: books whose format is smaller than usual, all-...
Benjamin's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the significance of counting up to twelve in 'Keeping Quiet'?

Pablo Neruda opens his poem Keeping Quiet with the following lines: Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. Why did he choose to count to 'twelve' of all numbers? In fact, why count ...
archthegreat's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Meaning of 'white mask on my otherwise tan face'

I nearly always saw them at the beach, where it’s difficult to get a good look at anyone. Particularly so in my case, because I’m nearsighted and would rather see everything through a haze than return ...
Sasi's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
246 views

Which South or Central American female author wrote a short story about frozen cockroaches?

In the 90s I read a collection of short stories by a South American female author (most likely translated to English vs having been written in English originally). I remember the stories were good, ...
loopernow's user avatar
  • 181
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do real-world languages exist in "The Library of Babel"?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator tells us: He showed his find to a wandering decoder who told him the lines were written in Portuguese; others said they were Yiddish. ...
Benjamin's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is there any deeper significance to Borges's "The South"?

"The South" is a short story by Jorge Luis Borges about a man, Dahlmann, who is injured by bashing his head against a window, but makes an almost miraculous recovery after a long stint in hospital. He ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

The incomplete sonnets at the beginning of Don Quixote - what does the pattern mean?

I am reading John Rutherford's translation of Don Quixote. In the prologue there are several sonnets that appear to be some sort of puzzle/guessing game as the last syllable (syllables?) are missing. ...
Omortis's user avatar
  • 213
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does Jorge Luis Borges mean by the library being infinite in "The Library of Babel"?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker tells us about the library with the following specification, The distribution of the galleries is invariable. Twenty shelves, five long ...
Benjamin's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
12k views

Is Julián Carax based on a real author?

In The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Zafón has the main character discover a book entitled The Shadow of the Wind in the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books. This book is by a little-known ...
Benjamin's user avatar
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9 votes
0 answers
171 views

In "Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote" is Menard an analogy for a critical lens?

In Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator of the work talks about how when he read Don Quixote after having been told that Pierre Menard had rewritten it with the same ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 6,213
9 votes
1 answer
660 views

Does Aldonza Lorenzo appear as a real character in Don Quixote?

I just finished Don Quixote and I'm confused about the status of "Aldonza Lorenzo" the peasant. Obviously, "Dulcinea of Toboso" is a figment of Don Quixote's imagination, but ...
TransparentBlue's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the significance/symbolism of the hexagon in "The Library of Babel"?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker describes the Library, as the universe, as The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite and perhaps infinite ...
Benjamin's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
4k views

What does "Let nothing unite us, so that nothing can separate us" mean?

Let nothing unite us, so that nothing can separate us. This quote is from the second stanza of the poem "Farewell" (English translation) — the original Spanish text is Para que nada nos amarre que ...
fasfsadf's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
566 views

In "The Library of Babel" is the "cyclical book" really God?

In the second paragraph of The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator says, This cyclical book is god. However, later in the story he says, On some shelf in some hexagon (men ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 6,213
7 votes
3 answers
6k views

Explanation of a line from the poem "I do not love you " by Pablo Neruda

I loved her like certain dark things are to be loved, in between shadow and soul. Can someone explain this? What dark things are being talked about? Original Spanish text: te amo como se aman ...
Drishti's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes
1 answer
861 views

Is there any evidence that Lope de Vega influenced William Shakespeare?

During the Spanish Golden Age of the arts, one of the key figures in Spanish literature was Lope de Vega, a prolific author of plays, poetry, and novels. He was approximately contemporary with William ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.6k
7 votes
1 answer
425 views

What does "atom" mean in Don Quixote?

This is a question about Don Quijote de la Mancha (Edición conmemorativa de la RAE y la ASALE / 400th-anniversary commemorative edition by the Spanish language academies). In Chapter XXVI of the ...
augustoperez's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
630 views

In Don Quixote, why wasn't Sancho Panza allowed to speak in the black mountains?

At the start of chapter 25 of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Sancho Panza is not allowed to speak (to Don Quixote). Don Quixote took leave of the goatherd, and once more mounting Rocinante bade ...
Protector one's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
351 views

Federico García Lorca quote: "I'm a capitalist and a socialist and a communist and an anarchist and a monarchist"

I remember very well that I was reading somewhere or I've seen it on the TV that Federico García Lorca said something like "I'm a capitalist and a socialist and a communist and an anarchist and a ...
Joe Jobs's user avatar
  • 227
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

What did Lorca mean by ‘crocodiles’ in his poem ‘The King of Harlem’?

The poet Federico García Lorca, when he was studying at Colombia University visited Harlem with a friend of his, Nella Larsen, a black novelist. It made a tremendous impression upon him and its ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
272 views

Are hexagons directly connected to each other?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker describes hallways in between the hexagonal rooms as, One of the free sides leads to a narrow hallway which opens onto another gallery, ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 6,213
6 votes
1 answer
126 views

What do the silks and tattoos represent in Sui-Yun's poem about Eve?

