lunes, 18 de junio de 2012

200+ Reading Recommendations for Spanish Lit Month


With the kickoff of Spanish Lit Month now less than a couple of weeks away, I thought I'd post these two Spanish-language "best of" lists together in one place in case any of you were looking for some last minute ideas to help jump start your reading plans for the event.  Just to be clear, the Semana.com list comes from a 2007 critics' poll ranking the 100 best novels in Spanish-language literature published between 1982 and 2007.  The Ignacio Echevarría list, which provoked some wonderful comments here back in February, comes from a 2011 book that the Spanish critic put out focusing on his proposal for 100 "essential" Spanish-language works from 1950 up through last year.  Do you have any favorites on either of the two lists?  Anything you think should have been left off?

Semana.com's 100 Best Spanish-Language Novels of the Last 25 Years

Abad Faciolince, Héctor.  Angosta (2003).
Aguilar Camín, Héctor.  La guerra de Galio (1994).
Aguinis, Marco.  La gesta del marrano (1991).
Aira, César.  Una novela china (1987).
_____.  Los fantasmas [Ghosts] (1990).
_____.  Cumpleaños (2001).
Arenas, Reinaldo.  Arturo, la estrella más brillante (1984).
Bellatin, Mario.  Salón de bellezza [Beauty Salon] (2000).
Benesdra, Salvador.  El traductor (2002).
Benet, Juan.  Herrumbrosas lanzas (1983).
Bioy Casares, Adolfo.  Un campeón desparejo (1993).
Bolaño, Roberto.  Estrella distante [Distant Star] (1996).
_____.  Los detectives salvajes [The Savage Detectives] (1998).
_____.  2666 [2666] (2004).
Boullosa, Carmen.  La otra mano de Lepanto (2005).
Bryce Echenique, Alfredo.  La vida exagerada de Martín Romaña (1981).
_____.  No me esperen en abril (1995).
Caballero, Antonio.  Sin remedio (1984).
Cabrera Infante, Guillermo.  Ella cantaba boleros (1996).
Castillo, Abelardo.  Crónica de un iniciado (1991).
Cercas, Javier.  Soldados de Salamina [Soldiers of Salamis] (2001).
_____.  La velocidad de la luz [The Speed of Light] (2005).
De Santis, Pablo.  La sexta lámpara (2005).
Edwards, Jorge.  El inútil de la familia (2004).
Electorat, Mauricio.  La burla del tiempo (2004).
Eloy Martínez, Tomás.  Santa Evita [Santa Evita] (1995).
_____.  El vuelo de la reina (2002).
Eltit, Diamela.  Lumpérica (1983).
_____.  El cuarto mundo [The Fourth World] (1988).
_____.  Los vigilantes [Custody of the Eyes] (1994).
Espinosa, Germán.  La tejedora de coronas (1982).
Fogwill.  Los pichiciegos [Malvinas Requiem] (1983).
Franco, Jorge.  Rosario Tijeras [Rosario Tijeras: A Novel] (1999).
Fuentes, Carlos.  Los años con Laura Díaz [The Years with Laura Díaz] (1999).
_____.  La silla del Águila [The Eagle's Throne] (2003).
García Márquez, Gabriel.  El amor en los tiempos del cólera [Love in the Time of Cholera] (1985).
_____.  Del amor y otros demonios [Of Love and Other Demons] (1994).
_____.  Memorias de mis putas tristes [Memories of My Melancholy Whores] (2005).
García Ortega, Adolfo.  Autómata (2006).
Giardinelli, Mempo.  Luna caliente [Sultry Moon] (1983).
_____.  Santo oficio de la memoria (1991).
Gómez Jiménez, Jorge.  El rastro (1993).
