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Spanish Drama
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Don Quixote [electronic resource]: Legacy of a Classic

This program weaves art, music, and literature with Western culture to explore the enormous impact of Cervantes' classic on our world today. Artists, critics, and others, from novelist Carlos Fuentes to General Norman Schwarzkopf, reveal how the work-the most translated in history-has affected their lives. Mixing discussions of the text with music, poems, other writings influenced by Don Quixote, and clips from the many film versions of the work, the program explores the conflict between imagination and reality, masculine and feminine attitudes toward love, and other themes. This is a rich resource for the study of Don Quixote and of the influence of art on life.
2005; 1995

Clarin Leopoldo Alas [electronic resource]: La Regenta

The mere name, Clarin, the notorious novelist and Spanish literary critic, was enough to turn a 19th-century writer's blood cold. His biting and often bellicose articles made him the nation's most feared critical voice. This program, produced by RTVE, is a dramatization of Clarin's most famous work, La Regenta (The Professor's Wife), generally considered the greatest Spanish naturalistic novel of that period. Brimming with political irony and stinging commentary on social scandals of the day, the work consecrated Clarin as a major literary genius, and earned for itself a lofty place in the canon of Spanish literature.
2009; 1994

El Cantar de Mio Cid [electronic resource]

El Cid is unique among the world's great epics because it was composed so close to the actual historical events (a mere 40 years after the death of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, el Cid himself) that we can distinguish between man and legend. Meticulous attention to historical detail, spectacular cinematic production values, and the swashbuckling plot itself make this medieval epic superbly entertaining as well as educational.
2005; 1980

Federico Garcia Lorca [electronic resource]: Remembering the Earth

Over half a century has passed since famed poet-playwright Federico Garcia Lorca was killed in Granada at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. He lives on, however, in his immortal Canciones, Romancero Gitano, and La Casa de Bernarda Alba and other works that captured the soul of espana and the heart of the literary world. This documentary, produced by RTVE, traces his life from Fuentevagueros in Andalusia to his death at age 38 in 1936. Archival footage and personal interviews with family members, poets, writers, and artists including Edward Albee and Philip Levine provide an accurate portrait of both Lorca the man and the literary giant. Portions of Lorca's most famous works, interwoven throughout the program, are accompanied by contemporary images of the places he held most dear.
2006; 1998

Miguel de Unamuno [electronic resource]: El Rector

A distinguished senior member of the Generation of '98 and Rector of Salamanca University, Miguel de Unamuno considered himself an "ideoclast": someone who breaks in ideas like boots, making them his own by wearing and using them. This program combines documentary material and dramatizations to present the story of a multitalented Spanish philosopher, essayist, novelist, poet, and playwright against the backdrop of his turbulent times.
2005; 1999

Gabriel Garcia Marquez [electronic resource]: Witch Writing

This in-depth interview with Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez is presented in the form of a conversation with an old friend he has not seen in a long while. Filmed at "Gabo's" house in Cartagena, the program is structured to suggest an apparent disorder of time-a device used most notably in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Assisted by readings and dramatizations of his works, the master of "magic realism" focuses on the supernatural aspects of his spellbinding narrative style, in an effort to convey his particular vision of the world.
2005; 1998

Juan Ramon Jimenez [electronic resource]: Platero y Yo

Platero y Yo, the ever-popular poem series written by Nobel Laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez, chronicles the life of an amiable donkey and serves as a vehicle to comment on life in Moguer, Jimenez' native village. This imaginatively scripted program features a simulated TV interview with the writer whose style bridged the gap between Dario and the Generation of 1927. Based on authentic interviews and Jimenez' own writings, the program dispels misconceptions related to the different points of view between the author and the reader and offers valuable insights into the symbolism of the story's characters. Vivid descriptions of Jimenez' childhood in Andalusia are provided as well.
2005; 2000

Isabel Allende [electronic resource]: House of Spirits

Called "a novel of force and charm" by The Washington Post and "sharply observant" by The New York Times, The House of the Spirits earned Isabel Allende paeans of praise, making its author the most unexpected sensation from Latin America since the emergence of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In this classic interview, award-winning writer Isabel Allende discusses why she turned to writing novels, the impact of Chile's 1973 coup, her life as an emigre, and her recurring literary theme of exile. Although at peace with her life abroad, she also describes her longing for her homeland, which continues to take up space in her life.
2005; 1988

Pablo Neruda [electronic resource]: Closer to Blood Than to Ink

Equally adept at writing simple love lyrics, surreal works of great complexity, and even epics, Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda was a master of many forms of poetry. This captivating program tells the story of the poet's life and prodigious work, set against the backdrop of the country that inspired him. Readings from his massive oeuvre amply demonstrate his sincere commitment to the Communist Party and his abiding love for the natural world. Described by Federico Garcia Lorca as a writer "closer to death than to philosophy, closer to grief than to intellect, closer to blood than to ink," Pablo Neruda stands as Chile's greatest poet.
2007; 1998

Octavio Paz [electronic resource]

