SPAN 6636M

Music & Lit in Latin America

The Orphic Imperative: Music and Literature in Latin America *


For Luis Rafael Sánchez, one of Puerto Rico's premier writers, popular music is the greatest cohesive element of Latin American culture. His assertion on the importance of music in the region is quite convincing. Since the past century, Latin America has produced a wealth of musical genres and subgenres. The influence of native rhythms, musical hybrids, and fusions has been remarkable on these societies as a whole and, in particular, on other forms of cultural production and artistic expression. This is the case of the relationship between popular music and literature, which has always originated interesting cross-fertilizations. From revolutionary chants to romantic boleros to tangos, the musical language has both channeled and nurtured literature. The course will approach the subject from a literary perspective and will discuss concepts such as: literary adaptation, intertextuality, mimesis, meaning, and representation in both literature and music. We will also discuss some socio-political and cultural issues related to this broad subject: immigration, orality, social protest, modernism/post-modernism, nationalism/transnationalism, etc.

The readings include works by Jorge Luis Borges, Nicolás Guillén, María Luisa Bombal, Isabel Allende, Vinicius da Moraes, Alejo Carpentier, Luis Rafael Sánchez, and Ana Lydia Vega. (1 unit)

Required texts: Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Delito por bailar el chachachá (México: Alfaguara, 1996); Alejo Carpentier, Concierto barroco (México: Siglo XXI, 1994); Luis Rafael Sánchez, La guaracha del Macho Camacho (Madrid: Cátedra, 2001); Juan Villoro, Tiempo transcurrido (México: FCE, 1993).

Texts available in Mexico except for La guaracha del Macho Camacho which will be available in Vermont.
Spanish (& Portuguese UG)
Language School
Requirements Fulfilled:
Civ Cul & Soc Literature


Summer 2011, LS 6 Week Session

SPAN6636MA-L11 Lecture (Corona)

Summer 2009, LS 6 Week Session

SPAN6636MA-L09 Lecture (Corona)