Spain through its Writers
Spain through its Writers 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 2
This module will explore how images of Spain as seen through its writers have changed over the past 100 years, by focusing on the genre of Travel Writing. It will start by providing an overview on the conventions of the genre, both in general and with a particular focus on travelogues by Spanish writers. Subsequently, students will read a series of selected extracts from different texts, which will be commented and analysed in the classroom. Although a selection of extracts will be provided, some of them will constitute compulsory reading.
The first section will focus on the pre-Civil War period through the following indicative themes: the use of landscape in the construction of national identity (Azorín), travel writing as an initiation into literature (García Lorca) and the contrast between Spain and Europe (Julio Camba).
The second part of the module will focus on the literary representations of Spain during the Francoist period. This period saw the publication of one of the milestones of the genre in Spanish literature, Viaje a la Alcarria by Nobel Prize winner Camilo José Cela, in which the author provides a personal account of rural Spain. Finally, the module will explore representations of Spain during the democratic period, with Julio Llamazares' use of memory in his travel writing.
-threshold -D- - D+: A basic understanding of the genre of Travel Literature and its evolution in Spanish literature since the beginning of the 20th century through the texts analysed in class. At least partly successful attempts to frame an argument utilising secondary materials.
-good -C- - B+: For the award of higher grades, students should demonstrate the ability to relate each text to its historical period and to compare them, highlighting their differences and similarities. Good understanding of both the conventions of the genre and how they have been developed in Spanish literature. Solid analysis of topic area, making good use of relevant sources to support argument.
-excellent -A- - A*: For the award of the highest grade, students should demonstrate a detailed comprehension of the various topics studied, with a nuanced understanding of the correlations and interrelations highlighted, having also analysed and evaluated key sources thoroughly. Excellent understanding of the genre and excellent knowledge of its evolution in contemporary Spanish literature, making excellent use of secondary materials and an impressive depth and subtlety of analysis.
- To achieve an understanding of Spanish culture and how key national conflicts have been reflected in literary texts.
- To demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the texts selected and to be able to place them in their social, historical and cultural context.
- To demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the genre of Travel Writing (both with regard to global and specifically Spanish trends).
- To understand how images of Spain have evolved in writing through history.