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ArribaAbajoHispania Features


Estelle Irizarry

Service-Learning and Hispanic Studies, an Agenda for the 90s.

Practical applications of foreign languages are not hard to find; many institutions offer internships for students to practice what they learn in the classroom. A new movement is afoot, however, and that is to convert such activity into philanthropical community service. Local communities are very much in need of help, and a spirit of volunteerism as presented in Habits of the Heart, by Robert N. Bellah et al., can do much to relieve problems. This approach goes beyond the utilitarian purpose of the traditional «practicum» because it is experiential learning with a humanitarian purpose. The challenge for teachers is to integrate volunteerism as a relevant component of the curriculum to serve the students, the community, and the academy.

Models are available for such a service-learning agenda, such as Campus Compact -which since 1985 has spread to hundreds of colleges- COOL (Campus Outreach Opportunity League), and PULSE at Boston College. Many of our students are already involved in volunteer work. In a 1989 COFHE (Consortium on Financing Higher Education) survey of undergraduate seniors at fourteen private, selective colleges and universities, 57% reported having participated in volunteer service during college (Pettit), with eight universities showing volunteer rates between 80% and 100%. Community colleges are in a unique position to function as action-oriented community-centered schools. High schools too are increasingly asking students to engage in community projects (Conrad and Hedin). Seventy-five percent of the freshman class entering Georgetown in 1990 reported that they had participated in volunteer activity while in high school (Pettit).

It is not difficult to think of ways to combine our discipline with community service. Translating and tutoring are among the more obvious activities of this type. Business Spanish classes can help Hispanics with consumer education, paralegal services, and computer training in their native language (i. e., the Computer Association for the Contribution of Hispanic Excellence in Chicago). But community work need not be limited to serving one ethnic population. Service projects of all kinds can provide students with concrete experiences as subject matter for classroom conversation in Spanish and Portuguese. For composition courses in these languages, students can keep a log or journal and write essays related to their projects.

Literature classes can benefit as well. Philanthropy as a subject of study helps students reflect on and enrich their experience. There is ample material for a literature course with a public service component on the subject of charity, its motivations and practice. Concepción Arenal's history of charity in Spain, La beneficencia, la filantropía y la caridad, might serve as a cornerstone, with additional readings from Santa Teresa, Cervantes, Galdós (Misericordia, Torquemada en la hoguera, Nazarín), Arenal (El visitador del pobre, El visitador del preso), Unamuno («La caridad bien ordenada»), Ayala («San Juan de Dios»), Laguerre (Solar Montoya), and Dieste («Carlomagno y Belisario»). More recent selections are the stories «Vida interminable» and «El discreto milagro» from Isabel Allende's Cuentos de Eva Luna.

Service learning is a rich field for pedagogical inquiry that I would like to invite teachers of Spanish and Portuguese to explore. Articles on theoretical research in service learning as related to Hispanic studies as well as notes on practical applications in teaching our discipline would be particularly appropriate for Hispania's pedagogy sections.

The Wingspread Conference in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1991 outlined several areas for scholarly research (Giles, Honnet, and Migliore): The effects of service-learning on students, on the communities, on the educational institutions, and on society; how service-learning contributes to the development of more comprehensive theories of epistemology and learning; how a service-learning component increases effectiveness in teaching traditional subjects. Another possibility for research is to focus on the community itself, its history, background, and culture in ways that are mutually beneficial to researchers and the communities. Research can also help to develop models for integrating community service in courses and curricula.

Methodology of service learning is another area to explore: how to organize, structure, and give direction to clinical experience so it will be educative in Spanish and Portuguese courses; ways of integrating cognitive and experiential learning; and how to identify suitable projects, organizations,   —302→   and activities and establish links with the community. Additional considerations are faculty involvement, the management of projects and logistics, effects of service on motivation toward achievement of knowledge and skills, and helping students record, analyze, and conceptualize their experience. Teachers also have to address the question of goals, standards, and grading. And finally, it is useful to evaluate the effects or consequences of students' service to the community, long and short term.

Experiential learning is not new. Francis Bacon insisted that «What is most useful in practice is most correct in theory... The improvement of man's mind and the improvement of his lot are one and the same thing,» and John L. Dewey criticized an educational system he viewed as aristocratic and isolated from reality in favor of a community-oriented school (Benson and Harkavy 5). R. Eugene Rice challenges the hierarchical notion that esoterism and knowledge gained from analytical reasoning and theoretical knowledge are superior to knowledge «apprehended through connections grounded in human community-relational knowing» (10-11).

Incorporating public service as a form of experiential learning in Spanish and Portuguese can enrich our curriculum, our students, our communities, and ourselves. I recommend it to all of us as a challenging and worthwhile agenda for the 90s.


Bellah, Robert N., et al. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. New York: Harper and Row, 1986.

Benson, Lee, and Ira Harkavy. «Progressing Beyond the Welfare State». Universities and Community Schools 2.12 (1991). 2-28.

Conrad, Dan, and Diane Hedin. High School Community Service: A Review of Research and Programs. Madison, WI: National Center on Effective Secondary Schools, 1989.

Giles, Dwight, Ellen Porter Honnet, and Salley Migliore, eds. Research Agenda for Combining Service and Learning in the 1990s. Raleigh, NC: National Society for Internships and Experiential Education, 1991.

Pettit, Joseph. Volunteers vs. Non-Volunteers in College: How Do They Differ? Washington, DC, 1991. Survey developed and coordinated by the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. 1991.

Rice, R. Eugene. «The New American Scholar: Scholarship and the Purposes of the University». Metropolitan Universities spring 1991:7-18.


ArribaAbajoThe President's Corner

Donald W. Bleznick

A Boy from the Bronx (Continued)

After receiving my M. A. from UNAM in 1948 I returned to New York City to begin my doctoral studies in Hispanic literature at Columbia University. Classes there started in the late afternoon and continued until fairly late in the evening. This allowed students to earn money and study during the day. They monthly payments of $75 and free tuition and books provided by the GI Bill helped me and other veterans to attend school. Columbia did not offer us graduate assistantships or financial grants of any kind.

The distinguished faculty consisted of such outstanding figures as Federico de Onís, Tomás Navarro Tomás, Ángel del Río, Germán Arciniegas and Arturo Uslar Pietri. The professors mostly lectured and only occasionally did students participate actively. The classes were large and generally comprised mature graduate students since many of them had been attending for years. There was little or no socializing among the students. The Casa Hispánica did have some cultural evenings that consisted of talks or musicales, many of them by well-known literary figures and artists.

I originally planned to work in Latin American literature. However, circumstances caused me to do my doctoral dissertation under the direction of Federico de Onís on Fadrique Furío Ceriol, a very talented and influential writer of sixteenth-century Spain. It is interesting to note that graduate students were not permitted to write dissertations on living writers since one could not have sufficient perspective on a writer's life work until he had left this world.

A proseminar that was required of all doctoral students stands out vividly in my mind. We were ten students who had to choose a dissertation topic and be assigned to the appropriate director. The major professors of the department all attended. The department head, Onís, always arrived late and took his seat at a table perched on a dais. Only then did he inform the other professors and students that they could be seated lower down. It could have been a scene taken from a Charlie Chaplin movie.

At the first session of the proseminar we were told that only about 20 percent of the students who began doctoral studies at Columbia ever finished and the other nine students and I looked at each other wondering who would be the two survivors. Obviously I was one. To this day I have no idea who the other one might have been.

Working on the doctoral dissertation turned out to be interminable in many cases. It was not infrequent that ABDs were required to spend at least a year abroad to do research. (I don't know how I escaped having to do so but it may have been because I was already teaching full-time at Ohio State.) One friend was assigned to Spain and I learned many years later that he did not return until about ten years after he had left.

After finishing my dissertation under the direction of Onís I had to wait almost a year to defend it since Germán Arciniegas, a member of my doctoral committee, decided to take time off and spent at least six months in Italy. No one dared to suggest that a substitute for him could be assigned to my committee. In the meantime, Onís retired and Ángel del Río became my director, which was fortuitous. If it had been the other way around, I probably would have had to choose a different topic and start all over again.

Several years ago I met Sam Levenson, the late famous humorist, in Cincinnati shortly after he had given an amusing monologue to a crowd of around 3,000 people. During his talk he mentioned that he had studied for a master's degree in Spanish at Columbia University. He yearned to go on for the doctorate but he said that the difficulty that he had experienced with a professor there prevented him from continuing. So he made up his mind to change his career goal and become a stand-up comedian in the Catskills. At a reception in Sam's honor, I asked him whether this professor was Onís and he was surprised at the accuracy of my guess. During our chat, this gem of a man told me he was pleased to meet somebody who had managed to overcome all the obstacles on the difficult road to a Ph. D. at Columbia.

After having completed half of my course work at Columbia, I went to the annual MLA meeting at the Statler hotel in New York City where I was interviewed for the job I took at Ohio State. This was years before the establishment of MLA's well-organized placement service. I knew nothing about finding a job and decided to apply to schools that had outstanding football or basketball programs. The names and addresses of the schools I wrote to were culled from an appendix to a Webster's dictionary. Several members of the Romance Language Department of Ohio State interviewed me in a hotel suite of the department head and after   —305→   an hour or more of questioning me they decided to offer me the job.

During my six years at Columbus, I did what I could to justify my remaining as a faculty member. I became an instructor with tenure after three years because of my teaching -15 hours a week- and other service to the department, especially for being the faculty advisor to the Spanish Club and for directing plays every spring. These theatrical performances were attended by hundreds of students from the Columbus area. I was also very active in the Buckeye chapter of AATSP and became its secretary since I have always believed that when I join an organization I should participate in its work. On occasions, I also taught Spanish lessons live on WOSU, the public radio station. In addition, I zealously pursued my doctoral studies which involved several car trips to New York City which would take about 15 hours for the 600-mile trip. During one of those trips I met Rozlyn, who became my wife. I am wont to use the proverb «every cloud has a silver lining», yet that fortunate trip to New York was really golden.