Gónzalez, Tomás.  La historia de Horacio (2000).
Goytisolo, Juan.  Paisaje después de la batalla (1982).
Jaramillo, Darío.  Cartas cruzadas (1995).
Levrero, Mario.  La novela luminosa (2005).
Marías, Javier.  Todas las almas [All Souls] (1989).
_____.  Corazón tan blanco [A Heart So White] (1992).
_____.  Mañana en la batalla piensa en mí [Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me] (1994).
Marsé, Juan.  El embrujo de Shanghai [Shanghai Nights] (1993).
Martínez de Pisón, Ignacio.  Carreteras secundarias (1996).
_____.  El tiempo de las mujeres (2003).
Mastretta, Ángeles.  Mal de amores [Lovesick] (1996).
_____.  Arráncame la vida [Tear This Heart Out] (1998).
Mateo Diez, Luis.  Camino a la perdición (1995).
Matute, Ana María.  Olvidado rey Gudu (1997).
Mendoza, Eduardo.  La ciudad de los prodigios [The City of Marvels] (1986).
Mercado, Tununa.  En estado de memoria [In a State of Memory] (1990).
Merino, José María.  La orilla oscura (1985).
Montero, Isaac.  Ladrón de lunas (1999).
Montero, Rosa.  Temblor (1990).
Muñoz Molina, Antonio.  El invierno en Lisboa [Winter in Lisbon] (1987).
_____.  El jinete polaco (1991).
_____.  Plenilunio (1997).
Mutis, Álvaro.  La nieve del almirante (1986).
_____.  Empresas y tribulaciones de Maqroll el Gaviero (1993).
Navarro, Justro.  La casa del padre (1994).
Onetti, Juan Carlos.  Cuando ya no importe [Past Caring] (1993).
Palol, Miquel de.  Igur Neblí (1994).
Paso, Fernando del.  Noticias del Imperio [News from the Empire] (1987).
Pauls, Alan.  El pasado [The Past] (2003).
Pérez Reverte, Arturo.  El maestro de esgrima [The Fencing Master] (1988).
Piglia, Ricardo.  Plata quemada [Money to Burn] (1997).
Pinilla, Ramiro.  Verdes valles, colinas rojas (2005).
Pitol, Sergio.  El arte de la fuga (1996).
Pombo, Álvaro.  Donde las mujeres (1996).
_____.  La cuadratura del círculo (1999).
Puig, Manuel.  Cae la noche tropical [Tropical Night Falling] (1988).
Rey Rosa, Rodrigo.  La orilla africana (1999).
Roa Bastos, Augusto.  Vigilia del almirante (1992).
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos.  La sombra del viento [The Shadow of the Wind] (2001).
Saer, Juan José.  El entenado [The Witness] (1983).
_____.  Glosa [The Sixty-Five Years of Washington] (1986).
_____.  La grande (2005).
Semprún, Jorge.  Veinte años y un día (2003).
Sepúlveda, Luis.  Un viejo que leía novelas de amor (1989).
Shua, Ana María.  La muerte como efecto secundario [Death as a Side Effect] (1997).
Soriano, Osvaldo.  A sus plantas rendido un león (1988).
_____.  Una sombra ya pronto serás (1990).
Trapiello, Andrés.  Al morir don Quijote (2005).
Uslar Pietri, Arturo.  La visita en el tiempo (1990).
Vallejo, Fernando.  La Virgen de los Sicarios [Our Lady of the Assassins] (1994).
_____.  El desbarrancadero (2001).
Vargas Llosa, Mario.  La Fiesta del Chivo [The Feast of the Goat] (2000).
_____.  El paraíso en la otra esquina [The Way to Paradise] (2003).
Velasco, Xavier.  Diablo guardián (2003).
Vila-Matas, Enrique.  Bartleby y compañia [Bartleby & Co.] (2000).
_____.  Doctor Pasavento (2006).
Villoro, Juan.  El testigo (2004).
Zarraluki, Pedro.  Historia del silencio (1995).

