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The Latin American Short Story: A Cultural Tradition, by Harriet J. Bauman


Guide Entry to 87.01.08:

The short story, and especially the Latin American short story, is one of the most important literary manifestations of the Twentieth Century. It embodies the literary and cultural traditions, both European and native, which make Latin American literature unique. This unit situates the Latin American short story in its literary, historical, and cultural contexts. It also presents four short stories, which, along with suggestions for classroom activities, will give students a good understanding of the place of Latin American traditions in modern literature.

The four short stories selected for this ten-week unit are by outstanding authors who are considered masters of the Latin American short story. The authors and their stories are: Jorge Luis Borges “The South”, Alejo Carpentier “Journey Back to the Source”, Julio Cortazar “The Southern Thruway”, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez “Big Mama’s Funeral.”

(Recommended for Spanish I and II classes, grades 9-12; Spanish III classes, grades 10-12; Spanish IV classes, grades 11-12; and World Literature and Comparative Literature classes, grades 9-12)

Key Words

Latin America Short Story Culture Literature Spainsh Reading Instruction

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