María de Zayas, Novelas amorosas y ejemplares, “La fuerza del amor” (1637)
Pedagogical edition/translation of María de Zayas y Sotomayor’s story “The Power of Love” from her collection ‘Amorous and Exemplary Novels’ (Zaragoza, 1637).
Contains short introduction in English, English translation of Zayas’ text, notes, and short bibliography.
[English version] [Spanish version]
Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!
I used this lesson as a supplementary reading for a peninsular literature survey course in Fall 2020. We used a literary anthology for most of the course readings, but it did not include one of Zayas’s novelas ejemplares and I wanted my students to read one.
The class comprised sixteen undergraduate students, most of whom were Spanish majors or concentrators; one student was online, the rest attended class in person. Most had had an upper-division Spanish class before, but it was the first Spanish literature course for some.
This lesson about “La fuerza del amor” was perfect for my course because: 1. the “Introducción,” “María de Zayas y Sotomayor y su obra,” and “Escribir narrativa en la época de María de Zayas” aligned perfectly with my students’ expectations for introductory material; 2. my students found the explanatory footnotes to “La fuerza del amor” very helpful because they were still getting used to reading seventeenth-century Spanish; 3. the bibliography gave my students who chose to write an essay about “La fuerza del amor” a jumpstart on their research. While there are no comprehension or discussion questions included in the lesson, the ideas highlighted “Comentario sobre ‘La fuerza del amor’” made it a breeze to create those questions myself, tailored to the needs and interests of my group of students.
The fact that several of the students (both those new to reading Spanish literature and those with more experience) chose to write about “La fuerza del amor” indicates that this lesson helped them to feel confident in their interpretations of Zayas’s text and to enjoy their reading of it.
I will definitely use this lesson again and hope to implement other lessons from Open Iberia/América in future courses soon.