Eighteen Essays representing 30 years of critical thought
Conceived as a companion piece to Valis’s Reading the Nineteenth-Century Spanish Novel: Selected Essays, published by Juan de la Cuesta in 2005, these essays, published between 1983 and 2013, represent thirty years of thinking and writing about the poetry and narrative of twentieth-century Spanish literature.
In the first part, the narratives studied include Ramón del Valle-Inclán’s Sonata de otoño, Felipe Trigo’s El Semental, Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero y yo, Ramón Gómez de la Serna’s El novelista, Pedro Salinas’s Víspera del gozo, Francisco Ayala’s Diálogo de los muertos, Jorge Semprún’s Autobiografía de Federico Sánchez, Carme Riera’s Cuestión de amor propio, and Ana Rossetti’s Plumas de España. The second part focuses on the poetry of such writers as Antonio Machado, Marina Romero, José Hierro, Manuel Mantero, Julia Uceda, Sara Pujol Russell, and Noni Benegas.
Threading through these essays are themes and issues centering on the relation between gender-genre, sex-text, author-reader, margin-center, the institution of writing and the writer’s status, the unsayableness of language and the unlived life, from modernism to the avant-garde, exile to women authors. A major concern of this book is the role gender (and sex) have played in writing and the institution of literature, as well as in the limits and marginalization of the literary expression of experience, for it is precisely in this period that both the professionalization of the writer and the rise of the woman writer appear.
NOËL VALIS teaches at Yale University. She is the winner of the MLA's Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize and the New England Council of Latin American Studies Best Book Translation Prize. She was also a finalist for the Prize Americana for Prose and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, for Novella and Regional Fiction.
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