Spanish Composition Through Literature

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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For advanced and intermediate courses that combine literary composition and analysis. This classic presents outstanding texts as models for writing. Readings illustrate a variety of topics, themes, styles, and techniques. Each chapter contains explanations and activities for vocabulary development, comprehension, interpretation, style, translation, and free composition.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
To the Student and Teacher ix
Acknowledgments xii
Text Credits xii
La siesta del martes
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Spanish Equivalents of English to be (Part I)
La casa de los espiritus
Isabel Allende
Spanish Equivalents of English to be (Part II)
El tunel
Ernesto Sabato
Simple tenses of the Indicative Mode
Viaje a la Alcarria
Camilo Jose Cela
Compound Tenses of the Indicative Mode (and Related Verbal Forms)
Carmen Laforet
Other Verbal Forms
La ciudad y los perros
Mario Vargas Llosa
The Subjunctive Mood (Part I)
La rama seca
Ana Maria Matute
The Subjunctive Mood (Part II)
Con los ojos cerrados
Reinaldo Arenas
The Subjunctive Mood (Part III)
Como agua para chocolate
Laura Esquivel
Adjectives and Adjective Position
Maldito amor
Rosario Ferre
La sombra del cipres es alargada
Miguel Delibes
Relative Pronouns
La casa de Asterion
Jorge Luis Borges
Vocabulario Espanol-Ingles 339(16)
English-Spanish Vocabulary 355(10)
Index 365


Spanish Composition through Literatureis intended as the core text for courses combining advanced composition in Spanish and beginning literary analysis. Each chapter features a selection by a modern author and contains explanations and activities for vocabulary development, comprehension, interpretation, style, translation and free composition. All chapters also provide a thorough and systematic review of important grammar topics that pose difficulties for American students and thereby negatively affect the expression of their thoughts and ideas when they write in Spanish. The materials in each chapter are organized to allow for considerable flexibility as to how they are assigned and used. Depending on the ability of a given class, time available and which materials are chosen for study, the textbook is suitable for a one- or two-semester course at a variety of levels. Experience has convinced us that close analysis of outstanding, authentic literary texts provides a fruitful approach to Spanish composition by providing students with models or examples to think about before they start to write. Such careful analysis also makes the students aware of the at times enormous differences between the artistic, literary use of Spanish and the language as used on the everyday colloquial level. As a basis for such fundamental analysis, we have selected literary passages that illustrate a variety of topics, themes, styles and techniques. The explanatory notes and exercises are designed to encourage the student to incorporate materials from the entire chapter into his or her personal writing. An important change in this fourth edition ofSpanish Composition through Literatureis the introduction of selections by two new Spanish-American writers: the Cuban Reinaldo Arenas, whose life is portrayed in the critically acclaimed film,Before Night Falls,and Rosario Ferre, of Puerto Rico. In each case, the selection is made from one of the author's finest works, and is presented with an ample introduction to the author's life and writings. Important changes have also been introduced in theRepaso Gramaticalsection of each chapter. Instead of two sets of grammar exercises, theRepaso Gramaticalnow has four. The original grammar fill-in exercises have been reduced in number, as have the sentences to be translated from English into Spanish. But a new modified cloze exercise has been introduced that requires the student to use grammatical forms (mostly reviewed in that chapter) that will complete the meaning of the story being narrated. Finally, at the request of many persons, including a number of Spanish Advanced Placement language teachers, a short set of error-recognition exercises completes the gramatical review part of each chapter. At the end of each chapter we have reintroduced, sometimes in a slightly revised version,enfoquesfrom the second edition of this book. Theseenfoquesstrive to give practical advice and encouragement on the art of writing, and may be read by the student before undertaking a writing task, whether it be one of the six indicated at the end of beach literary-lexical section of every chapter, or another assigned by the teacher or thought up by the student. In any case, theseenfoquestry to simplify what is perhaps the hardest task of all: to fill a page with content of any kind. This fourth edition ofSpanish Composition through Literaturecontains revisions based on comments made by users of the first three editions. As pointed out in previous editions, there has been in recent years a veritable explosion of research and theory in the area of techniques for developing students' writing skills. At the same time, we have retained the solid, fundamental approach to using literature as a point of departure for writing, which also emphasizes control of language through lexical and grammatical precision, an approach that has prov

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