The writings of Spanish poet Antonio Gamoneda are characterized by their strength, clarity, and contempt for trends. In this program, Gamoneda describes his genesis as a poet, shaped by a childhood of poverty and traumatization by the horrors of the Spanish Civil War; his perception of the radicalizing and revelatory nature and limited influence of poetry; and the relationship he perceives between poetry and music. In addition, the author of Blues Castellano, Después de Veinte Años, El Cuerpo de los Símbolos, Lápidas, and Esta Luz offers insights into his book Libro de los Venenos.
In March of 2006, the Spanish novelist, journalist, and sociologist Francisco Ayala celebrated his 100th birthday. This program provides students of literature with a compelling look at the writer’s life and work. Rarely viewed archival photos and footage are combined with insightful commentary from literary scholars, including Antonio Sánchez, professor of literature at the University of Granada; Manuel Ángel Vázquez, professor of Spanish literature at the University of Seville; and Carolyn Richmond, renowned anthologist and Spanish literature expert as well as Ayala’s wife and translator. Ayala himself is also interviewed.
Examining the lives and accomplishments of major authors writing in Spanish, this five-part series offers remarkable insight into their poetic, dramatic, and fictional expression. Calderon de la Barca, Gustavo Becquer, Ruben Dario, and Rafael Alberti are each featured in a program, with an additional episode devoted to the picaresque novel, a literary form with Spanish origins. Incorporating archival photographs, paintings, and drawings, these visual histories make up a powerful narrative woven through four centuries of Spanish-language literature. English, 5-part series, 20-25 minutes each.
Filmed on location at literary landmarks throughout Spain, this stylish 13-part series—created in consultation with the University of Salamanca—thoroughly examines the rich history of Spanish literature. Each program blends scholarly interviews and dramatic readings with images of manuscripts and artwork to sharply profile the Spanish authors, poets, and playwrights whose names rank high in the Western literary canon. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. Spanish with burned-in English subtitles. 13-part series, 50 minutes each.
Francisco Umbral’s novels and outspoken newspaper columns made the acerbic writer a household name in Spain. In this program, “the angry man of Spanish letters”—in one of his last interviews before his death at age 72—holds forth on topics related, on the one hand, to his deep and unswerving passion for language and writing and, on the other, to Franco: facets of life under the regime and his recollection of the day the dictator died. Standouts among his more than 80 books include La Forja de un Ladrón, La Belleza Convulsa, Mortal y Rosa, La Noche que Llegué al Café Gijón, Un Carnívaro Cuchillo, Teoría de Lola, El Fulgor de África, Diario de un Snob, and Historias de Amor y Viagra.