My six years at Ohio State was an invaluable apprenticeship. I learned a lot from my colleague Steve Gilman and later from Carlos Blanco Aguinaga who shared a basement office with me. He translated into Spanish my first major article which was published in the Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica. I enjoyed the lectures and conversations with such visitors as Américo Castro, Jorge Guillén, Arturo Barea, Valbuena Prat, and José María Blecua. I remember having my first MLA paper accepted by Arnold Reichenberger of the University of Pennsylvania. At that time, the MLA conventions were much smaller than now and there were fewer opportunities to have a paper accepted in the relatively small number of Spanish sessions that were in the annual program.

After finishing the Ph. D. the time came for me to give up my tenure at Ohio State to take a position at Penn State. This was a painful but necessary step in order to fulfill myself in my career.

This ends my reminiscences of the «early days». I have written this message in January but as your president I am obliged to look forward to the annual meeting in August. This is my one and only chance to remind you to come to Phoenix, the site of a meeting which promises to be one of the dandiest we will have had. I look forward to seeing you there.


ArribaAbajoProfessional News

Prepared by Richard D. Woods


Roberto González Echevarría Receives Bryce Wood Book Award

Roberto González Echevarría of Yale University received the Bryce Wood Book Award at the LASA's (Latin American Studies) XVII International Congress in Los Angeles in September of 1992. Although the award has been presented before, this is the first time that it has been given to someone in the humanities.

The citation reads: «The Latin American Studies Association, in memory of Bryce Wood, presents the Bryce Wood Book Award for the outstanding book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities published in English to Roberto González Echevarría for Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative». The Bryce Wood Book Award Committee also gave first honorable mention to Ramón A. Gutiérrez, University of California at San Diego, for When Jesus Came the Corn Mothers Went Away (Stanford University Press) and second honorable mention to Nicholas Shumway, Yale University, for the Invention of Argentina (University of California Press).

The LASA award is the second that native born Cuban González Echevarría has received for his book. In 1991, the awards committee of the Modern Language Association of America, giving its first annual Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, noted on the engrossed certificate:

«Roberto González Echevarría's bold and speculative study Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative suggests that Latin American legal, naturalist, anthropological, and ethnographic writings have heretofore unexamined connections with more familiar literary narratives, for which they serve as "archive" and "myth". Drawing on Foucault and other continental theorists, González Echevarría lucidly describes the unsuspected interdependence of diverse forms and purposes of writing. His imaginative intertextual scholarship has implications not only for Hispanic studies but for the literatures and cultures of other areas as well».

Sandra Hancock Martin Honored in New Jersey

Sandra Hancock Martin, a Ramsey High School Spanish teacher, was one of ten New Jersey teachers to be awarded a 1992 National Fellows for Independent Studies in the Humanities. Given by the Council for Basic Education, the fellowships provide $3,000 grants to pursue six weeks of concentrated independent study on a humanities topic of the recipient's choice. The award includes $200 to purchase books for the fellow's school library.

For 20-year teaching veteran Sandra Hancock Martin, the fellowship gave her a chance to examine the varied aspects of the Columbus quincentennial under the theme «The Labyrinth of '92 -circa, before, and beyond». Even before the fellowship, Martin had taken a course on Islamic Spain and the Arabic influence. During her six-week independent study, she spent 40 hours each week reading about varied themes relating to 1492. Her bibliography of readings covered materials from the 15th century through the 20th.

Carlos A. Loprete, Ganador del Premio La Nación 1992

El ganador del premio La Nación 1992, en la especialidad del ensayo histórico, es el doctor Carlos A. Loprete, autor del ensayo «Quinto Centenario de América: Viaje por el alma hispanoamericana». El doctor Loprete es una personalidad destacada no sólo en el ámbito de su país natal, Argentina, sino también en el mundo académico norteamericano, ya que ha sido dos veces Profesor Visitante en nuestro país. Para muchos, el nombre del Dr. Loprete está ligado a su manual, Iberoamérica: Síntesis de su civilización. Como el doctor Loprete es socio de la AATSP, el premio que acaba de ganar es un motivo de alegría y orgullo para todos nosotros.

Domnita Dumitrescu
California State University, Los Angeles

1992 Kovacs Prize to Mariscal, Rowe and Schelling

George Mariscal, University of California, San Diego, received the 1992 Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for an outstanding book published in English in the field of Latin American and Spanish literatures and cultures. The citation for the award reads as follows:

«George Mariscal's Contradictory Subjects: Quevedo, Cervantes, and Seventeenth Century Spanish Culture is a major contribution to the field of peninsular literary studies. With a strong, seamless argument, it examines the historical construct of the Golden Age and the academic discipline of   —307→   Hispanic studies. Making masterly use of a variety of major theories, the author traces the conflicting forms of discourse in Spain's past and caps his performance with a searching look at the conditions under which Quevedo's poetry and Cervantes's Quixote were written. This is a thoughtful, deeply original work that brings fresh perspectives to bear on familiar subjects».

Mariscal has also taught Spanish at Grinnell College and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He holds a BA degree from California State University, Long Beach, and an MA and Ph. D from the University of California, Irvine.

William Rowe, professor and coordinator of the Centre for Latin American Culture Studies at King's College of the University of London and Vivian Schelling, lecturer and coordinator of Third World Studies in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of East London, also received the Kovacs Award for their book, Memory and Modernity: Popular Culture in Latin America.

«Memory and Modernity is a pioneer study on popular culture in Latin America. Faced with the task of defining a notoriously eclectic field that includes orally transmitted ballads, ritual performance, popular religion, telenovelas, and rock music, the authors combine detailed scrutiny of specific genres with discussions of general issues such as modernization, populism, and the role of popular memory as an archive in times of violence and repression. The book offers a view of popular culture as a dynamic process rather than as a cultural artifact, and in doing so, demonstrates the crucial importance of bringing the marginal to the center in the current discussion of theory and criticism».

Rowe has taught at the University of Liverpool and at the University of San Marcos in Peru, the University of Lambayeque, and the Catholic University of Lima. Schelling has lived in Colombia, Brazil, Germany, and, since 1970, in England. She has taught at the Open University London, the Polytechnic of North London, and the University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

The members of the Kovacs Prize Committee gave honorable mention in the competition for the 1991 prize to Maria G. Tomsich of the University of British Columbia for her translation of Love Customs in Eighteenth-Century Spain by Carmen Martín Gaite, published by the University of California Press.

The selection committee for this year's Kovacs Prize consisted of Gene Bell-Villada, Ronald Gottesman, Jean Franco, Virginia Higginbotham and Susan Kirkpatrick.

Mildenberger Prize to Bernhardt

The Modern Language Association of America awarded its twelfth annual Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize to Elizabeth B. Bernhardt, Ohio State University, Columbus, for her book Reading Development in a Second Language: Theoretical, Empirical and Classroom Perspectives. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding research publication in the field of teaching foreign languages and literatures. The citation for the book reads:

«Recent research on second-language acquisition has clarified the importance of the receptive skills in the learning process. Designed as a study of second language reading research, and based on a thorough knowledge of the entire spectrum of scholarship on the subject, Elizabeth Bernhardt's book offers a principled approach to theory, research, and instruction in a second-language reading. In a refreshingly clear style, Bernhardt invites her readers to share her insights as companions on a research adventure».

Bernhardt has been a visiting professor in the graduate program of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Previously, she taught German at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds a BA from the College of Wooster, an MA in German from the University of Pittsburg and a Ph. D in second languages and cultures from the University of Minnesota. Her prizewinning book was published in 1991; a second book, Life in Language Immersion Classrooms, appeared in 1992.

Mujica Wins Fiction Award

Barbara Mujica, Georgetown University, has won the E. L. Doctorow International Fiction Competition for her story «Xelipe» in a contest sponsored by The Writers' Workshop in Ashville, North Carolina. The selection was made by a distinguished panel of authors headed by E. L. Doctorow.

Mujica is also author of a novel, The Deaths of Don Bernardo. Her collection of short stories, Far from My Mother's Home, will be published by Floricanto next year. She has also published several anthologies of Hispanic literature, including Texto y vida: Antología de la literatura española; Texto y vida: Antología de la literatura hispanoamericana, and Antología de la literatura española. Her anthology of Hispanic Nobel Prize Winners will be published by Floricanto.

In 1989 «Women», a translation of her story «La despedida», was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for Fiction. In 1990 one of her essays was selected as one of the fifty best op-ed pieces of the decade by The New York Times. She has also won grants   —308→   and prizes from Poets and Writers of New York, from the Cultural Ministry of Spain, and from Georgetown University.

Mujica is an Associate Editor of Hispania.

NEH and Summer Stipends

NEH Summer Stipends provide support for faculty and staff members in universities and in two-year, four-year, and five-year colleges; for staff members in libraries, museums, and historical societies; for independent scholars; and for other persons working in the humanities so that they can devote two consecutive months of full-time study and research to their projects. An applicant's project may be one that can be completed during the stipend tenure, or it may be part of a long-range endeavor.

The Summer Stipend is $4,000 for eight weeks of research. There is no travel requirement in a Stipend application. On the other hand, those applicants whose projects require travel of a significant distance to an appropriate research facility or collection may apply for a Stipend of $4,750. In this case, applicants will need to explain the purpose of the travel and its necessity to the project. Application deadline is October 1, 1992; announcement of awards is mid-March 1993. Info: Division of Fellowships and Seminars, Room 316, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NX, Washington, D. C. 20506. Phone (202) 786-0466.

ACLS Awards 46 Fellowships

The American Council of Learned Societies in a national competition in which 1052 applications were considered has awarded forty-six Fellowships for periods of six months to one year for postdoctoral research in the humanities and related social sciences. ACLS is a private, non-profit federation of fifty-two scholarly associations devoted to the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning. Fellowships relevant to the Hispanic world are as follows:

Ann Harleman, Research Associate in linguistics and Literature, Brown University, «Telling It Slant: A Linguistic Approach to the Translation Process».

Guido A. Podesta, assistant professor of Spanish, University of Wisconsin, Madison, «Modernity and Modernism in Latin American literature and the Harlem Renaissance».

