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[In Progress] Textual Tapas: A Spanish Sampler (p.16)

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Course Description:

There is much to admire about Spanish literature, but the domination of artistic expression by the Catholic Church in its formative years, and by various dictatorships that followed, has given Spain a unique and isolated literary history. In this four-part series, we'll sample the best of Spanish literature, beginning with an excerpt from the first modern novel: "Don Quixote." Then, like diners at a tapas bar, we'll sample a little bit of everything. We'll learn about the major literary movements and get a sense of the history, art and culture that influenced each work.

Rough Outline (Subject to change):

Week 1 – Overview of Spanish History to 1547: Introduction to the Golden Age of Spanish Literature focusing on Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and an excerpt from the first book of Don Quixote.

Week 2 – More about the Golden Age of Spanish Literature and Art: Chivalric Romance (Amadis of Gaul), the first Picaresque novel (Lazarillo de Tormes), and a Golden Age Play (Lope de Vega's Fuentovejuna).

Week 3 – A look at Spanish History between the Golden Age and the Spanish Civil War with a work by Miguel de Unamuno and a few poems by Federico Garcia Lorca.

Week 4: Modern Spanish Art and Literature. Possible readings from Ana Maria Matute and Jose Maria Merino.


Tuition: $45.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

Register Myself


Wednesdays, Apr. 7, 14, 21, 28 *10:00am-noon* (4 sessions)


We'll meet online via Zoom. Zoom is free and easy to use. OLLI will walk you through the steps. Prior to each Zoom meeting (class), you will receive an email with specific details on that meeting.


Laura Courtney Headley has a master's degree in English rhetoric, and a bachelor's degree in comparative religion and philosophy. She has taught courses in literature, reading, and writing at Santa Clara University, San Diego State University and Monterey Peninsula College.