Return to Pathfinder Repository
This Pathfinder is no longer being actively maintained by ipl2.
Because Spanish literature is such a broad area of study, spanning over several centuries of rich tradition, this Pathfinder is not intended as an exhaustive compilation of everything available on the subject on the Web and in print. Rather, its purpose is to provide some direction to anyone interested in learning about Spanish literature. Although this is the main focus of this guide, some resources on Spanish American literature have also been included.
General search strategies
Here we suggest some subjects and keywords that can be used in library databases and on the Internet to start your research on Spanish literature.
Books on Spanish literature would fill entire libraries. Begin your search by using general sources. Once a basic understanding of the topic has been achieved, then move on to sources that are more specialized.
Among the general reference sources stands out Historia critica de la literatura espanola (Critical History of the Spanish Literature, Francisco Rico, Editor, Editorial Critica, Barcelona, 1980, 9 vols.). Each volume is edited by a specialist in the field and includes essays by prestigious scholars. They include a bibliographical guide. It covers from the Middle Ages to 1990.
In English, a valuable general work is The Oxford Companion to Spanish Literature (Philip Ward, Editor, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1978). Its emphasis is on biographies. Authors, titles, terms, institutions, and literary movements are covered. Although focused on the peninsular literature, Spanish literature of South America and the Philippines are also represented. Contains works written in Catalan, Basque, and Galician, as well as Castilian. Includes many bibliographic references for further information.
An important work is also A History of Spanish Literature (Guillermo Diaz-Plaja, translated and edited by Hugh A. Harter. New York University Press, New York, 1971). Abridged translation of the author's 6-volume work in Spanish, this is an important book arranged by period. Each section is written by a specialist in the field and includes an extensive bibliography. Covers from the Middle Ages to the mid- 20th century, and includes Arabic, Catalan, Hebrew, and Latin literature of Spain and Spanish America and the Philippines.
For Hispanic literature, an excellent resource to look for in your local library is Hispanic Literature Criticism (Jelena O. Krstovic, Editor, Gale Research, Detroit, 1994). Reprints selected criticism on 71 Hispanic writers from the last century. Each entry includes a biographical essay that summarizes major works and the critical response to them, and a list of works in their original language, with English translation when relevant. Focus is on authors of the Americas, with only eleven from Spain and Portugal.
For Spanish American literature, two books will provide you with a good stating point. A Companion to Spanish American Literature (Stephen Hart, Tamesis, Rochester, NY, 1999) is a thorough introduction to the main works and writers of the Spanish American canon by a leading scholar. For a more scholarly treatment, see An Introduction to Spanish-American Literature (Jean Franco, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 3rd edition, 1995). Although first published in 1969, this edition has been updated, and the last chapters have been radically rewritten to include the latest developments in literature and criticism.
Finally, there are many scholarly articles contained in journals. The Hispanic Journal (semiannual, published by Indiana University Press), and Hispanic Review (quarterly, published by the University of Pennsylvania) offer a wide range of critical essays on language and literature, as well as book reviews.
The Internet has also a great deal to offer to those interested in Spanish literature. From primary sources through essays on specific periods of Spanish literature to biographies of well and not so well know authors, there are many sites devoted to Spanish literature. These sites vary in their scholarship and accuracy, so judgment on the part of the user is critical.
1. Spanish literature.. These sites include resources dealing specifically with Spanish and Spanish American literature.
2. Primary sources. Links to collections of some of the most important texts for the study of Spanish literature.
This pathfinder was created by Javier Ascasibar
Return to Pathfinder Repository