Mary L. Pratt, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Stanford University, «Reimaging Women's Citizenship: Literature and Grass Roots Writing in Latin America».

Basque Studies Receives International Honor on 25th Anniversary

On September 4, 1992, commemorative awards from Euskaltzaindia and the University of the Basque Country were presented to William A. Douglass on behalf of the 25th anniversary of the Basque Studies Program.

In 1967 Douglass accepted the challenge of coordinating the newly formed Basque Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. With the original goal of investigating the impact of the Basque immigrant on the Great Basin, the program grew into a research center with a library of 25,000 volumes. Along the way, bibliographer Jon Bilbao published his multi-volume magnus opus entitled Eusko Bibliographia, lexicographers compiled a Basque-English English-Basque dictionary; both a minor for undergraduates and a tutorial Ph. D. program helped to encourage scholarship in the field. In addition, students occasionally benefited from an occasional summer studies abroad program.

Basque Studies Newsletter
October 1992

John Carter Brown Library Awards Fellowships

The John Carter Brown Library at Brown University has awarded fellowships to 21 scholars for the 1992-1993 academic year. Several relate to the Hispanic world:

Cary Carson, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virgina, «The Influence of Spanish and Portuguese Experience on English Colonial Planners».

Carmen Castañeda, Universidad de Guadalajara, «The Uses of Books in Guadalajara, 1793-1821: Print Culture in Guadalajara».

Fermín del Pino-Díaz, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain), «The Life and Works of Father Acosta on American Indians».

Paul N. Edison, Columbia University, New York, «Temporal Blessings and Spiritual Profits: Jesuit Economic Activity in Colonial Latin America».

Sonia T. D. Goncalves da Silva, UNICAMP, Campinas (Brazil), «Travel Literature Related to Colonial Brazil».

The John Carter Brown Library will award approximately fifteen Research Fellowships for the year June 1, 1993-May 31, 1994. Fellowships are of two types:

Short-Term Fellowships: The regular John Carter Brown library Fellowships are available for periods of two months to four months and carry a stipend of $1,000 per month. These Fellowships are open to Americans and foreign nationals who are engaged in pre- or post-doctoral, or independent   —309→   research.

Long-Term Fellowships: The library will also receive applications for long-term Fellowships funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent agency of the U. S. Federal government. These NEH Fellowships are for six months (with a stipend of $15,000). Applicants for NEH Fellowships must be American citizens or have been resident in the United States for the three years immediately preceding the term of the Fellowship. Graduate students are not eligible for NEH Fellowships.

Recipients of all Fellowships are expected to be in regular residence at the John Carter Brown Library and to participate in the intellectual life of Brown University. Therefore, preference may be given to applicants able to take up the Fellowship during the course of the academic year, September to May.

Travel Grants: For qualified scholars who wish to use the collections of the John Carter Brown Library for periods of less than two months, the Library has funds available for small, travel reimbursement grants. The amount of these grants will vary with the distance traveled and will not exceed $600 in any one case.

Info: Director, John Carter Brown Library, Box 1894, Providence, R. I. 02912. The deadline for submission of applications is January 15, 1994. Awards will be announced before March 15, 1994.

The John Carter Brown library is an outstanding collection of primary materials relating to virtually all aspects of the discovery, exploration, settlement, and development of the New World. From its beginnings in 1846 when the eminent collector John Carter Brown began to concentrate on the early history of the Americas, the Library has grown to include 54,000 printed books, major collections of maps and prints, and a large number of manuscript codices. While terminal dates vary from area to area, the collections range from the late fifteenth century to about 1830.


Publications Available from NEH

The National Endowment for the Humanities produces a variety of publications to keep potential applicants and grantees and the general public abreast of agency programs and activities. Humanities Magazine, the Endowment's bimonthly review of current work and thought in the humanities, is available for subscription through the Government Printing Office. However, other publications are free:

NEH Annual Report

National Tests: What Other Countries Expect, Their Students to Know

Tyrannical Machines: A Report on educational Practices Gone Wrong and Our Best Hopes for Setting Them Right

50 Hours. A Core Curriculum for College Students Humanities in America: A Report to the President, the Congress, and the American People

American Memory: A Report on the Humanities in the Nation's Public Schools

Timeless Classics, booklist

Info: Public Information Office, Room 406, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20506. Please enclose a self-addressed mailing label when requesting information.

Rio Bravo: A Bilingual Journal of International Studies. This new journal focuses upon the economic, social, political and cultural aspects of the Texas-Mexican border. Editors Roberto Mario Salmon and Victor Zúñiga have created a unique presentation on the vital and complex issues that explain U. S./Mexico relations. Info: Editor Rio Bravo, Center for International Studies, The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, Texas 78539-2999.

Portuguese Study Review. The International Conference Group on Portugal (ICGP) has launched this new journal. Published semi-annually as a follow-on the earlier Portuguese Studies Newsletter, the new journal welcomes manuscripts relating to Portugal or Lusophone Africa in English or Portuguese from scholars of all disciplines. Info: Professor Douglas L. Wheeler, ICGP Coordinator, Dept. of History, Horton Social Science Center 408, University of New Hampshire, Durham NH 03824-3586. Phone: (603) 862-3018, fax: (603) 862-2030.

Colonial Latin American Historical Review. Research in colonial Latin America has reached sufficient volume for a new journal whose acronym is (CLAHR). The scope of the journal is 1492-1821 and the editor is Joseph P. Sánchez of the Spanish Colonial Research Center, University of New Mexico, the sponsoring institution. He solicits original documented essays of a maximum 25-30 pages in either English or Spanish. Info: Joseph P. Sánchez, Editor, Colonial Latin American History Review, Spanish Colonial Research Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Phone (505) 766-8743.

Languages of the World. Languages of the World   —310→   is an international journal on language typology, genetic relationship of languages, geographical linguistics, and related topics. It includes the Linguistic News Lines, a medium for linguists of various disciplines. To participate in the Linguistic News Lines just send in a circular of your organization's conference, a sample of your newsletter or (new) journal, a report on your current research project of your organization, an ad of your job offer, your private linguistic advertisement or any information you want to be published. Info: Lincom Europa, P. O. Box 1316. D-8044 Unter-schleisscheim/Munchen, Germany.

Catalan Review Plans Thematic Issue

Catalan Review invites submissions of critical essays for a special issue on «Feminism and Nationalism in Catalonia», in homage to Maria Aurelia Compmany and Montserrat Roig who died last fall. Although the editors are especially interested in studies on their works, they will also consider general approaches dealing with theoretical and ideological topics bearing on feminists issues and their relationship to Catalan culture. Manuscripts may be in English or Catalan. Info: Jaume Martí-Olivella, Catalan Review, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland, OR. 97202-8199. Phone (503) 771-1112, ext. 698, (503)-241-0753. Fax: (503) 777-7769.

Directory of Video Tapes Made by Latin Americans

The International Media Resource Exchange (IMRE) has received support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the John D. and Catherine C. MacArthur Foundation to create a database of information about video tapes (including films on tape) made by Latin Americans and U. S. Latinos. A directory including basic information about these tapes such as titles, year produced, length, director, U. S. distributor, etc. will be published. Each entry will be indexed by country, Spanish title, English title and subject. IMRE is currently in the process of identifying and obtaining copies of Latin American work to be included in the directory. In order to identify which programs would be useful in education, academics from various disciplines, at institutions around the U. S., have volunteered to evaluate the tapes. Yet more volunteers are needed. Info: IMRE, 124 Washington Place, New York, NY 10014 (212) 463-0108.

Translations from Spanish to English

Proposals are sought for essays to be included in Teaching the New Canon: Students, Teachers, and Texts in the Multicultural Classroom, project to be placed with a major professional or university press. The editor seeks essays which deal with course design, classroom management, and the pedagogy of teaching individual texts which have emerged on the reading lists of introductory courses in the past few years. The following topics are representative of those under focus:

  1. The problem of authority in the cross-cultural classroom.
  2. The problems presented by all «white» classrooms or classrooms with only one or two students of color.
  3. The introduction of «white» ethnicity in multicultural studies.
  4. Ways of helping students read across cultures.
  5. Expanding the boundaries of the classroom and connecting teaching to political action.
  6. Student responses to cross-cultural literature.
  7. Teaching specific texts, including a description of classroom experiences.

Although the anthology is directed mainly to departments of English in the United States, translations from Spanish and Portuguese, as potential entries of the canon, will also be considered. Info: Bruce A. Goebel, Department of English, 2-176 Wilson, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.

Essays to Honor Alexandrino Severino

Host Publications of Austin, Texas plans a spring 1993 publication of a collection of essays in honor of Alexandrino Severino, professor of Luso-Brazilian literature at Vanderbilt University for over twenty years. The collection entitled Homenagem a Alexandrino Severino: Essays on the Portuguese Speaking World, contains seventeen essays on Portuguese and Lusophone Literature, linguistics and Languages, Brazilian Literature, and Literary Theory and History by scholars from both the United States and Brazil. Also included are tributes to professor Severino that reflect the many facets of his career as mentor, scholar, colleague, and enthusiast of Luso-Brazilian letters. The collection is being published to honor professor Severino on his retirement from Vanderbilt, which came earlier than expected due to illness. The editors of the collection are Marshall C. Eakin of the Dept. of History and Margo Milleret of the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, both at Vanderbilt.

Letras Peninsulares. Call for Papers

The spring 1994 monographic issue of Letras peninsulares will be devoted to the topic, «Literature, Film and the Other Arts in Modern Spain». Theoretical approaches   —311→   to the relationship between literature and the other arts; intertextuality between the arts; New Historicism and the other arts; artistic politics; relationships between specific works from two or more of the arts in modern Spain or involving Spain and another culture; gender issues in the arts; regional, gender and political marginalization in the arts; modernism and postmodernism; the artist in the marketplace. Deadline for manuscripts: 15 July 1993. Info: Mary S. Vásquez, Letras peninsulares, Dept. of Romance and Classical Languages, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1112.



Pacific Northwest Council on Foreign Languages, 6-8 May, Eugene. Info: Ray Verzasconi, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4603; (503) 737-2146; email

Thirteenth Annual Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literatures, 13-15 May, University of Cincinnati. Info: Luis Alvarado/Susan Whittle, Conference Chairs, Dept of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0377.