Ignacio Echevarria's Essential Books in Spanish-Language Literature Since the 1950s

Aira, César.  La liebre [The Hare] (1991).
Aldecoa, Ignacio.  Los pájaros de Baden-Baden (1965).
Amo, Álvaro del.  Libreto (1985).
Arguedas, José María.  Los ríos profundos [Deep Rivers] (1958).
Arreola, Juan José.  Confabulario [Confabulario and Other Inventions] (1952).
Ayala, Francisco.  Muertes de perro [Death as a Way of Life] (1958).
Benet, Juan.  Volverás a Región [Return to Región] (1967).
_____.  Saúl ante Samuel (1980).
Bioy Casares, Adolfo.  El sueño de los héroes [The Dream of Heroes] (1954).
Bizzio, Sergio.  Era el cielo (2007).
Bolaño, Roberto.  Los detectives salvajes [The Savage Detectives] (1998).
_____.  2666 [2666] (2004).
Borges, Jorge Luis.  La muerte y la brújula [Death and the Compass] (1951).
Borges, Jorge Luis and Adolfo Bioy Casares.  Crónicas de Busto Domecq [Chronicles of Bustos Domecq] (1967).
Brodsky, Roberto.  Bosque quemado (2007).
Bryce Echenique, Alfredo.  Un mundo para Julius [A World for Julius: A Novel] (1970).
Buenaventura, Ramón.  El año que viene en Tánger (1998).
Cabrera Infante, Guillermo.  Tres tristes tigres [Three Trapped Tigers] (1967).
Carpentier, Alejo.  Los pasos perdidos [The Lost Steps] (1953).
Casavella, Francisco.  Un enano español se suicida en Las Vegas (1997).
Castellanos Moya, Horacio.  Insensatez [Senselessness] (2004).
Cebrián, Mercedes.  El malestar al alcance de todos (2004).
Cela, Camilo José.  La colmena [The Beehive] (1951).
_____.  Mazurca para dos muertos [Mazurka for Two Dead Men] (1983).
Chejfec, Sergio.  Boca de lobo (2000).
Chirbes, Rafael.  La buena letra (1992).
Colectivo Todoazen.  El año que tampoco hicimos la Revolución (2005).
Cortázar, Julio.  Rayuela [Hopscotch] (1963).
Delibes, Miguel.  Las ratas [Smoke on the Ground] (1962).
Díaz, Jesús.  Las iniciales de la tierra [The Initials of the Earth] (1987).
Di Benedetto, Antonio.  Zama (1956).
Donoso, José.  El jardín de al lado [The Garden Next Door] (1981).
Fernández Cubas, Cristina.  Mi hermana Elba (1980).
Ferrer Lerín, Francisco.  Familias como la mía (2011).
Fogwill.  Cantos de marineros en La Pampa (1998).
Fresán, Rodrigo.  La velocidad de las cosas (1998).
Fuentes, Carlos.  Aura [Aura] (1962).
Fuguet, Alberto.  Missing (una investigación) (2009).
Gándara, Alejandro.  La media distancia (1984).
García Hortelano, Juan.  El gran momento de Mary Tribune (1972).
García Márquez, Gabriel.  Cien años de soledad [One Hundred Years of Solitude] (1967).
Garro, Elena.  Andamos huyendo Lola (1980).
Gopegui, Belén.  Lo real (2001).
Goytisolo, Juan.  Reivindicación del conde don Julián [Count Julian] (1970).
Goytisolo, Luis.  Antagonía (1973-1981).
Gumucio, Rafael.  Memorias prematuras (1999).
Hernández, Felisberto.  La casa inundada (1960).
Ibargüengoitia, Jorge.  Las muertas [The Dead Girls] (1977).
Iturralde, Juan.  Días de llamas (1979).
Laforet, Carmen.  Siete novelas cortas (1952-1954).
Lamborghini, Osvaldo.  El fiord (1969).
Lemebel, Pedro.  Adiós, mariquita linda (2004).
Levrero, Mario.  La novela luminosa (2005).
López Salinas, Armando.  La mina (1960).
Loriga, Ray.  Lo peor de todo (1992).
Magrinyà, Luis.  Cuentos de los 90 (2011).
Marías, Javier.  Todas las almas [All Souls] (1989).
Marín, Germán.  El palacio de la Risa (1995).
Marsé, Juan.  Si te dicen que caí [The Fallen] (1973).
Martín Gaite, Carmen.  El cuarto de atrás [The Back Room] (1978).
Martín Garzo, Gustavo.  El lenguaje de las fuentes (1993).
Martín-Santos, Luis.  Tiempo de silencio [Time of Silence] (1962).
Martínez de Pisón, Ignacio.  El fin de los buenos tiempos (1994).
Mateo Díez, Luis.  La ruina del cielo (1999).
Mendoza, Eduardo.  La verdad sobre el caso Savolta [The Truth about the Savolta Case] (1975).
Millas, Juan José.  El jardín vacío (1981).
Muñoz Molina, Antonio.  Beatus Ille [A Manuscript of Ashes] (1986).
Mutis, Álvaro.  La última escala del Tramp Steamer [The Adventures of Maqroll: Four Novellas](1989).
Ocampo, Silvina.  La furia (1959).
Onetti, Juan Carlos.  La vida breve [A Brief Life] (1950).
_____.  Cuentos completos (1974).
Paso, Fernando del.  Noticias del Imperio [News from the Empire] (1987).
Piglia, Ricardo.  Respiración artificial [Artificial Respiration] (1980).
Piñera, Virgilio.  Cuentos fríos [Cold Tales] (1956).
Pitol, Sergio.  La vida conyugal (1991).
Pombo, Álvaro.  El metro de platinio iridiado (1990).
Puig, Manuel.  The Buenos Aires Affair [The Buenos Aires Affair] (1973).
Ramón Ribeyro, Julio.  La palabra del mudo (1972).
Revueltas, José.  El apando (1969).
Rey Rosa, Rodrigo.  Que me maten si... (1997).
Roa Bastos, Augusto.  Yo el Supremo [I, the Supreme] (1974).
Rosa, Isaac.  El vano ayer (2004).
Rossi, Alejandro.  La fábula de las regiones (1997).
Rulfo, Juan.  Pedro Páramo [Pedro Páramo] (1955).
Sabato, Ernesto.  Sobre héroes y tumbas [On Heroes and Tombs] (1961).
Saer, Juan José.  El entenado [The Witness] (1983).
Sánchez Ferlosio, Rafael.  El testimonio de Yarfoz (1986).
Sarduy, Severo.  Pájaros de la playa [Beach Birds] (1993).
Sender, Ramón.  Réquiem por un campesino español [Requiem for a Spanish Peasant] (1960).
Soriano, Osvaldo.  Cuarteles de invierno [Winter Quarters] (1982).
Tomeo, Javier.  La agonía de Proserpina (1993).
Tusquets, Esther.  El mismo mar de todos los veranos [The Same Sea as Every Summer] (1978).
Umbral, Francisco.  Mortal y rosa [A Mortal Spring] (1975).
Vallejo, Fernando.  La Virgen de los Sicarios [Our Lady of the Assassins] (1994).
Vargas Llosa, Mario.  La tía Julia y el escribidor [Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter] (1977).
Vázquez Montalbán, Manuel .  El estrangulador (1994).
Vila-Matas, Enrique.  Suicidios ejemplares (1991).
Villoro, Juan.  La casa pierde (1999).
Walsh, Rodolfo.  Operación masacre (1957).
Zúñiga, Juan Eduardo.  Largo noviembre de Madrid (1980).


