Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

Three Short Stories from Latin America

José Delgado

Contents of Curriculum Unit 87.01.03:

To Guide Entry


The readers I have in mind for this unit are primarily third year students of Spanish as well as native speakers with a need to improve their reading skills. Each selection has a “Base Vocabulary”, which is available for the reader so that he/she can fully grasp the meaning of the reading at hand. Difficult terms and idiomatic expressions which might also present problems for the reader are listed and explained. The unit contains a series of exercises designed to check reading comprehension at the end of each story. This skill acquired, the student will increase his/her ability to use words, common expressions, and idioms in a natural manner, in the target language. It is also hoped that his/her confidence and familiarity with the language will be enhanced.

The chosen selections have the added objective of developing pleasure in reading whole stories in Spanish which will serve as an incentive to learn more about Latin American culture. I have picked three short stories by three well known authors’ “Un d’a de estos”, by Gabriel Garc’a Márquez, “El asesino desinteresado Bill Harrigan”, by Jorge Luis Borges, and “Nos han dado la tierra”, by Juan Rulfo.

The student can look forward to exercises that will range from vocabulary drills, brief comments based on items found in the reading, replacing words written in Spanish for an English counterpart, grouping of words in which the students signal which word does not correspond to the same idea, as well as questions based on the reading itself. If the teacher wishes to expand the preparation of his/her students on what constitutes a short story, I strongly suggest he/she refer to the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Curriculum Units gathered under the title Reading the Twentieth Century Short Story, compiled in 1983. The amount of resources available in that particular compilation, together with the well annotated and prepared plans, are of great value.

to top


Gabriel Garc’a Márquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia March 6, 1928. As a novelist, Garc’a Márquez has known worldwide success because of his literary inventions. An inventor of cities, of entire families and, of time, he maintains that whatever he writes is about things that he knows and people he has seen.

Educated by Jesuits, he first thought of becoming a lawyer. Upon entering the university he realized that the streets were what attracted him. He stopped his studies. The mysteries of a large city, the enigma of the outsider who becomes the object of suspicion and hatred, the problems of possessions ingrained in socio-political dynamics were of far more interest to him than school rooms and term papers. He decided instead for a job with the newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá. During this time he read novels and stories by Franz Kafka, James Joyce and William Faulkner. In 1954 the newspaper assigned him to Europe, and he went to live in Rome. While there, he preferred to write articles concerning the cinema rather than daily events. He developed an interest in film direction and moved to Paris. Meanwhile in Bogotá, the newspaper closed down due to the ruthless governing of a Colombian dictator, Rojas Pinilla. Garc’a Márquez saw himself unemployed, awaiting the arrival of checks that never arrived, like in the case of a character from one of his novels, El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba. Thanks to a kind landlord, he was able to stay in France for a year without having to pay rent. Anecdotes say that the man took pity on him because he always saw Garc’a Márquez typing. He returned to Colombia and married Mercedes, who had been waiting four years for him. Together, they tried their luck in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. From there they went to New York and then to Mexico, where Márquez could dedicate himself to the writing of films. During these years these were important activities, but not at all decisive. He was able to support his family by doing odd jobs. During this time he was preparing himself for the book that would propel him to fame and fortune. It was not until 1967 that his masterpiece, Cien años de soledad appeared. However, this is not to say that Garc’a Márquez had not published before then. In 1955 he published La Hojarasca, followed by El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba in 1961. In 1962 he published the novel La mala hora. By 1965 he was already working on Cien años de soledad, a story he had conceived of as a child, listening to the stories his grandmother told him, as well as the countless things his grandfather showed him. Of his grandparents, Garc’a Márquez says that they were responsible for the circumstances in which his novelistic world was formed. He says that when his grandmother died, things “got flat”. In his imagination the fantastic world of his grandparents, together with the routine of the town in which he lived, melted to form a life where there were no frontiers between the fantastic and the real. His grandma told him of the bloody civil wars of Colombia, with names of generals, regional leaders (caudillos) and presidents. Names and dates got convoluted. The child did not distinguish what was historical and what was fiction. From this world of remembrances, fantasies and unrealities, Cien años de soledad emerged, for which he was given the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983.

Márquez is interesting because from his first novels, elements appeared which were to recur in later works, such as a “lonely town, cut off from the rest of civilization, and bitter political feuds that deaths and marriages cannot heal.”1 Again and again in Garc’a Márquez’s stories, “a lonely proud individual asserts a sense of dignity despite a society in which brutality and corruption triumph.”2 Distortion of reality and precise detail around the impossible are permanent qualities in Márquez’s work, His novels “remind us that in a continent conquered by men who had absorbed the novels of chivalry and were haunted by tales of El Dorado, a continent in which nature has a most invariably triumphed over man, the marvelous must have a place in literature.” 3

Jorge Luis Borges was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 24,1899 and died in Switzerland in 1986. He is known as a writer of strong imagination. An avid reader, this portent of Latin American letters has talked about the faith he had in life, the love he felt for his country and ancestors, the wisdom which lies in our own personal God, his determination to defend his ideas and principles without compromise, and about what is commonly considered or talked of as “reality”. For his countrymen, he was not always an Argentine to the bone. For his admirers, a universal Argentine. Borges was always fascinated with mirrors and labyrynths. His stories are reflections of ideas and facts which are multiplied in the reader’s imagination until they acquire the fragility of the dreamlike, becoming confused with reality.

