Spanish literature 2 LM. Critical methodologies and textual interpretation (2015/2016)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Antonella Gallo
Antonella Gallo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2015 al Jan 9, 2016.

Lesson timetable

I semestre
Day Time Type Place Note
Thursday 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall S.11  
Friday 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM lesson Lecture Hall T.10  

Learning outcomes

The educational aims of the course are the following:
1. To provide students with an exhaustive overview of Spanish Romanticism.
2. To help students to understand literary forms as a whole, by integrating other artistic, social and cultural phenomena in their historical specificity.
3. To arise a critical attitude, open-minded and respectful of everybody’s opinions, through the reading and the appreciation of a literary work.
4. To develop applied skills by making use of the appropriate techniques and methods for textual analysis.
5. To improve the competence for critically commenting and discussing a literary text by learning a specific vocabulary related to literary theory.
6. To develop the ability to identify significant research questions and topics in Spanish literature and to evaluate their philological and socio-cultural relevance.


Course attendance requirements: good communicative skills in Spanish, a basic knowledge of Spanish tradition, basic notions of textual analysis.

“A critical outline of Spanish romantic literature: crucial themes, representative literary genres and works, main authors and authoresses (a detailed syllabus of the issues treated during the lectures will be given at the beginning of the course).

From an European and comparative perspective, Spanish Romanticism, and its historical and cultural background, will be studied by pointing out the main theories and methodologies of literary criticism of the XXth century, and by referring in particular both to psychoanalytic and sociological-marxist approaches (oriented toward the author and his world) as well as to the structural-semiotic models for textual analysis, including the thematic criticism (focused on the text and its rhetorical-formal features). By considering Spanish Romanticism in the light of the to-day’s reader’s cultural response, the course will finally introduce some of the present schools of literary criticism, in its post-structural condition.

Reference Handbooks (one of the followings by student’s choice):

R. Navas Ruiz, El romanticismo español, 4ª ed. renovada, Madrid, Cátedra, 1990.

L’età moderna delle letteratura spagnola: l’Ottocento, a cura di M.G. Profeti, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 2000 (pp. 3-246).

Historia de la literatura española, (dir.) V. García de la Concha, Siglo XIX (vol. 8, coord. G. Carnero), Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1996.

Historia y crítica de la literatura española, (dir.) F. Rico. Romanticismo y realismo (vols. 5 e 5/1, coord. I.M. Zavala), Barcelona, Crítica, 1982 e 1994.

MARIANO JOSÉ DE LARRA, Artículos, ed. de Enrique Rubio, Madrid, Cátedra, 1993 (also editions Castalia or Crítica):
-“El casarse pronto y mal”
-“El castellano viejo”
-“Vuelva usted mañana”
-“En este país”
-“La diligencia”
-“La Nochebuena de 1836”

JOSÉ DE ESPRONCEDA, El diablo mundo; El Pelayo; Poesías, ed. de Domingo Ynduráin, Madrid, Cátedra, 1992:
-“A la noche”, romance
-“Al sol”, himno
-“Canción del pirata”
-“A la patria”
-“A una estrella”
-“Fresca, lozana, pura y olorosa…”, soneto
-“A Jarifa en una orgía”
Introducción al “Diablo mundo” (vv. 230-527)
Canto II de “El Diablo Mundo”: Canto a Teresa

JOSÉ ZORRILLA, Don Juan Tenorio, ed. de Aniano Peña, Madrid, Cátedra, 1998;

GUSTAVO ADOLFO BÉCQUER, Rimas, Madrid, Cátedra, ed. de Rafael Montesinos, 1995:

GUSTAVO ADOLFO BÉCQUER, Leyendas, ed. de Pascual Izquierdo, Madrid, Cátedra, 1997:
-“El rayo de luna”
-“Maese Pérez el organista”
-“La corza blanca”

Critical bibliography:

J. Escobar, «Larra y la revolución burguesa», Trienio : Ilustración y liberalismo, 10, 1987, pp. 55-67 (digital edition available at this link

P. Salinas, Espronceda. La rebelión contra la realidad, en Ensayos de literatura hispánica: del “Cantar de mío Cid” a García Lorca, Madrid, Aguilar, 1961, pp. 259-267 (in photocopies given by the teacher).

J. Rubio Jiménez, «Don Juan Tenorio. Drama de espectáculo: plasticidad y fantasía», Cuadernos de Investigación Filológica, XV, fasc. 1-2, 1989, pp. 5-24 (full text on line).

M. Mayoral, El concepto de la feminidad en Zorrilla, en Javier Blasco Pascual, Ricardo de la Fuente Ballesteros, Alfredo Mateos Paramio (coords.), Una nueva lectura. Actas del Congreso sobre José Zorrilla, (Valladolid, 18-21 de octubre de 1993), Valladolid, Universidad, 1995, pp. 125-140 (digital edition available at this link

J. Guillén, «La poética de Bécquer», Revista hispánica moderna, 8, n. 1/2, 1942, pp. 1-42 (full text on line).

F. López Estrada, Comentario de la Rima XV (“Cendal flotante de leve bruma…”) de Bécquer, en El comentario de textos, Madrid, Castalia, 1973, pp. 87-125 (in photocopies given by the teacher).

B. Regueiro Salgado, «Una nueva forma de orientalismo romántico: presencia y valores de lo oriental en la obra de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer», Bulletin of Spanish Studies, XC, 2, 2013, pp. 177-194, (full text on line).

Russell P. Sebold , "Una lágrima, pero una lágrima sola". Sobre el llanto romántico, en ID., Trayectoria del Romanticismo español desde la Ilustración hasta Bécquer, Barcelona, Crítica, 1983, pp. 185-194 (digital edition available at this link

Further readings (optional) on Spanish Romanticism, on methodologies and approaches of literary criticism and concerning the obligatory texts of the program, will be indicated during the lectures. Recommended websites for independent investigation on the issues treated during the lectures: “Biblioteca Virtual Cervantes” ( and “Biblioteca Miralles: Biblioteca de la Literatura española del siglo XIX” (

Teaching methods:
Lectures; exercises of close reading and textual analysis encouraging an active participation of the students; individual or group tutorials on the theoretical and practical scheduled activities.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination in Spanish. For students attending lectures, the final exam will be composed of a written examination in Spanish on the topics discussed during the lectures (which will take place at the end of the course) and an oral examination (critical analysis, comment and discussion on the obligatory texts of the program) to be taken during the official assessment period.