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Latin American Literature Syllabus

Spring Term:


Week 1: Pablo Neruda, Canto general (1950), and the American Epic


Week 2: Pablo Neruda and Left-wing Politics


Week 3: García Márquez and the Latin American Boom


Week 4: García Márquez and Magical Realism


Week 5: Yellow Butterflies and Heavenly Ascents: A Closer Look at Magical Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967).


Week 7: García Márquez and Latin American History


Week 8: A Critical Relationship? The House of the Spirits (1982) and One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967).


Week 9: The Family History: The House of the Spirits (1982) and the Pinochet Dictatorship.


Week 10: Patriarchy and Prophecy: Gender and Sociey in The House of the Spirits (1982).


Books to buy:

Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)

Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits (1982)


An advanced warning: You will be asked to prepare a short presentation on a key symbol/image in One Hundred Years of Solitude for the seminar in week 5. Click here to look at the list of these symbols/images now, so that you can look out for them while you are reading the novel and secondary sources.


NB: On using internet sources

I have listed quite a lot of online sources – websites as well as journal articles on JSTOR and MUSE. These are intended to supplement (not substitute) your wider research and reading, since library resources can often be limited when a lot of students are trying to read the same books.

Make sure to fully reference all web resources that you use in your essays, just as you would for books and articles. You do not need to include the html address when referencing articles from journals that you have accessed via JSTOR or MUSE. You MUST include html addresses, plus all author, webpage and website information when you refer to any other online resource.

I strongly advise that you refrain from cutting-and-pasting material from websites into your notes, as this can lead to accidental plagiarism if you then copy this material from your notes into your essays unacknowledged or unchanged.

Finally, most of the websites I have included are traceable to recognised academic sources such as universities, scholarly organisations and libraries and, as such, are pretty reliable and of a high scholarly standard. Wikipedia, Sparknotes, Questia and other such sites have no guarantee of reliability and are generally quite basic in their levels of analysis. Use of websites such as these should only be used as an initial, introductory source and should not be relied upon to provide material for essays.


canto general 

one hundred years of solitude

house of the spirits