International Association for Learning Laboratories, 2-5 June, Lawrence. Info: John Huy, Academic Resource Center, 4069 Wescoe Hall, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 44065-2167.

SALALM (Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials), Guadalajara, 15-20 May. Info: SALALM Secretariat, General Library University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.

7th Colloquium of Catalan Studies of the North American Catalan Society, 2-4 June, University of California, Berkeley. Info: Catalonian Studies Program, 252 Moses Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720. Phone (510) 643-7856, tax (510) 643-5996.

Relationship of Literature and the Humanities and Science, (Working Session/Conference) 23-27 June, Puebla, Mexico. Info: Rafael Catalá, Ometeca Institute, P. O. Box 38, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0038, (505) 898-0354, fax (908) 418-7058.

Asociación de Colombianistas Norteamericanos, 28-30 June, Irvine. Info: Seymour Menton, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92717.

MLA Summer Institute for Supervisors and Coordinators, 11-23 July, Madison. Info: MLA Summer Language Institute, 10 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003-6981; (212) 614-6406; fax (212) 477-9863.

The National FLES Institute of U.M.B.C., 13-18 July, Baltimore. FLES Methods for teaching all foreign languages in grades K-8 in elementary and middle schools for Sequential FLES, FLEX or Exploratory, and Immersion. Info: Gladys Lipton, U.M.B.C.-M.L.L., Baltimore, MD 21228; fax (301) 231-0824.

International Association of Applied Linguistics, 8-12 Aug., Amsterdam. Info: Johan Matter, Vrije Universiteit, Faculteit der Letteren, Postbus 7161, NL-1007 MC Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Computer Assisted Learning and Instructional Consortium, 12-14 Aug., Maastricht. Info: CALICO, 014 Language Building, Duke Univ., Durham, NC 27706; (919) 489-5949.

Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, 14-16 Oct., Clemson University. Info: Sixto E. Torres, Dept. of Languages, 201 Strode Tower, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-1515. (803) 656-3393, fax (803) 656-0258.

Illinois Joint Foreign Language Conference, 21-24 Oct., Peoria. Info: Susan Leibowitz, Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, IL 60025; (312) 549-7517.

Foreign Language Association of North Carolina, 28-30 Oct, Greensboro. Info: Wayne Figart, 204 N. 16th St., Wilmington, NC 28401; (919) 763-4009.

17th Annual Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and Literatures, 29-30 Oct., Youngstown State University. Info: Foreign Language Conference, Dept. of Foreign Languages, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio 44555, (216) 742-3461.

Massachusetts Foreign Language Association, 29-30 Oct, Sturbridge. Info: Georg Steinmeyer, Black Mt. Rd. RFD #1, Box 549, Brattleboro, VT 05301; fax (802) 257-1855. Wisconsin Association of Foreign Language Teachers, 5-6 Nov., Appleton. Info: William W. Kean, Suring Public Schools, PO Box   —312→   158, Suring, WI 54174.

Northern New England TESOL, 13 Nov., Manchester. Info: Don Bouchard, Univ. of Southern Maine, College of Education, Dept. of literacy Education, Bailey Hall, Gorham, ME 04038; (207) 780-5069.

Spanish Golden Age Poetry Conference, 11-13 Nov., Texas Tech Univ. Info: Ted McVay, Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, Texas Tech Univ., Lubbock, TX 79409-2071.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages with American Association of Teachers of German, 20-22 Nov., San Antonio. Info: ACTFL, 6 Executive Plaza, Yonkers, NY 10701-6801; (914) 963-8830; fax (914) 963-1275.

Federación Nacional de Profesores de Inglés de Universidades y Politécnicas, 22 Nov., Guayaquil. Info: Fausto Saltos, CELEX-ESPOL, Apartado 6117, Guayaquil, Ecuador; 59-34-32-1925; fax 59-3431-3287.

Modern Language Association of America, 27-30 Dec., Toronto. Info: Modern Language Association of America, 10 Astor Place, New York, NY 1003-6981.


Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 28 Feb.-5 March, Baltimore. Info: TESOL, 1600 Cameron St., Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314-2751; (703) 836-0774; fax (703) 836-7864.

Fédération Internationale des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes, 28 March-1 April, Hamburg. Info: FIPLV Head Office, Seestrasse 247, CH-8038 Zurich, Switzerland.

Renaissance Society of America, 7-9 April, Texas. Info: Craig Kallendorf, English Dept., Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843.

Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 7-10 April, New York. Info: Northeast Conference, 200 Twin Oaks Terrace, Ste. 16, So. Burlington, VT 05403; (802) 863-9939.

Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages with Missouri Foreign Language Association, 21-24 April, Kansas City. Info: Jody Thrush, Madison Area Technical College, 3550 Anderson Ave., Madison, WI 53704; (608) 246-6573.

Pacific Northwest Council on Foreign Languages with Montana Association of Language Teachers, 12-14 May, Missoula. Info: Ray Verzasconi, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4603; (503) 737-2146; e-mail

48th International Congress of Americanists (ICA) «Threatened Peoples and Environments in the Americas». 4-9 July, Stockholm/Uppsala, Sweden. Info: ICA 1994, Institute of Latin American Studies, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden, fax Int. +46-8-15-65-82; Tel. +46-8-16-28-77.

Foreign Language Association of North Carolina, 13-15 Oct, Greensboro. Info: Wayne Figart, 204 N. 16th St., Wilmington, NC 28401; (919) 763-4009.

Wisconsin Association of Foreign Language Teachers, 4-5-Nov., Appleton. Info: William W. Kean, Suring Public School, Box 158, Suring, WI 54174.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages with American Association of Teachers of German, 18-20 Nov., Atlanta. Info: ACTFL, 6 Executive Plaza, Yonkers, NY 10701-6801; (914) 963-8830; fax (914) 963-1275.

Modern Language Association of America, 27-30 Dec., San Diego, CA. Info: Modern Language Association of America, 10 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003-6981.


Foreign Language Association of North Carolina, 12-14 Oct. Greensboro. Info: Wayne Figart, 204 N. 16th St., Wilmington, NC 28401; (919) 763-4009.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages with American Association of Teachers of German, 18-20 Nov., Anaheim. Info: ACTFL, 6 Executive Plaza, Yonkers, NY 10701-6801; (914) 963-1275.

Modern Language Association of America, 27-30 Dec., location to be announced. Info: Modern Language Association of America, 10 Astor Place, New York, NY 10701-6801; (914) 963-1275.

Gerard Ervin


Lysander Kemp

Kemp, who was acquainted with numerous Latin American literary figures, many of whose works he eventually translated, died January 1, 1992 in Harwichport, Mass. Among his translation of Latin American works are the following: The Dreams of Reason by Xavier Domingo (1966); Aura by Carlos Fuentes (1975); The Labyrinth of Solitude (1962), The Other Mexico (1977), and (with Margaret Sayers Peden) The Siren and the Seashell (1976), all by Octavio Paz; Juan the Chamula by Ricardo Pozas (1962); and Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo (1959).

Kemp was publications coordinator for the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the institute staff in 1975, after working as an editor at UT Press for more than eight years. He retired from ILAS in 1979.

ILAS, Fall 1991

George W. Wing

Professor George W. Wing, a Mexicanist scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, died December 19, 1991 at his home in Austin. Born in Philadelphia in 1922, he did his undergraduate studies at Temple University and earned his doctorate in 1961 from the University of California at Berkeley with a dissertation on the poetry and thought of Octavio Paz. His research and teaching were principally concerned with Spanish American, and particularly Mexican, literature of recent decades. A UT faculty member since 1962, he served a term as Latin American Studies undergraduate adviser. His publications include Octavio Paz or the Revolution in Search of an Actor and El teatro de Solórzano y el mito.

ILAS, Fall 1991

Jack Autrey Dabbs

Jack A. Dabbs, foreign language professor and scholar, died in Austin, Texas on October 6, 1992. Dabbs chaired the Department of Modern Languages at Texas A&M from 1964 to 1978. His work at this institution was recognized in 1974 when he received the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Research. Jack also taught at Texas Weselyan Academy and St. Edwards University.

Although he retired from teaching, he never retired from scholarly research, as will testify his many publications. Geographically these works relate to Latin America, but more specifically to Mexico and Texas and occasionally even to India. His Ph. D from the University of Texas, Austin, in literature, history, and anthropology, plus studies at the Linguistic Institutes of the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas gave him the background for this research. A protégé of Dr. Carlos E. Casteñeda, one of Texas's earliest Mexican American scholars, Dabbs compiled guides and calendars to several specialized collections of the Benson Latin American Collection at UT, Austin. At the time of his death, he was working on the Riva Palacio archives.

Perhaps Dabbs's best known work was his 1963 study, The French Army in Mexico, 1861-1867. As a past president of the American Name Society, he was a frequent contributor to name lore in Latin America. His A Short Bengali-English, English-Bengali Dictionary suggests the diversity of his interests.

He was born in Mercury, Texas in 1914 and spent his life in this state except for military duty. From 1929 to 1961, he was either on active duty or in the reserves.

Richard D. Woods
Trinity University


ArribaAbajoThe Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian World

Prepared by T. Edward Harvey

*Asterisks divide multiple items submitted by the same correspondent. Other sources appear in brackets.


Francisco Ayala clausuró los cursos de El Escorial

El escritor y académico Francisco Ayala puso punto final a los cursos de verano de 1992 que la universidad Complutense celebró en El Escorial y que se saldaron con una masiva afluencia de estudiantes y con la presencia de figuras tan destacadas como el escritor Salman Rushdie o el director de cine Oliver Stone. Ayala, último premio Cervantes, cuya obra ha sido objeto de un seminario de la universidad, disertó sobre «La realidad de la literatura».

El número de figuras que había desfilado por cualquiera de los tres centros que componen la universidad, tuvo su punto más espectacular con la aparición por sorpresa del escritor Salman Rushdie. Era la segunda vez que aparecía en público el escritor anglo-indio, desde que fue condenado a muerte por el ayatolá Jomeini en febrero de 1989, y eligió precisamente el marco de la universidad «para anunciar que iba a frecuentar sus apariciones personales».

