The Hispanic Connection: Spanish and Spanish-American Literature in the Arts of the World

The Hispanic Connection: Spanish and Spanish-American Literature in the Arts of the World

The Hispanic Connection: Spanish and Spanish-American Literature in the Arts of the World

The Hispanic Connection: Spanish and Spanish-American Literature in the Arts of the World

Synopsis

Examines the span of Spanish and Latin American arts.

Excerpt

Zenia Sacks DaSilva

“The Hispanic Connection,” a conference held at Hofstra University on October 17–19, 1997, was long a-birthing, difficult to realize because of its varied dimensions, and all the more essential because of its wealth. Literature, music, film, ballet, and the fruits of the brush— ongoing elements of the human endowment—joined across borders in mind, voice, and heart. In but three short days resonant with papers, discussions, exhibits, and performances, it celebrated some of the timeless gifts of Spanish and Spanish-American creators, whose thoughts and emotions have stirred echoes in much of the world and whose offspring have peopled its arts. Don Juan, Don Quixote, Celestina, El Cid, Don Alvaro, Don Rodrigo, Leonardo, Bernarda— We watched their reflections in the mirror of ages and their twistings and turnings in geographical frames. We saw flesh become fiction and fiction become faith, and faith become science and reason and fact. And we found there the essence of humanity’s span.

The selections we offer in this volume center on ten basic themes. Let us look at them briefly before we begin.

Part I, “Icons of Early Spain,” speaks of the uncontainable legend of Rodrigo, last of the Gothic kings, of the Cid in operatic versions from Handel to Debussy, of the confluence of Spain’s Judaic and Islamic poetry and song and their dissemination in the diaspora, of the strange Italian reconfigurations of Tirant Lo Blanch, Don Quijote, and La vida es sueño, and of contemporary composers who have musicalized Golden Age Spanish poems.

Part II, “The Universal Don Quixote,” follows the quintessential hero across the early American Western frontier, into the operas of Donizetti . . .

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