Spanish 135W: La Celestina

TuTh 9:30-11A, BARROWS 80 | Instructor: Navarrete | CCN: 21423

Units: 4

This writing-intensive course is for Spanish majors only.

This is a writing-intensive course focusing on a close reading of the novel La Celestina. For Calisto it was love at first sight when he wandered into Melibea’s Garden. Or was it lust? At the suggestion of his servant Sempronio, he hires the witch Celestina to help him seduce Melibea. She succeeds, but by the end of the book Sempronio murders Celestina and is himself executed, Calisto is dead and Melibea commits suicide. In our seminar we will read La Celestina, the first modern Spanish novel, and in our weekly meetings discuss its careful dissection of corruption, hypocrisy, and human motivation. In addition we will also read other literary, legal, medical, and historical texts that will help us understand this novel and contemporary ideas about topics such as sentimental love, sexuality and health, prostitution, witchcraft, salvation, corruption, and suicide. Students will write a number of short projects, building up to a longer essay (14-18 pages), and a final exam.