Prerequisites: Span 25
What is Love? How is it different from sexual attraction? Can you fall in love at first sight? With someone with whom you don’t share a language? What is the difference between romantic love and fraternal love? and the love of God? the love of beauty? These are some of the questions that Cervantes explores in his final novel, published exactly 400 years ago. But there are other, more formal questions too, such as how do you tie episodes together into a novel; what is the role of Aristotelian narrative principles today; what is the difference between writing about an exotic location (the “North”) and your own backyard (Spain and Portugal), between a sea voyage and one by land. Come read about a cross-dressing brother and sister; about werewolves, witches, and flying carpets; about skiing Lithuanians and melancholy Danes; about surviving fires and jumping out of a tower with your dress as a parachute. The class is discussion-based and involves a close reading of this novel. Graduate students and students from other departments welcome. There will be four open-book quizzes, two papers, and a final exam.
Required text: Miguel Cervantes, Los trabajos de Pesiles y Sigismunda, historia setentrional. Ed. Carlos Romero Muñoz. Madrid, Cátedra, ISBN: 978-84-376-1544-8