The evocative poems of Octavio Paz, as featured in Pasado en claro, are nourished by Paz' intrinsic belief that poetry constitutes "the secret religion of the modern age. A remarkable prose stylist, he also wrote a large body of essays on poetics, literary and art criticism, and Mexican history, politics, and culture. In this program, the late Nobel Laureate addresses a variety of subjects, including his ongoing interest in politics, his views on relations between Mexico and Spain, the aesthetics of surrealism, and the characteristics of great writers.
2005; 1998

Juan Rulfo [electronic resource]

Unlike the reputations of many of his more prolific contemporaries, Juan Rulfo's is based on only two works: Pedro Paramo, one of the few Latin American novels of that time to successfully lay bare the inner lives of country people, and El llano en llamas, a collection of short stories. In this program, the late author-a leading exponent of magic realism-analyzes both of those works. He describes his tragic childhood as well, including the Cristero revolt, his family's financial ruin, the death of his father and mother, and his life in an orphanage in Guadalajara.
2005; 1998

Alejo Carpentier [electronic resource]

In his writings, Alejo Carpentier strove to incorporate "the marvelous," a version of reality that he maintained was indigenous to the Americas. In this program, the late author/musicologist elaborates on his Los pasos perdidos, El siglo de las luces, and Concierto barroco, while providing an understanding of the impact of surrealism and the influence of the Generation of '98 on his writing, the political atmosphere of Cuba, and his childhood in France. "I didn't speak anything but French in the house," says Carpentier, "but I always wrote in Castilian.
2006; 1998

El Pícaro [electronic resource]

Drawing on the writings of Cervantes, Quevedo, and Aleman, this production defines the quintessentially Spanish picaro-his role in society, his relationship to his master and mistress, his reliance on his own wits and his ability to outsmart others, his sense of humor, and his alienation.
2005; 2000

Harto de Borges [electronic resource]

Borges is fed up-with Borges. He repeatedly changed his writing style to get free of him, yet always felt fated, in the end, to be associated with his literary alter ego. This impressionistic program creatively blends archival footage, interviews, film clips, and artwork in an effort to pin down the man behind the mythic persona. Contemporaries Ariel Dorfman, Mempo Giardinelli, Martin Caparros, Luis Sepulveda, and Diego Curubeto, plus the late Borges himself, offer their insights into the life and literature of the enigmatic Latin American writer. According to Borges, anyone who reads his work and says, "Ah, that is Borges," has missed the point-and the real Borges.
2006; 2000

Ana Maria Matute [electronic resource]

One of Spain's foremost women writers, Ana Maria Matute has displayed a recurring fascination with the Spanish Civil War and the defenselessness of children and the poor. Framed within the context of an appearance by Matute at the Real Academia Espanola de la Lengua, this program travels to Barcelona and locales in Spain's Rioja region. Excerpts from Olvidado rey Gudu and El rio demonstrate a subtler sensitivity and a tightening in construction as compared with Matute's earlier works, while Casa de juegos prohibidos: textos inocentes illustrates the breadth of her writing.
2005; 1999

Julio Cortazar [electronic resource]: Argentina's Iconoclast

Novelist and short-story writer Julio Cortazar was a master of experimental literature. In this program, Cortazar's preoccupation with 20th-century life and his rejection of its values is placed in historical context and examined as a theme in his works. In particular his masterpiece, Rayuela, is examined. Archival material and interviews with contemporaries bring to life the times that shaped Cortazar's oeuvre and ensured its enduring legacy.
2006; 1999

Gabriela Mistral [electronic resource]: Focused on Love

Recognized from an early age as a poet of remarkable ability, the writer who was to become known as Gabriela Mistral was the first Latin American woman to be awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize, in 1945. Composed of archival footage and commentary from scholars and friends who discuss the personal events that affected her life and infused her work with its themes of tragic love and unfulfilled maternal love, this program provides an in-depth portrait of one of Latin America's most gifted poets.
2006; 1999

Octavio Paz [electronic resource]: Mexico's Muse

Poet, writer, editor, diplomat, and Nobel Laureate, Octavio Paz is among the best-known Latin American literary figures. This program examines the influences of Marxism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, along with Existentialism and Surrealism, throughout his work. Archival material and commentary from friends, family, and scholars provide a comprehensive portrait of this extraordinary man and his work.
2006; 1999

Jose Marti [electronic resource]: Cuba's Herald

A Cuban patriot who expressed his views in his poetry and essays, Jose Marti lived many years in exile from Cuba, in Spain and Venezuela. This program traces 19th-century Latin American history through the life of one of its best-known commentators. Archival material, readings from his works and journals, and commentary by scholars and historians provide an overview of Marti and the era that he so greatly influenced by his actions and his writings.
2005; 1999

Carlos Fuentes [electronic resource]: At Home in the Americas

The writings of Carlos Fuentes-a Mexican novelist and playwright who combines a deep awareness of history and national identity with experimental narrative techniques to develop his themes-have had a powerful effect on contemporary Latin American literature. In this program, Fuentes, the son of a diplomat, discusses subjects such as the influence of politics on his life, his deep feelings for Mexico, and his writing career, which has brought him international acclaim.
2006; 1999