Questions tagged [spanish-literature]

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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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) ...
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2 votes
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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, ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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9 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
321 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 ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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7 votes
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122 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
91 views

English translation of "Encargo"

Is there an English translation of "Encargo" by Julio Cortázar? I've not been able to find one online.
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3 votes
1 answer
896 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 ...
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3 votes
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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? ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
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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, ...
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3 votes
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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-...
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4 votes
1 answer
283 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. (...
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3 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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11 votes
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127 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
345 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
447 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, ...
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6 votes
1 answer
129 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 ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
220 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
490 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 ...
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1 vote
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34 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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.
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5 votes
3 answers
159 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
71 views

"The South" by Jorge Luis Borges: book/movie differences?

What are some of the differences and similarities between the book "The South" and the movie? The book is about Juan Dahlmann with his accident. I know that the cat is in different places, that the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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"The impostor magician Smerdis" from Borges

In the Jorge Luis Borges short story Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius the only historical name the narrator and Bioy recognize from the cyclopaedia entry on Uqbar is that of the impostor magician Smerdis,...
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2 votes
0 answers
63 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
786 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
663 views

Is the original manuscript of Don Quixote extant?

I've searched all over the place for an explicit answer to this question, but I can't find anything. Apparently, there are 27 known copies of the first edition (1605). But Cervantes' hand-written ...
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7 votes
1 answer
249 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
862 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 ...
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7 votes
3 answers
4k 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? Full text in Spanish and English Alternate ...
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6 votes
1 answer
315 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
213 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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
186 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, ...
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8 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
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4 votes
0 answers
82 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
150 views

Nicanor Parra line: "Nothing important is learned from books. (I read this in a book.)"

This is one of Parra's "anti-poems" but I can't recall the exact wording, or which book it appeared in, and can't seem to find it online. The poem says something along the lines of Nothing ...
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12 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
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15 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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11 votes
2 answers
259 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 ...
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