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Contemporary Latin American Literature,
Part I: 20th century
by Sam Simon


If you want to have a try before seeing the answers below CLICK HERE

2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Peruvian poet, Cesar Vallejo’s, Trilce, considered by many to be the urtext of modern Spanish literature. Trilce is to Spanish what, perhaps, Ulysses or The Waste Land (all three published in 1922) are to English. It represents a distinct linguistic and literary marcation of the Spanish language avant garde.There are several theories on what the title refers to. Perhaps the most common is that it is a portmanteau for the Spanish words ‘triste’ meaning ‘sad’ and ‘dulce’ meaning ‘sweet.’ Vallejo, of course, wasn’t thinking about translation when he was writing these poems. He didn’t care that ‘sadeet’–or some other mash-up of the corresponding English words–wouldn’t meld in a satisfying way. He was too busy paving the way for writers like Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriela Mistral, Julio Cortazar, and others to leave their own indelible marks on Spanish-language literature. Fortunately, thanks to many skillful translators, these great writers were also able to impact the English-speaking literary world.

Answer the following questions:
1. This book by the Argentinean master Jorge Luis Borges borrows the first letter from the Hebrew alphabet for its title.
The Aleph

2. This Cuban writer was boldly portrayed by Javier Bardem in the cinematic reworking of his autobiographical masterpiece, Before Night Falls, written in a feverish frenzy before he died of Aids in New York City.
Reinaldo Arenas

3. This Chilean poet was the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature. She remains the only woman to accomplish this feat.
Gabriela Mistral

4. Born in Ukraine, this Brazilian writer, known for The Hour of the Star, among other works, is widely considered to be her country's finest writer.
Clarice Lispector

5. What did Colonel Aurelio Buendia remember discovering for the first time in the opening line of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ 100 Years of Solitude?

6. Roberto Bolaño’s Distant Star was an expansion of a story from what collection of short stories?
Nazi Literature in the Americas

7. Well-known for his political work with the Sandinistas, this Nicaraguan poet and priest passed away in 2020.
Ernesto Cardenal

8. This Uruguayan playwright, short-story writer, and poet, who died in 1937 used uncanny and supernatural forces to highlight the growing struggles of nature versus mankind. Some of his most famous works are South American Jungle Tales and The Feather Pillow.
Horacio Quiroga

9. This Chilean poet briefly considered a presidential run prior to the coup d’etat which pre-empted his death by just a few months.
Pablo Neruda

10. Kiss of the Spiderwoman is perhaps the best-known work in English by this Argentine writer, famous for his commentary on politics and gender.
Manuel Puig

11. The television phenomena Lost was partially based on this Adolfo Bioy Casares novel.
The Invention of Morel

12. The publication of The Houseguest in the United States marked the first time that this Mexican writer, at 90 years old, saw her work translated into English.
Amparo Davila

13. Known for her dozens of novels and short stories, including Ship of Fools and State of Exile, this Uruguayan writer faced exile from her native Uruguay before settling in Barcelona.
Cristina Peri Rossi

14. Famous for his 1956 novel Zama, this Argentine exile was portrayed in Roberto Bolaño’s story Sensini as Luis Antonio Sensini.
Antonio di Benedetto

15. One of the lesser-known members of the 'Boom' to English readers. This Chilean author's masterpiece, The Obscene Bird of Night is regarded as one of the best examples of magical realism ever produced.
Jose Donoso

© tbr/ Sam Simon 2023  

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