25 comentarios:

  1. What a dangerous list. I'm not even sure I should really look at it. I found a few I have read and own but not a lot.
    Someone left a comment on my blog yesterday suggesting I read Lorca's play Yerma which actually put me in the mood to read a few Spanish plays. I've only read Calderón so far. Any suggestions?

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. Caroline, sorry but I'm really weak on theatrical works alas. Other than the obvious titles by Calderón, Lope de Vega, Lorca and such, the only Spanish-language play I can remember reading and enjoying in the last several years is Alfonso Sastre's Franco-era Escuadra hacia la muerte. Anyway, please let me know if you discover any good plays!

      Eliminar
    2. Caroline, I'd recommend "La fundación" by Antonio Buero Vallejo. I enjoyed it a lot. I also liked "La casa de Bernarda Alba" by Lorca and, if you're looking for something older, I loved "Fuente Ovejuna" by Lope de Vega.

      Eliminar
    3. Thanks for the prompt, Bettina: Buero Vallejo's En la ardiente oscuridad (1947) is another Spanish play I liked but one I somehow managed to forget about between this morning--when I was thinking about it--and this afternoon. My memory's getting old fast!

      Eliminar
  2. And, on a more general note, I've had these two lists sitting around on my computer for ages, wondering what to do with them. They actually only overlap on very few titles (I think eight) - showing how subjective this list-making business really is. I once tried to merge them and make a long-term project out of it. Now I'm thinking it may be worth making it a more short-term project ;-). Maybe Spanish-language lit month would be a good time to start - would anyone be interested in joining me?

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. I remember you talking about this project before, Bettina, and I still think it's a great one. I'm not sure I'll have time to join you on it next month (well, not to complete it anyway), but I'd be interested in hearing more details and seeing if you got any other takers to join you (I'd be up for doing group reads of the titles I haven't read at some point, though). Of the overlap titles, I've read both of the big Bolaño books, Marías' Todas las almas, and Vallejo's La Virgen de los Sicarios: all great ones, of course. That leaves me Levrero's Novela luminosa, Fernando del Paso's Noticias del Imperio, and Saer's El entenado if I counted correctly, but I guess you could consider the Fogwill books near-overlaps because Los pichiciegos forms the centerpiece of Cantos de marineros en La Pampa. Are those the eight books you're talking about or did I miss one? Cheers!

      Eliminar
  3. I've read a handful from the first list, and fewer from the second. Interestingly, I read mostly from those writers with two or more titles in the first list. Seeing them alphabetized rather than ranked probably reveals who were thought to be consistently good, and prolific at that, and those who "came across" well in English? I got a copy of Mutis's "The Snow of the Admiral" in an anthology of Spanish novellas and I just might read that too for the July event.

