Questions tagged [spanish-literature]

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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30 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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141 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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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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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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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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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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118 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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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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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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Spanish translation of Adversity Quotient?

I was reading the book Adversity Quotient by Dr. Paul G. Stoltz and I would like to make a gift with that book to someone, but that person is not fluent in English (it's a Spanish citizen). Is there ...
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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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181 views

“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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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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439 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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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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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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683 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 ...
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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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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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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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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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What does this Pablo Neruda quote 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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How do people eat in “The Library of Babel”?

In The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges, we learn that there are hallways in between rooms, which have bathroom and sleeping facilities when the speaker says, To the left and right of the ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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, ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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331 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 ...
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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 ...
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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-...
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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 ...