Otra figura que despertó expectativa fue el director de cine Oliver Stone, conocido sobre todo por su polémica película JFK y a quien la universidad rindió un homenaje y le concedió su medalla al mérito cultural y artístico. El cineasta norteamericano, que suele mostrarse distante ante los medios de comunicación, anunció su interés en llevar a la pantalla la novela Homenaje a Catalunya de George Orwell.

[El Observador, 29 de agosto de 1992, Madrid]

Significativa presencia española en el comienzo del otoño literario francés

Don Juan Carlos, José María Guelbenzu, Soledad Puértolas, Manuel Vásquez Montalbán, Antonio Gaudí, y Miguel Delibes ocuparon un puesto privilegiado en la temporada literaria francesa, muy marcada por la crisis editorial, la incertidumbre empresarial, una relativa caída de la «producción» novelesca, el fantasma del referéndum sobre el Tratado Europeo de Maastricht y el enfrentamiento entre valores «clásicos» y «especulativos». Verdier, por ejemplo, anuncia la próxima publicación en Francia de Los Santos Inocentes, de Miguel Delibes, uno de los escritores españoles que ocupan un puesto privilegiado en la temporada literaria francesa.

[ABC, 1.º de septiembre de 1992]

Fernando Savater cerró el curso «Territorios de la pasión, un estudio sobre las emociones», que en la Universidad Menéndez Pelayo de Santander dirigió Doménec Font. Savater, casi al mismo tiempo, presentó una obra de teatro en el Festival de Aviles, Guerrero en casa, que se estrenó en Madrid el día 10 de septiembre, y también La única pasión invasora es la cólera.

[Cambio 16, 29 de agosto de 1992]

Delfín Colomé:«La danza ha vivido un auténtico «boom» en los últimos años»

Siguiendo la conocida sentencia de Maurice Béjard que afirmaba que «si el siglo XVIII fue el siglo del teatro y el XIX el de la ópera, el XX sería el siglo de la danza», se celebró por primera vez en los cursos de verano de El Escorial, un seminario dedicado a «El siglo de la danza». El encuentro, dirigido por el crítico y autor del libro El indiscreto encanto de la danza, Delfín Colomé y coordinado por la coreógrafa Anna Maleras, fue clausurado, después de cuatro días de duración, en que se revisaron distintos aspectos del estado actual del universo coreográfico.

[Cambio 16, 28 de agosto de 1992]

La Academia celebra el ensayo de Marías sobre los sentimientos

Los compañeros del autor en la Real Academia se sumaron a la presentación de La educación sentimental, convertida así en una especie de homenaje al filósofo y escritor.

Con La educación sentimental (Alianza Editorial), Julián Marías continúa una línea de reflexión en la que viene ocupándose de las diferentes dimensiones de la vida humana. La presentación de la obra, de título flaubertiano, fue a la vez un homenaje al filósofo y escritor por parte de sus compañeros de la Academia, sus discípulos y sus amigos.

Marías comentó que se trata de un libro largamente pensado, «un proyecto que me ha acompañado desde hace muchos años, y cuyo título ha precedido a su realización». La obra retoma asuntos que ya aparecen en textos suyos previos, como Antropología metafísica, La mujer en el siglo XX o La felicidad humana. «Un libro escrito -continuó el filósofo con entusiasmo- ya que no conozco otra manera de vivir, ni de escribir. El aburrimiento y el mal humor no generan nada interesante».


La autobiografía de Marías, Una vida presente, constituyó uno de los acontecimientos culturales del año 1988. De acuerdo con el autor, en este nuevo libro se acentúa su tendencia, como filósofo contemporáneo, a ir dejando de ocuparse de problemas particulares y concentrarse en el estudio de la realidad. Así, el texto hace un balance histórico, a través de diferentes obras literarias, de la educación sentimental desde la más remota antigüedad, «para ir al presente y al futuro, presentando un horizonte de posibilidades». Marías señaló que la vida es histórica y si no poseemos la historia no poseeremos ni el presente ni el futuro. «Me preocupa la tendencia actual que nos lleva hacia un primitivismo, que abandona la sensibilidad», señaló.

Fernando Lázaro Carreter, director de la Real Academia, destacó el afán antropológico del autor, al que le importa que el hombre y la mujer progresen en la escala que les lleve a ser seres humanos. «Curiosamente, hoy que contamos con más medios y posibilidades que nunca, vivimos una crisis abierta de sentimientos», señaló.

Rafael Lapesa consideró que el de Marías es «un texto delicioso, profundo y apasionado, que cala hondo en el amor y en el sentimiento, y que constata una crisis». «Se trata -apuntó Marías- de provocar un cambio, y para eso he escrito el libro». De este estudio surge una manera inesperada de comprender la historia y a la vez el temor por las posibilidades que se pueden perder. «La obra», según José Luis Pinillos, «arranca la afectividad de lo lírico, la emoción del sentimiento». El historiador Javier Tusell, por su parte, se refirió a esa otra manera que tiene Marías de hacer historia, «una historia personal, de la vida privada, de la intimidad. Frente a la tendencia actual hacia el prosaísmo y la falta de vitaminas líricas, Marías ofrece la ampliación del saber esencial de la experiencia y nos introduce en el campo del deber ser, del juicio moral, de la ética».

Finalmente, el autor comentó que el peligro está en que pronto se pueda decir, como Antonio Machado: «Tengo en moneda de cobre el oro de ayer cambiado». Pero, como hombre moderado, mesurado y enemigo de pronósticos apocalípticos, advirtió que «siempre se puede hacer la operación inversa y trocar el cobre por una resplandeciente moneda de oro. En esto consiste la educación sentimental».

[La Vanguardia, 9 de julio de 1992, Barcelona]

Una gran mezquita para Madrid

Los Reyes de España y el príncipe de Arabia Saudita, Salman Ben Abdul Aziz, inauguraron ayer el Centro Cultural Islámico, donde se ubica la nueva mezquita de Madrid. El recinto, con una extensión de 13.000 metros cuadrados, se ha convertido en el centro islámico más grande de Europa. Su construcción ha tenido un coste de 2.000 millones de pesetas, de los que 1.500 fueron donados por el rey Fahd de Arabia Saudita.

[YA, 22 de septiembre de 1992]


First North American Conference of Jewish Writers in Spanish and Portuguese in Miami

The first meeting of the International Association of Jewish Writers in Spanish and Portuguese was held in conjunction with the Miami Book Fair International last November 17-19, 1992. Moacyr Scliar, Marcos Aguinis, Teresa Porzecansky, and Isaac Goldemberg were among the authors who participated in the gathering, which commemorated the Columbian Quincentenary and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Critics attending the conferences included Bella Josef, Leonardo Senkman, Marcos Ricardo Barnatán, Saúl Sosnowski and Nora Glickman.

The conference heard papers on «Tierras de expulsión y tierras prometidas en la creación literaria», «España y el legado sefaradí», and «El folclor sefaradí en América Latina e Israel». Several of the participating writers read from their works. At the conclusion of the event, the Association issued a declaration condemning the worldwide upsurge in racism and anti-Semitism as well as related revisionary trends in Holocaust and Inquisition studies.

Edna Aizenberg
Marymount Manhattan College

El Hagada de Sarajevo, la joya bibliográfica sefardí, mantiene el alma judeoespañola en la ciudad muerta. Llueve fuego sobre Sarajevo y arde la mezquita del Bey, han tocado la catedral y la vieja sinagoga que guardó durante siglos el Hagada, la joya de la cultura sefardí y uno de los manuscritos más antiguos y célebres del Balkan, del 1300, preciosamente ilustrado y traído de España a través de Turquía en el hatillo de un judío que hablaba castellano y se estableció en Sarajevo. Hoy apenas quedan un centenar, y dicen «godro» en vez de «gordo» pero aún guardan el Hagada con ellos.

Unos centenares de sefardíes, supervivientes de «pogrom» y persecuciones que hacen sonreír ante el fino decreto de expulsión de 1492, defienden aquí todavía su lengua, la del viejo Hagada, el célebre manuscrito de fama mundial de los años   —316→   1300, espléndidamente ilustrado a vivos colores por mano anónima y traído por la primera comunidad judeoespañola en su periplo vía Turquía. Al través de los siglos el Hagada ha seguido hablando del sueño de Sefarad a estos judíos que se tratan en un curioso castellano que trabuca las erres; de esa Sefarad que en estos días recuerdan especialmente en el congreso tan parcamente preparado con el entusiasmo sin límites de los profesores Kamhi, Nezirovic y Finci.

A finales del siglo XVI en la Velika Avlija, el «gran patio» construido en 1581 por el Gran Bey de Rumelia Sijavus Pacha para los judíos pobres de Sarajevo, aparece la primera sinagoga de la ciudad, el actual Museo de los judíos y desmochado ya por varios proyectiles. En su concepción intenta emular los grandes templos de España que los sefardíes mantenían en el recuerdo, aunque las limitadas posibilidades de la comunidad condicionan un resultado necesariamente más modesto.

Conservado sin apenas cambios a lo largo de los siglos, su última renovación, en 1909, va unida a un episodio curioso que habla del talante tradicional de esta ciudad: Un gobernador turco ambicioso, en el deseo de desplumar a los comerciantes judíos los acusó en falso, llevándolos a prisión para exigir un fuerte rescate. La comunidad empezó a recolectar dinero entre todos los ciudadanos, pero todo esfuerzo resultó vano frente a la suma requerida.

Así, una mañana, alrededor de dos mil ofendidos habitantes de Sarajevo se arman y se llegan hasta el visir exigiendo la puesta en libertad incondicional de sus vecinos; éste, amedrentado, los entregó huyendo a seguido de la ciudad. El dinero recolectado fue así para renovar el templo.