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. Rise, you just had to make me go and count them, eh?!? :D I think I've read something like 21 from the first list and 17 from the second one, but those numbers should shift somewhat by the time next month is through--or by the time I stop moving on to other books in the middle of ones I've already started, whichever comes first... Anyway, glad you noticed a difference in the alphabetized vs. ranked presentation of the first list; I agree it's a good way to spot which writers were valued for their consistency even when their "best" titles were under dispute. As for Mutis, I look forward to hearing what you make of him. I bought a copy of that same work 2-3 years ago, but it's one of many that just haven't been able to rise to the top of the queue for whatever reason. P.S. If you get a chance, please fill us in on who's in the rest of that novella anthology--such an interesting concept!

      Eliminar
  4. What shocking presentism on display here!

    Caroline: Tirso de Molina, "El Burlador de Sevilla," perhaps the only Golden Age play to really stand up to Calderón de la Barca, no offense to Lope de Vega who is obviously worth your time too.

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. Tom, ha, you caught me! I was actually going to reduce the "presentism" effect by adding some extra suggestions pilfered from grad generals reading lists and such, but I got tired of typing in the end and put that off for another day. In the meantime, I really need to read that Tirso de Molina title one of these days because it's one of the biggest "humiliations" on my peninsular Spain reading list and has been for years. I'm so ashamed!

      Eliminar
    2. Merci, Tom. Off to see if I can get it.

      Eliminar
  5. Thanks for posting the lists, Richard! I know you've linked them in the past, but it's great to have them all here in one spot.

    Playing a bit off of Tom's comment, do you happen to have handy any links to lists containing pre-1950 works? I have a good start on older Spanish-language books I'm interested in (esp. Siglo de Oro era), but longer lists are always better! ;)

    ResponderEliminar
  6. obooki has pulled together a list based on Spanish PhD reading list that sure covers the ground, aside from his shocking anti-poetrism and anti-theatrism.

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. Thanks, Tom. That should be just the thing.

      Eliminar
    2. *Amanda: I'd hoped that the alphabetical and side by side presentation of the lists might be useful to other people and not just me, so I'm glad to hear that you appreciated seeing the recycled material one more time! Also, I'm going to try to put out a supplementary set of lists to that great one that Obooki put together but that might have to wait till next week unless I can figure out a shortcut before then. Until then, happy reading!

      *Tom: Thanks for linking to the Obooki list. I'll try and add some poetry and drama in the next recommendation list I hope to put together, but I seriously cracked up rereading the Obookster's "shocking" anti-poetry/theater potshots. Funny stuff!

      Eliminar
    3. One day I might put some accents on that list.

      Eliminar
  7. Great list Richard shows how much more I ve got to read myself got some read own a few aware of a few and some new to me ,all the best stu

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. Stu, yes, lots to like on those two lists in comparison to the amount of semi-duds that are also on there. I'd almost like to try to read them all at some point...

      Eliminar
  8. I came to your blog hoping you'd written something on Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, but he's not even on this list :)

    Have you read him? Do you have any opinion on him? I've been reading Saramago's diaries and he speaks very warmly of him, even likened him to Cervantes, so I'm curious to read him, but he's not even available in Portuguese, and I'm thinking maybe it's time I give my Spanish a try.

    ResponderEliminar
    Respuestas
    1. Miguel, I had Torrente Ballester's La saga/fuga de J.B. checked out of the library last year but wasn't able to make time for its several hundred pages. I hope to read at least that title and maybe Fragmentos de Apocalipsis by him eventually, but I've heard wildly differing opinions on the quality of his work ever since I first started hearing about him (which was, I think, in connection with the guy who wrote the intro to Cortázar's Rayuela and was rather fond of Torrente Ballester as well). I think Obooki's read something by him, but I can't quite remember whether that's so or if he just mentioned him somewhere. In any event, I'd be interested in hearing what you thought about him and that Saramago Cervantes comparison is certainly intriguing!

      Eliminar
    2. Well, perhaps it was a mistake, but today I ordered La Saga/Fuga de J.B. in Spanish. I've never read a novel in Spanish before, and it was probably not very smart to start with an 800-page-long one :)

      We'll see how that fares.

      Eliminar
    3. Miguel, I admire your audacity! Not having studied Portuguese before, I hope to do a similar thing with Castelo Branco's Mistèrios de Lisboa someday (although that's at least a good few hundred pages shorter than your Torrente Ballester book). Good luck!

      Eliminar
    4. Geez, sorry for the late reply; I never read that novel, but I loved the movie! I imagine it's good and thrilling in that Dumas/Stevenson, 19th century sort of way.

      I've finally read GTB's novel, I figured you might want to have a look at it, I just posted the review. It's a great novel.

      Eliminar