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The Latin American Literary Boom – what is it? (Individual Lectures)

May 4, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - May 25, 2021 @ 4:00 pm

An introduction to the lives and works of four of the ‘giants’ of Latin American literature and creators of the Latin American Literary Boom

In this series of four talks on successive Tuesdays, Prof Maria Chester introduces the lives and works of four authors, Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargos Llosa and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This listing allows you to book for individual lectures; if you wish to book for the full series, please click here.

The Latin American boom is a literary phenomenon that emerged between the 1960s and 1970s and consisted of the emergence of the Latin American narrative, with works that spread throughout the world, turning their independent and relatively young authors into literary icons. Julio Cortazar’s “Rayeula” (1962) is considered the first work of the Latin American Boom.

These writers were influenced by the modernist and avant-garde movements of the 20th century (especially by European surrealism) to challenge the literary conventions of the time through neologisms, profanities, and inappropriate language.

The birth of so-called “Magic-Realism”:

The fusion between fiction and reality generated doubt in the reader, like “magical realism” which tried to show the strange as something day-to-day.

“Magic realism” turned out to be a way of explaining political, economic and social events. The authors took the quiet voice of the people in order to express their feelings before a turbulent reality, and immersed them in stories with somewhat fanciful and unreal overtones. Such is the case of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” the work of Gabriel García Márquez. These authors often set their stories in urban spaces influenced by the political and social conditions in the Latin American countries where they grew up. The narrative time could begin at the end of the story and then jump without respecting the linearity of events.

Week 1: Julio Cortazar

Week 2: Carlos Fuentes

Week 3: Mario Vargas Llosa

Week 4: Gabriel Garcia Marquez


You do not need to have read the following titles to enjoy the lectures, but you may wish to ‘dip in’ to these four books as background reading:

1962 – Julio Cortazar, “RAYUELA” – “Hopscotch”

1962 – Carlos Fuentes “ La Muerte de Artemio Cruz” – “The Death of Artemio Cruz”

1963 – Mario Vargas Llosa – “La ciudad y los perros” – “The Time of the Hero”

1967 – Gabriel Garcia Marquez -”Cien Años de Soledad” – “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

Lectures will be delivered via Zoom. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please go to www.zoom.us and look at the tutorials. Once you have booked, you will find the invitation in Eventbrite on the Online Event Page. We will also send out the invitation by email 24 hours before the meeting starts.

If you book this course online, we will hold your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy. If you do not wish us to hold your personal data, please book by post and do not supply an email address.