En 1492, mientras España zanja su interminable problema doméstico y se abre al Atlántico, en la otra costa los judíos españoles también se hacen a la mar camino de Turquía. El sultán Bajazitail los hace llamar con vistas a levantar la decaída economía del país. Casi doscientos mil judeoespañoles llegaron así a Turquía. Pequeños artesanos algunos, otros muchos entraron a servir en el ejército turco.

Bajo la Sublime Puerta combaten ahora en las más famosas batallas del Balkan. Sofia, Craiova, Constanza, Bucarest, Belgrado, Sarajevo, Mostar, Visegrad; luego acostumbran a quedarse allí como colonos. Y hasta ahí llevan la propia lengua y la vida aislada de pioneros en los enclaves recién conquistados ayuda a la conservación del idioma y las costumbres.

[ABC, 13 de septiembre de 1992, Madrid]

Los sefardíes piden a la Real Academia que elimine del diccionario las acepciones antisemitas

Los sefardíes han pedido a la Real Academia, durante un coloquio celebrado en la ONU, que elimine del diccionario las acepciones antisemitas que aún subsisten quinientos años después de la expulsión de los judíos de España. Harris Schoenberg, presidente de la asociación judaica del Libro en las Naciones Unidas, señaló que vocablos como «fariseo», «hebreo», «judío» o «sinagoga» aún son definidos en la actualidad con significados denigratorios para el pueblo judío.

En el coloquio internacional sobre el Quinto Centenario de la expulsión de los judíos de España, celebrado esta semana en la ONU, intervinieron los embajadores de España y Portugal en Naciones Unidas en representación de los países que ordenaron el éxodo, el Embajador de Turquía por parte de una de las principales naciones de asilo y el embajador de Israel como representante de la comunidad sefardí que mantiene su identidad y sus vínculos culturales con España al cabo de cinco siglos.

Según el doctor Harris Schoenberg, representante del Consejo Internacional del B'nai B'rith ante Naciones Unidas y presidente de la Asociación Judaica del Libro en la ONU la palabra «fariseo» incluye el significado de «hipócrita» en la mayoría de los diccionarios, desde el de la Real Academia al Diccionario enciclopédico y gramatical Sopena, el Diccionario general ilustrado de la lengua española Larousse y el Pequeño Larousse ilustrado.

Las tres definiciones de «fariseo» presentadas en el Diccionario general ilustrado de la lengua española presentan una fuerte carga negativa: 1. Miembro de la principal secta político-religiosa judía del tiempo de Jesucristo que, rígidamente formalista, afectaba rigor y austeridad aunque, en realidad, eludía los preceptos y el espíritu de la ley. 2. Fig. Hombre hipócrita, especialmente el que afecta una piedad que no tiene. 3. Fig. Hombre alto, seco, de mala condición o catadura».

Tanto el Diccionario general ilustrado como el Enciclopédico Sopena y el Pequeño Larousse incluyen entre los significados de «hebreo» los de «mercader» y «usurero», en sentido figurado y familiar. En el caso de la palabra «judiada», las connotaciones son peyorativas en los cuatro diccionarios estudiados por el doctor Schoenberg. Junto con la definición de «hecho propio de los judíos» figuran las de «acción cruel e inhumana», «lucro excesivo y escandaloso», «mala pasada», «cochinada», «crueldad» y «ganancia excesiva».

El propio término «judío» incluye los significados   —317→   explícitos de «avaro», «usurero» en el Diccionario general ilustrado; el Sopena y el Gran Larousse. El vocablo «marrano», según el diccionario Sopena «aplicábase como despectivo a los judíos», mientras que el Gran Larousse lo restringe a «converso que en España continuaba practicando en secreto la religión judaica o musulmana».

El doctor Schoenberg señaló que los tonos antisemíticos se extienden incluso a terrenos puramente religiosos como el significado del vocablo «sinagoga». El Diccionario enciclopédico y gramatical Sopena añade como sentido figurado «conciliábulo», junta o reunión para tratar de algo que es o se supone ilícito». El General ilustrado y el Gran Larousse incluyen el sentido de «conciliábulo», y tan sólo el Pequeño Larousse se limita a una explicación neutral: «Femenino. (del griego, synagoge) Templo de los judíos».

[ABC 20 de septiembre de 1992, Madrid]

Poetas y novelistas analizaron la vigencia de César Vallejo en la poesía de habla española

Poetas y novelistas glosaron la personalidad literaria de uno de los más grandes poetas iberoamericanos, César Vallejo, y su vigencia en la poesía contemporánea de habla española. El humanismo del Renacimiento (Luis Vives y Erasmo) se acercó hasta el Real Sitio de la mano de catedráticos de diversas Universidades europeas. Completó el ciclo cultural un paseo por el «jardín y paisaje en el arte y en la Historia», con Julián Grau Santos.

El centenario del nacimiento de César Vallejo fue una buena oportunidad para revisar la obra del poeta peruano y relacionarla con el contexto poético de hoy. Como explica el director del curso, Luís Sainz de Medrano: Ni «maestro mágico» ni «pequeño dios». El Escorial también estudió a Luis Vives y Erasmo de Rotterdam.

[ABC, 17 de agosto de 1992]


La nueva cultura mexicana desembarca en Europa

Bajo el título, «México hoy», México fue el primer inquilino de la Casa de América con una exposición sobre su cultura, arte y pensamiento. El programa cubría dos aspectos. Por una parte intentó mostrar en Madrid la nueva creativa mexicana y por otra abrió un espacio diferente de discusión sobre las relaciones de los dos países, pero con miras al fin de siglo y al futuro de la comunidad iberoamericana.

[Diario, El País, 3 de septiembre de 1992]

Mexico's Consumers Fancy All Things American

Fern bars and price shopping clubs, English lessons and Disney World vacations. Mexicans are going wild over anything American, from MTV and CNN to instant coffee and instant gratification. South of the border, a flood of American products has inspired a rising tide of prosperous consumers eager for hamburgers, Haagen-Daz, and Hollywood. Mexican stockbrockers flash about the capital in big American luxury cars. Young people sporting the preppy look cruise fashionable new discos with such haughty names as Status. Loud floral ties are all the rage, as are jeans «made in the U. S. A.»

American products began flooding the country after 1986, when Mexico joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and lowered many tariffs on imported goods. But the large-scale cultural assault has picked up speed in the 90s. Cable Network News and MTV now reach into tens of thousands of homes, Stephen King stalks the top of the Mexican best-seller list, and icy cases of American frozen foods have begun popping up in supermarkets.

And that may be just the start, since Mexico, the United States, and Canada have signed a North American free trade agreement, which establishes the world's largest trade zone, if ratified.

«A sea of change is taking place ahead of the North American free trade pact», said writer Homero Aridjis. «The Mexican economy is becoming Americanized, for better and for worse. The culture to a great extent, too». Many Mexicans are becoming aliens in their own country», Aridjis lamented. «When I ask the question, "What is going to happen to the torilla culture?" nobody has an answer». Likely as not, two cultures will exist side by side.

For the have-nots -most of Mexico's 81 million people- poverty probably will never be eradicated. But then there is the smaller, but quite visible, consumer class. One young lady, the daughter of an English father and a Latino mother, commented, «Life has changed a lot in Mexico; it's moving so much faster». She said she liked the changes, except some of the excesses... «Everyone is trying harder than ever to imitate the American lifestyle. People are even dying their hair blond and putting in blue contact lenses».

The signs of conspicuous consumption are everywhere: from satellite dishes sprouting like big mushrooms atop Mexico City condos to American-built Corvettes burning rubber on northern roads where donkeys once trod -and sometimes still do. Cellular phones are selling faster here than anywhere   —318→   in the world. And in a country where the phone lines barely function Mexicans who are burned out on traditional fare simply pick up the «cellular» and call «Mr. Suhi», who delivers.

A Mexico City billboard declared: «It's Time for Domino's Pizza». One will also find Taco Bell, McDonald's, Subway, Arby's, Kentucky Fried Chicken or TCBY yogurt, and Burger King is on the way. A price-shopping warehouse and huge supermarkets with imported food sections offer everything from Wheaties to smoked salmon and bagels. The Brooklyn Bagel Co. de México helps fill the need, six to a bag at better stores everywhere, even with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, made in Mexico. There's even a Slim Center to help folks squeeze into American jeans after overeating.

The erosion of Mexico's cultural identity worries many people. Bored teenage mall rats are one side effect of the smart, new shopping centers; headaches and Stresstabs use are soaring. Even endearing cultural traditions are under attack. As Mexican flags went up for Independence Day on Sept. 15, the biggest worry of the new party store, Confetti was getting out the plastic pumpkins for Halloween. It used to be celebrated as the Day of the Dead, or All Souls' Day, a major family and religious holiday. It still is by many, but that's changing. Bart Simpson piñatas replace candy-stuffed bulls at kiddie birthday parties, competing head-to-head with McDonald's «Hamburgler» piñatas. «We opened just five months ago and the Mutant Ninja Turtle piñatas are also selling real well», said a Confetti sales clerk.

Even Mexico City's tourist district, the Zona Rosa. looks more like New York's Fifth Avenue than anything Mexican. It's dominated by such stores as Aca Joe, Gap and Polo by Ralph Lauren. A Los Angeles businessman settled down to an early lunch at a restaurant called Wall Street after failing to find a Mexican restaurant open. Yuppie's Sports Cafe -with one of Latin America's largest collections of American sporting memorabilia- was next door. The highlights: a Joe Montana Super Bowl ring and Sugar Ray Leonard's boxing gloves. Not far from Yuppie's and its collection of Will Clark and José Canseco baseball bats, the Twin Theater showed Patriot Games, starring Harrison Ford. Batman mania peaked in August.

The fad for things American extends beyond Mexico City. One posh northern suburb of Monterrey, San Pedro Garza García, is full of signs in English for everything from interior decorating to ice-cream. Young men on Mexican campuses call up a «sweetie» or «baby» for a date, and parting friends are likely to end with «adiós bye-bye». Department stores in San Antonio and Laredo, Texas, advertise regularly in Monterrey on billboards and in newspapers. On weekends their parking lots fill with cars with Mexican license plates. Just about everyone knows someone who has studied in the United States and well-heeled «northerns» travel to Disney World in Florida or the beaches of South Padre Island, Texas, for spring breaks.

