María de Zayas, Novelas amorosas y ejemplares, “La fuerza del amor” (1637)

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]

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Sendebar (1253)

This unit contains a selection of texts from the Sendebar (1253), one of the most famous and widespread collections of exemplary literature in the Middle Ages, with versions in Arabic, Syriac, Farsi, Greek, Hebrew, and Spanish.

The importance of this work lies in the fact that, together with the Calila and Dimna, it was the first collection of Eastern tales to make it into the Iberian Peninsula, bringing with it a new way of organizing the plot around a narrative frame which gave meaning to each separate tale. The selection includes the three tales from the second day of the trial: the first is narrated by the woman, who claims that the Prince tried to rape her; the other two are narrated by one of the king’s counselors, who tries to convince the king to keep calm (first tale) and that all women are deceitful (second tale).

Types of courses where the text might be useful: History, literature, and culture of medieval Spain, al-Andalus, Maghreb, Translation, Tales.

[Spanish version] [English version]

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Fernando de Rojas, Celestina (1499)

This bilingual unit contains a brief introduction to the Spanish masterpiece Celestina, or The Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea, and a fragment from a dialogue in Act VII adapted for modern readers with notes, and a short bibliography.

Celestina deals with love, the decline of nobility, prostitution, witchcraft, money, death, and laughter. It also includes several medical beliefs that especially affect women´s health. Not surprisingly, it is one of those few works that has been continually read since its appearance in 1499, although it has often been accompanied by controversy and, at times, censorship. Today, Celestina remains as a groundbreaking creation, often seen as a piece that marks the transition in Iberia from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Types of courses where the text might be useful: History, literature, and culture of medieval and early modern Spain; birth of novel; gender literature; history of medicine.

[English version] [Spanish version]

Have you used this unit in the classroom (or elsewhere)? Please share your experience in the comments!