One of the Peruvian writer Sui-Yun's Four Short Poems (translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue) is written as addressed to "Eve, my eternal mother". I hope I'm not being excessively dirty-...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.6k
5 votes
3 answers
228 views

What is the language spoken in Babylon?

In the short story "The Lottery in Babylon", Jorge Luis Borges describes an imaginary society where a Lottery decides the fate of the people, with omnipotence and foresight. At the beginning of the ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

"Cease, cows, life is short" - what does it mean?

"Cease, cows, life is short" is a quote from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. It is a phrase that Aureliano Segundo says in Chapter 17, and is later written on his ...
Aydin4ik's user avatar
  • 153
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

In "The South" by Jorge Luis Borges, what is the significance of the cat?

What is the significance of Dahlmann's contact with the "enormous cat" in this short story? He quickly recalled that in a cafe on the Calle Brazil (a few dozen feet from Yrigoyen's house) there was ...
Darlin Roque's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
108 views

What does the ellipsis in Machado's poem 'Pegasos, lindos pegasos' mean?

What does the ellipsis in Machado's poem 'Pegasos, lindos pegasos' mean? I don't know what all those dots represent. Maybe it is something specific I'm not aware of. Here is the poem. Pegasos, lindos ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

In what order should the "Cemetery of Forgotten Books" series be read?

I have recently ordered the books from The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. I know that I will be receiving The Angel's Game before The Shadow of The Wind since The Angel's Game was published after ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 6,213
4 votes
1 answer
236 views

Are all books the same length in "The Library of Babel"?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the reader learns: There are five shelves for each of the hexagon's walls; each shelf contains thirty-five books of uniform format; each book is of ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 6,213
4 votes
1 answer
139 views

How long has El Cantar de mio Cid been considered a national epic of Spain?

El Cantar de mio Cid or The Poem of the Cid is not only "the oldest preserved Castilian epic poem" but also "considered a national epic of Spain". The text may date from the 12th ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 45.2k
4 votes
1 answer
589 views

Meaning of Lorca's "Romance sonámbulo"?

What does Lorca mean in his poem "Romance sonámbulo" when he says: Tiny tin-leaf lanterns were trembling on the tiles. A thousand crystal tambourines were wounding dawn's dark sky. (...
The Masked Rebel's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why does Rebeca kill José Arcadio in One Hundred Years of Solitude?

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, it is apparent that Rebeca kills José Arcadio, her husband. What mythology or post-colonial meaning does this event hold generally? How do you understand it ...
Saurabh Goyal's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
503 views

Origin of the title of "La Dragontea" by Lope de Vega?

Why Lope de Vega titled his poem La Dragontea, what were the prerequisites? I tried to search the etymology of this word but was not successful. Yes, I know that Chinese Dragon Tea exists, but I ...
Suncatcher's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
354 views

What is the significance/symbolism of the Cyclical book being cyclical in "The Library of Babel"?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, the speaker describes the cyclical book as (The mystics claim that their ecstasy reveals to them a circular chamber containing a great circular book, ...
Benjamin's user avatar
  • 6,213
4 votes
1 answer
161 views

Julia Wong Kcomt, "The Red Rooster"

The Chinese-Peruvian poet Julia Wong Kcomt wrote two poems for Words Without Borders about her experiences as a product of two different cultures. I'm particularly interested in the first of them, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.6k
4 votes
0 answers
51 views

Can someone elaborate on the subject of "Discursive Hybridity" in Don Quixote?

Our teacher has asked us about the subject of "Discursive Hybridity" in Don Quixote, I've read about it but I'm not still so sure what it actually designates. So here I am asking for your help. What ...
Silence_and_i's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
87 views

Why does Samson the parrot figure so prominently in the climax of La Fiesta del Chivo?

In the final chapter of La Fiesta del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat), Samson the parrot plays a recurring role. Here are a few examples: Her reply is a sudden jabbering. The five women turn their ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
266 views

What is the relation (if any) of Fanny Buitrago to her biographer Letty Buitrago?

In the ninth volume ("Biografias") of the Colombian encyclopedia "Gran Enciclopedia de Colombia" there is a biography of the Colombian author Fanny Buitrago. It can be read here (...
user1118's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
191 views

When did the terms "Mester de Clerecía" and "Mester de Juglaría" start to be used?

Mester de Juglaría was a genre of Spanish literature from the 12th-13th centuries, which was transmitted orally by travelling entertainers (juglares). It was later surpassed by the Mester de Clerecía, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.6k
3 votes
1 answer
96 views

What does "solidification" mean in "his departure or farewell was a kind of solidification"?

But I had to give up on that idea or hope, I had to wrench it out of my head and heart, or out of my cunt, as the women say back in Torre del Greco, and although I never completely gave up, somehow I ...
Sasi's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

What does "Yira" mean in "Yira, Yira" by Carlos Gardel?

In the song Yira, Yira by Carlos Gardel (which was also later performed by Los Piojos) I am curious about the phrase, well, "Yira, Yira" (full lyrics). I couldn't find the definition in many ...
Tomerikoo's user avatar
  • 133