Still, the love of things American goes only so far. After the U. S. soccer team drubbed Mexico last spring in Mexico City, Mexicans pelted their teammates and nearly rioted out of embarrassment

[The Hartford Courant, 1 November, 1992]
Richard A- Picerno
Central Connecticut State University

Mexico, the United States, and the Future

Relations between Mexico and the U.S. have never been completely harmonious -and this, despite periodic «official» declarations from both parties that a «new era» had begun, that relations were going smoothly, etc. Such efforts as the Alliance for Progress, the Good Neighbor Policy, «good will» visits to and from Mexico by Presidents, heroes such as Charles A. Lindbergh as well as movie stars and pop celebrities may have had positive effects but they have not been permanent. Cultural differences and economic disparity between the two countries are simply too great to allow a quick, lasting change for the better, and over the years they have contributed to a variety of cross-cultural images and certain psychological reactions both north and south of the Rio Grande.

Conflicting opinion in both the U. S. and Mexico regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement is but one of the topics considered from a cross-cultural angle in Alma Guillermoprieto's interesting, somewhat mannered article, «Serenading the Future», in The New Yorker, Nov. 9, 1992. Her basic theme is the desire for modernity felt by many Mexicans contrasted with the urge on the part of many others to keep their culture uncontaminated and so save el México profundo for future generations.

Starting in the capacious Plaza Garibaldi, a popular Mexico City night entertainment venue for numerous mariachi bands, and then going on to include the capital's upscale Zona Rosa, the author talks to dozens of Mexicans. Some are from the north, where U.S. influence is strongest and the Indian ethnic component less evident, while others inhabit the capital region, the central highlands, or other regions of the country. She considers   —319→   everything from the efficient Mexico City subway to die Mexican food served in such fast-food restaurants as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell (both subsidiaries of Pepsico). Along the way she contrasts the vigorous, enterprise-minded northerners with those who live in central and southern Mexico and are often more interested in preserving their traditional way of life in an era of fragmentation driven directly and indirectly by U. S. «life style», technological innovations and other «modern conveniences».

Another important factor driving cultural change in Mexico is the controversial policy of President Salinas de Gortari's government: Salinas and the leaders of his administration believe that the «diversification of Mexican culture... is rich with promise. Nationalism and traditionalism are retardatarios, cosmopolitanism is creative, and what used to be called "cultural imperialism" is now known as "the inevitable future"».

What will eventually come of all this cultural ferment, how long will nationalism retain its strength in Mexico, and will U. S. influence be a strong and permanent factor in Mexican life? These are all important, even crucial questions which only time will answer. What can be said now about Alma Guillermoprieto's article is that it is a good analysis of the current cultural dynamic, raises but wisely, doesn't always attempt to answer some key questions about cultural influences and change, and communicates a wide range of Mexican popular opinion about «modernización». It is interesting reading for all who are conscious of Mexico's growing importance to the U. S., and it is valuable preparatory reading for those who are about to make their first contact with the country.


Mexico And The United States: A Short Bibliography

These books and articles should be available in a good university library and in large municipal libraries. They are mostly recent or current and all are still very useful in understanding relations between Mexico and the United States.

1. Austin, James and Gustavo Esteva, eds., Food Policy in Mexico. The Search for Self-Sufficiency (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1989).

2. Barry, Tom, ed., Mexico: A County Guide (Albuquerque: Inter-Hemispheric Education Resource Center, 1992). Useful reference source in many fields, pulls no punches.

3. Barkin, David, Distorted Development. Mexico in the World Economy (Boulder: Westview Press, 1990).

4. Bustamante, Jorge and Wayne Cornelius, Mexican Migration to the United States (San Diego: Center for U. S.-Mexican Studies, 1989).

5. Camp, Roderic, Entrepreneus in Mexico's 20th Century Politics (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1992).

6. Cornelius, Wayne and Ana L. Craig, The Mexican Political System in Transition (San Diego: Center for U. S.-Mexican Studies, 1991).

7. Freund, Julian, «Trade treaty could mean salvation for Mexico», Hartford Courant, Oct. 2, 1992. An excellent explanation of measures needed to insure the success of the trade treaty.

8. Grayson, George, The Mexican Labor Machine: Power, Politics and Patronage (Washington: Center for Strategic Studies, 1989).

9.___. Oil and Mexican Foreign Policy (Pittsburgh: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 1988).

10. Herzog, Lawrence A, Where North Meets South. Cities, Space and Polities on the US -Mexican Border (Austin: Center for Mexican-American Studies, 1990). Informative about growth and changes on our 2000-mile border with Mexico.

11. Kandell, Jonathan, La Capital. The Biography of Mexico City (New York: Random House, 1988). The author, born in Mexico City and a former New York Times correspondent, has written a well-researched story in popular style of the City's tumultuous growth and its conflicts with other regions of Mexico.

12. Mead, Robert G., Jr., «Images North and South of the Border», Hispania, May 1974, pp. 320-29. Examples of stereotypes and other false images held mutually by both peoples in the U. S. and Mexico, and suggestions for eliminating them.

13. Pastor, Robert A. and Jorge G. Castañeda, Limits to Friendship. The United States and Mexico (New York: Knopf, 1988). Issues involved in building a friendly and beneficial relationship between the two countries.

14. Paz, Octavio, The Labyrinth of Solitude (New York: Grove, 1950). A fine and still valid study of Mexican character and values by the country's leading poet and essayist winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature.

15. Riding, Alan, Distant Neighbors. A Portrait of the Mexicans (New York: Knopf, 1985). One of the best recent books on the human aspects of U. S. -Mexican relations. Riding was the New York Times correspondent in Mexico.

16. Robinson, Cecil, Mexico and the Southwest in American Literature (Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press, 1977). Essays on the generally negative and degrading images of Mexican in the works of many American writers.

17. Ruiz, Ramón Eduardo, Triumphs and Tragedies (New York: Norton 1992). A Mexican historian's   —320→   interpretation of his country's past and present and the roots of the often difficult relations between the U. S. and Mexico.

18. World Press Review, Oct. 1992, «Mexico's Leap Forward». A frank interview with a Mexican financial editor and publisher who explains reasons for supporting the free trade pact with U. S. and Canada.

Compiled in Sept. 1992.

Robert G. Mead, Jr.
University of Connecticut, Emeritus

Las publicaciones de Germán Arciniegas sobre El Quinto Centenario

Además de sus libros ya clásicos que tocan en la temática del Quinto Centenario de 1492, como El estudiante de la mesa redonda (1932, 1982), Biografía del Caribe (1945, 1984) y Amérigo y el Nuevo Mundo (1955, 1990), Arciniegas ha publicado dos nuevas colecciones de ensayos: Con América nace la nueva historia (Selección y Prólogo de J.G. Cobo Borda), Bogotá: Tercer Mundo, 1990; y América es otra cosa («Un libro clave para entender el Quinto Centenario»), Bogotá: Intermedio Editores/Círculo de Lectores, 1992. J. G. Cobo Borda a su vez ha publicado dos libros de homenaje a Arciniegas por sus 90 años de edad: Arciniegas de cuerpo entero, Bogotá: Planeta, 1987; y Una visión de América: La obra de Germán Arciniegas desde la perspectiva de sus contemporáneos, Bogotá: Instituto Caro y Cuervo, 1990. Otro libro relacionado es el de Amparo Ángel, El caballero de las espuelas de oro (Vida de Cristóbal Colón para los niños), con dibujos de Milciades Alcalá y Prólogo de Germán Arciniegas, Bogotá: Ed. Printer Ltda., 1987. Estos libros recientes se pueden conseguir de J. Noé Herrera, Libros de Colombia, Transversal 8A No. 109-44, Bogotá, Colombia, así como la reedición de El estudiante de la mesa redonda de Bogotá, Barcelona: Planeta, 1991. Y en Caracas se ha reeditado su América, Tierra Firme y otros ensayos (Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1990).


Publicaciones mexicanas en torno al Quinto Centenario

El número de noviembre, 1992, de La Gaceta del Fondo de Cultura Económica, dedicado a los temas de «Cristóbal Colón, El Almirante de la Mar Océano» y afines, anuncia la publicación (por dicha editorial) de los libros El espejo enterrado de Carlos Fuentes y La creación del Nuevo Mundo del venezolano, Arturo Uslar Pietri. Otros libros mexicanos relacionados con la temática del Quinto Centenario incluyen la antología de Alfonso Reyes, Vocación de América (edición de Víctor Díaz Arciniega), México: FCE, 1989; y la novela de Homero Aridjis, Memorias del Nuevo Mundo, México: Editorial Diana, 1988.

James W. Robb
George Washington University

Octavio paz inauguró la Feria Internacional del Libro el septiembre pasado

El ministro alemán de Asuntos Exteriores, Klaus Kinkel, el máximo dirigente mexicano del Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, y el alcalde de la ciudad anfitriona, inauguraron, el pasado septiembre, la Feria Internacional del libro de Francfort, que el año pasado se protagonizó México. El premio Nobel, Octavio Paz, dictó la conferencia inaugural donde afirmó que el actual «malestar» de la literatura se debe a una «pausa histórica» y analizó las características de la literatura mexicana y los problemas a los que se enfrentan los escritores y editores.

[ABC, 30 de septiembre de 1992, Madrid]

«Honoris causa» a Ernesto Sábato por la Universidad de Buenos Aires

«No hubiera publicado ningún libro sin el sostenimiento cotidiano, heroico, de Matilde. Es para mí éste un enorme honor, pero también una gran tristeza, porque ella no puede estar aquí». Con estas palabras del autor de El túnel se resume el sentimiento y la vocación del Premio Cervantes de Literatura.

El acto de entrega de la distinción universitaria tuvo lugar en el Aula Magna del Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires.

