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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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6 votes
1 answer
165 views

Cortázar story that ends with a meeting on a bridge

I am trying to recall the name of a Cortázar story. It concludes with the protagonist meeting or walking past (or through) someone on a bridge. Perhaps they exchange identities as they pass each other....
6 votes
1 answer
130 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-...
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 ...
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. ...
3 votes
1 answer
194 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, ...
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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
676 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
119 views

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

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
73 views

What differences are there between the editions of Grossman's translation of Don Quixote?

Putting aside the physical (like the cover, flaps etc.), what, if any, differences are there between these three editions of Edith Grossman's translation of Don Quixote? Are the annotations the same ...
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 ...
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 (...
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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
75 views

What's the symbolism of the Cid's beard?

The book El "Cantar de Mio Cid" y la épica medieval española by Alan Deyermond, at page 37, mentions el simbolismo de la barba del Cid that is, "the symbolism of the Cid's beard",...
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, ...
2 votes
0 answers
27 views

In what year is Santiago murdered in Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

I have seen several analyses and reviews that claim the story is set in the fifties. I think the story is actually set in 1947. Could this be right? Here is my reasoning: The narrator says that he is ...
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 ...
13 votes
1 answer
312 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
431 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 ...
12 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?
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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
77 views

What does Borges want to convey with this theme in his work?

In many of his works, Borges uses a "final twist" in which two characters exchange their role. For example in the short story Three versions of Judas the life of a theologian who analyses ...
11 votes
2 answers
534 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
35 views

Latin America (Brazil?) short stories. Just recall fragments: A lone traveler

The protagonist, a traveler to some distant town narrating the stories. In some of them, he sees another figure on the horizon, shadowing him. In one of the stories (an early one in the collection) ...
4 votes
1 answer
141 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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
54 views

Meaning of "Her face, a revolving door, swings open and shut, open and shut"

First her ears hear; they open. Then her eyes can see; they open. Her face, a revolving door, swings open and shut, open and shut. She no longer sleeps at night; it’s too hard to breathe after four ...
7 votes
1 answer
362 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Penelope's Letter in The Shadow Of The Wind

Penelope's real letter to Julian says "Many times I tried to find you through Miguel, but he told me that you didn't want anything more to do with me." Nowhere in the book does it explain why Miguel, ...
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. ...
5 votes
0 answers
112 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
188 views

Options for when a text has not been translated into English from Spanish

Several of Arturo Perez-Reverte's works have been translated into English, but in the case of "El Cid" (Sidi), no English version has been published to my knowledge. I fear my prospects are ...
2 votes
2 answers
952 views

What does Neruda mean when he says ‘Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray.’?

I’ve been a fan of Neruda for a while now. In his Sonnet LXVI: I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You, he says: Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray, stealing my ...
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
148 views

English translation of "Encargo"

Is there an English translation of "Encargo" by Julio Cortázar? I've not been able to find one online.
4 votes
1 answer
597 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. (...
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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
867 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
196 views

1955 in Otro poema de los dones by Jorge Luis Borges

In the poem Otro poema de los dones by Jorge Luis Borges, there is a line which refers to 1955. Is Borges, being Argentine, referring to the military coup to unseat President Juan Perón of Argentina? ...
1 vote
0 answers
11k views

The relevance of "El Consejo De Los Dioses" by José Rizal

José Rizal's play "El Consejo de los Dioses" (The Council of the Gods) uncovered some relative aspects covering the social components of the western humanistic viewpoint, (that human beings ...
2 votes
0 answers
86 views

What does Lorca mean by ‘the oppressed reds’ and ‘garnet violence’ in his poem ‘The King of Harlem’?

I've already asked one question on this poem and I did think to include this question along with it but decided against it as the poem is quite long, though of course not as long as some ancient epics ...
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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
505 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does "getting soaked" mean in this text?

What does "getting soaked" mean in the following excerpt from Valeria Luiselli's novel The Story of My Teeth? I get off the bus not far from the gates, at a lovely median strip with life-size ...
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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
346 views

Are Lorca's "Gypsy Ballads" adapted from, or inspired by, traditional Romani songs?

Federico Garcia Lorca's Romancero Gitano, usually translated as Gypsy Ballads, is a collection of poems, about which Wikipedia says: All of the poems deal with the Romani people (gypsies) and their ...
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

A book about a recently graduated psychologist / psychiatrist who meets a redhead girl who is his first patient

First I would like to clarify that I do not know if someone can answer the question because I think that the book is from Galicia and, although it was translated into Spanish, I do not know if it was ...
2 votes
1 answer
71 views

What is Baltasar Gracián's original quote to "Some never arrive at being complete, somewhat is always awanting"?

Can anyone find the original quote from Baltasar Gracián in the Spanish he wrote this in? Some never arrive at being complete, somewhat is always awanting. From The art of worldy wisdom.
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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
238 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 ...