Spring 2019

Borges and Neruda

Listed in: Spanish, as SPAN-350


Ilan Stavans (Section 01)


Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) and Pablo Neruda (1904–1973) are not only the two most influential Latin American poets of the twentieth century. They also represent diametrically opposing views to literature and politics. This course traces their careers in Argentina and Chile respectively, their debut collections, their ascent to fame, and their status as international iconic figures. The author of “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” “Garden of Forking Paths,” “The Library of Babel,” and other classics, Borges is considered the father of postmodernism. His style in Spanish is learned, cerebral, and cosmopolitan. Neruda is the author of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, Canto General, and 225 odes that are among the most beautiful in any language. A devoted Communist, he campaigned for worker’s rights and opposed the United States-backed coup d’etat of General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Their distinct weltanschauungs will enable students to appreciate the syncopated ways in which the stoic and hedonistic trends define Latin American culture today. Conducted in Spanish.

Requisite: SPAN 211 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Stavans.

If Overenrolled: Professor will seek a balance in terms of geography, class, ethnicity, national background, and academic major.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing, Languages Other Than English, Writing Intensive


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019