«Casi nunca le he dado importancia a los doctorados "honoris causa" -afirmó Sábato tras recibir la distinción universitaria- pero en este caso le doy extraordinaria importancia para mi vida, por una serie de vicisitudes contradictorias, a veces disparatadas, un poco locas. Este título que me acaban de dar con tanta generosidad, que agradezco profundamente -afirmó- quiero que lo consideren como dado al ser que más me ayudó en una juventud y luego en una vida azarosa, llena de baches, pesimismos y contradicciones, que me levantó una y otra vez cuando ya caía presa del pesimismo. Este documento es para ella, es para Matilde».

El autor de El túnel y Sobre héroes y tumbas añadió que se lo dedicaba a quien «hace siete años que sufre de todas aquellas vicisitudes, de peligros de muerte, de peligros de tortura y de huidas, y por tener que luchar contra una persona tan imperfecta, tan alternativamente apasionada por ciertas cosas, para caer luego en grandes depresiones. No hubiera publicado ningún libro sin ese sostenimiento cotidiano, heroico. Es para mí éste un enorme honor, pero también una gran tristeza,   —321→   porque ella no puede estar aquí».

Sábato dijo también que «hay que leer lo que apasiona a uno. Nada de lo que haga sin pasión vale la pena. No creo en el progreso de la humanidad. No es escepticismo ni cinismo, significa aceptar la condición del hombre de carne y hueso. Tal como vamos -aseguró- el hombre está siendo cada vez peor».

Por otra parte, el escritor argentino dijo que «en el arte y en la poesía, en su sentido más grande, están las grandes verdades de la condición humana», y mostró su escepticismo hacia la razón que subordinó a la intuición y a la pasión. «Yo casi siempre actué por intuición. No creo casi nada en la razón aunque no la menosprecio», afirmó Sábato en este sentido.

[ABC, 4 de septiembre de 1992, Madrid]

Ernesto Sábato rinde homenaje en Argentina a la cultura gallega

En el auditorio José Hernández de la Universidad de Belgrano se celebró el acto inaugural de las jornadas «Encontro de dous mundos», organizadas por la Junta de Galicia, con motivo de la conmemoración del V Centenario del Descubrimiento de América. La conferencia inaugural fue pronunciada por Ernesto Sábato. Acogido con una gran salva de aplausos por el numeroso público asistente, Sábato, se refirió a la importancia de las lenguas regionales, a la necesidad de mantenerlas vivas -«lo único valedero es recoger la tradición oral y presente, la lengua viva en que nacen, viven y mueren los hombres más humildes»-, recordando a Alfonso X el Sabio, Lorenzo Varela y Rosalía de Castro -«poeta a la que Valle-Inclán consideró con menosprecio al calificarla de aldeana». Para el autor de El túnel, Rosalía fue «una admirable mujer, desechada, y sin embargo sin resentimientos, nobilísimo ser humano».

[ABC, 16 de septiembre de 1992, Madrid]

Fuentes and Vargas Llosa on the post-Cold War world

These two celebrated Spanish American writers often express themselves on a variety of literary and political issues. Fuentes, for example, feels that the common history of Spain and Spanish America is one of «lost opportunities». But he thinks that the recent meetings between Latin American and European leaders may be a hopeful sign. In the last few years, he writes, «it was not only communism that fell but also the unrestrained, savage capitalism of Thatcher and Reagan, thus clearing the way for the "gentler" capitalism of the European Community». He asks, «Can Latin America break out of its current crisis by finding a new formula for intelligent development... with a healthy balance between business and government?» He concludes «whatever happens, we will need international cooperation. Our ability to act in community -with our fellow Hispanic Americans and with the Spanish- will accelerate that process».

Vargas Llosa stresses a similar theme: Latin America will need more than rhetorical «promises» from Europe. «Latin Americans will want to cement their economic relations with the EC. Since Spain and Portugal joined the EC, that body's relations with the Latin American countries have expanded».

[World Press Review, Oct. 1992]


Cuisine and Conquest

«From a biological point of view, the history of human gastronomy since 1492 exhibits a rich proliferation of new genera branching from a common ancestry. Their evolution has proceeded in two spurts (the two periods of rapid change; after Columbus and today), bringing with them some extinction of species (individual dishes), but even these, in great part, can be resuscitated because their raw materials still survive and their genetic information has been preserved in recipes from the past... From a social perspective the history of eating over the last five hundred years can be described as an international process in which the products and customs of all the different places have become increasingly available to all people at all times. In principle the culinary life we owe Columbus is a progressive dinner in which the whole human race takes part but no one need leave home to sample all the courses».

[Raymond Sokolov in The New York Times Book Review, 10 November, 1991]


Hamburgers cost more than you Think!

«The environmental cost of munching hamburgers and roast beef is laid out in The New York Times: "Cattle raising is a major factor in the destruction of remaining rain forests. Since 1960, more than a quarter of Central American forests have been razed to make cattle pastures. In South America, 38 percent of the Amazon forest cleared has been for ranching... As much as 85 percent of rangeland in the western U. S. is being destroyed, largely by overgrazing"».

[The Washington Spectator, 15 November, 1992]
Robert G. Mead, Jr.
University of Connecticut, Emeritus



Durante 1993, se realizará en esta Facultad el curso de postgrado «Poesía hispana del siglo XX». Los temas a considerar son los siguientes: metáfora, metonimia, símbolo; juego, interpretación del sujeto lírico; la poesía y la problemática de la historia literaria; poesía y metadiscurso. En la misma casa de estudios, el Centro Interdisciplinario de Literatura Hispanoamericana de esta Facultad y el Instituto de Literatura y Ciencias del Lenguaje de la Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades de la Universidad Católica de Valparaíso llevarán a cabo el primer Congreso Internacional sobre Poesía Hispanoamericana, entre el 6 y el 9 de octubre de 1993. Informes e inscripción en CILHA, Of. 315, F. de Filosofía y Letras, U. N. Cuyo, 5500, Mendoza.



Entre el 18 y el 20 de agosto de 1993 se realizará en Tucumán el VII Congreso Nacional de Literatura Argentina, cuyo tema es «La literatura argentina a partir de 1940». Informes e inscripción: F. de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Sección Literatura argentina, pasillo 3, Of. 316, Av. B. Aráoz 800, 4000, Tucumán.



La ciudad de Santiago en Chile fue proclamada oficialmente como «Capital Iberoamericana de Cultura 1993», en una ceremonia presidida por el delegado de la Unión de Ciudades Capitales de Iberoamérica. Remodelaciones, reconstrucciones, inauguración de museos y otras actividades se sucederán en el rescate de un importante patrimonio cultural. Entre España, que congregará a autores de la madre patria.



La Academia del Sur iniciará sus actividades 1993 en Punta del Este. Durante enero, Marcos Aguinis analizará la vida y la obra de Maimónides. Desde el 18 del mismo mes, Delfín L. Garassa dictará un curso sobre la tragedia griega y la perduración de los mitos y personajes trágicos en la literatura universal.

Blanca de Arancibia
Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina


La Gramática de Nebrija cumplió 500 años el verano pasado

Hace 500 años, mientras Cristóbal Colón iniciaba la aventura americana, España vivía los albores del humanismo renacentista. Entre los numerosos acontecimientos que cumplen ahora su quinto centenario se encuentra la publicación de la primera gramática de una lengua vulgar, el castellano, escrita por Antonio de Nebrija. Esta gramática fue, en aquel entonces, símbolo de la consagración definitiva de esta lengua. Simbolizó el paso definitivo de la lengua latina al castellano actual.

[Diario 16, 17de agosto de 1992]


Lázaro Carreter, «La lengua española, columna vertebral de la enseñanza preuniversitaria»

Fernando Lázaro Carreter, el director de la Real Academia Española, aseguró, en presencia de Don Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, ministro de Educación Nacional, que la Lengua Española no puede ser una asignatura más. Tiene que ser la columna vertebral de toda la enseñanza preuniversitaria. Era la primera vez que un ministro de Educación visitaba la prestigiosa institución y se reunía con sus académicos. Durante la sesión, se anunció la inmediata puesta en marcha del Instituto de Lexicografía. En España al igual que en otras naciones europeas la enseñanza del idioma: gramática, poética y retórica se lleva a cabo en las escuelas primarias y secundarias, es decir antes de entrar en la universidad. Hay un examen de rigurosa selectividad en que el estudiante debe probar que posee todos los conocimientos básicos de la lengua y si no, no va a pasar. De esta manera los estudiantes universitarios no han de malgastar preciosos recursos que en Estados Unidos vienen dedicándose más y más a la tan traída y llevada remedial education, que al parecer no está dando los resultados apetecidos, pues «Juanito», como canta la muletilla, «sigue sin poder leer».

Este plan del ministro refrendado por el gobierno socialista de Felipe González es un paso fundamental en pro del idioma que deberían dar de forma similar todos los demás países hispánicos. Es un paso también gigantesco que supone una gran coordinación de esfuerzos y que si se da con determinación y empeño elevará a la lengua y cultura hispánicas a las altas cumbres del saber, porque aquí podemos decir que, el poder es saber.

Arsenio Rey
University of Alaska Anchorage

NEWS OF THE LUSOPHONE WORLD (Brazilian, Portuguese, African)

Antonio Houaiss, the new Minister of Culture has   —323→   announced that the Brazilian President, Itamar Franco, will probably go to Portugal in January of 1993 to ratify the New Orthographic agreement between Brazil and Portugal. The text of the new agreement will have to be approved by the Brazilian Congress as it was done by the Portuguese Republic Assembly.


The Portuguese film director Manoel de Oliveira has made a short film about the last six years of the life of Camilo Castelo Branco, entitled O Dia do Desespero with Mário Barroso, Teresa Madruga and Luís Miguel Cintra as the major actors.


A Ilha de Moçambique is the title of an anthology organized by Nelson Saúte and António Sopa. This book presents various authors, Mozambique and Portuguese who have written about Mozambique. Luís de Camões, Luís Carlos Patraquim, Tornás António Gonzaga, Rui Knopfli and Alberto Lacerda are some of the poets included in the collection.


The centenary of the birth of the Brazilian writer Graciliano Ramos has been celebrated with conferences, workshops, and newspaper articles on both sides of the Atlantic during 1992 and in Portugal, Editorial Caminho has been reediting his complete works.

Naomi Moniz
Georgetown University

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