Borges was born in a comfortable household. His father was a lawyer, a linguist, and even wrote a novel. The family moved to Europe in order for Borges and his sister to receive their education. Borges has said many times that he learned to read in English before he did in Spanish, due to the availability of English magazines around his home. It was in English that he read his first novels, including the Quijote. He developed his style studying English as well as American literature. As a young man he formed part of a group known as Ultraists, i.e. beyond “isms”.

Borges’ character could perhaps be summed up with the following adjectives: daring, yet timid; a tireless chatter, nostalgic, ironic, a political reactionary; a sociable, yet private man. Between 1920 and 1930, Borges worked with great intensity. He read and studied the relations of China and India. He also read many philosophers, specially those of idealistic thought and absorbed the ideas of Nietzche. In his stories, Borges experiments with a subjective conception of time and with the idea that history can be considered as an eternal repetition of facts and begins within which limited and scarce possibilities can co-exist. In 1938, Borges suffered a septicemia or injury to his head, and spent several days in the hospital. While resting, he wrote various fantastic stories. He suggested that this incident (the injury to the head) changed the literary orientation of his work. He then published a series of strange stories and essays, which are not quite adventures or mysteries, but in them intrigue, facts, death, and duels of clues abound. From this point on, Borges became the master of intellectual games, strange plots, and unexpected endings. He resembles a narrator of police stories with a tint of philosophy and theology. In a sentence, “poetic meditation on illusion and reality, on dream and consciousness, were to become obsessive preoccupations.” 4 When he published Historia Universal de la Infamia, from which our selection is taken, he referred to it as “the irresponsible game of a timid man who did not have the drive to write stories and distracted himself by falsifying and apostasising the tales of others.”5 In this collection the main characters are evil men and women of somewhat obscure historical importance revived in Borges’ imagination.

One of Borges’ constant themes is that of a man caught in a trap he has created himself. The fiction can take the form of historical investigation, literary criticism, description of an imaginary planet, a detective story or of an imaginary controversy. The core of these stories is “fortified” by footnotes and quotations which give the reader a probability of the fantastic mixed with descriptions of facts, which seem possible but weird at the same time. “Borges’s metaphysics reflect the madness that is there in reality.”6 His tales are intertwined and quasi-revealed in a series of bibliographical references which hint at meanings that keep the reader guessing. The insinuations and many mysteries linked to contradictions of time and to characters caught in the trap of time and inner processes, perplexes and entertains the reader. It is required that the reader be an active one, looking for clues, willing to embark in a tunnel of his own, to either come out of it in triumph, or “defeated”, but stimulated by the exotic universe Borges presents.

For many years however, Borges searched for the chief genre that was to make him a renowned author. At first, he wrote essays which dealt with philosophical matters such as cyclical time theories, religions, the Cabbala, Gnostics, etc. In 1936 he published Historia de la eternidad, a group of essays dedicated to time and time philosophies, It wasn’t until Ficciones (1944) and El Aleph (1949) that Borges really found the best vehicle for his ideas: the short story. “I know that the least perishable part of my literary production is the narrative, yet for many years I did not dare to write stories. I thought that the paradise of the tale was forbidden to me.”7

Borges’ work speaks to the modern man. His themes are varied and touch on such diverse areas as the philosophical, the socio-political, the psychological, and the religious. He is an Argentine who breaks away from the frontiers of his country and transcends his, as well as our own, panorama. His universalism attacks the present condition of the modern day homo sapiens who is much too happy or sad contemplating himself/herself, indifferent to others, Borges asserts the philosopher and sociologist in himself but through the expression of possibilities and transformation fiction can bring forth the lack of humanity in human societies. The main orbit of concentration relies on death. Death penetrates the Rulfian world: ambiance, things, people. Death is present in all of the stories, The Italian translation aptly carries the title of La morte al Messico.

Rulfo’s narratives are told either in first or third person. Critics agree that he is at his best utilizing the first person. He is a master of the monologue, though he also receives high marks for his dialogues. But whatever the technique, Rulfo invariably describes the misfortunes of a large segment of humanity. The author himself has said that what he does is a transposition of the facts of his experience. Rulfo’s people grow not outwardly but rather inwardly. His monologues are carried by a strong hermeticism, as one could very well imagine people under such conditions would develop. One has the sense that the characters are chewing their words avoiding their coming forth. But come out they do, reveling to us a series of atrocious procedures. In “Nos han dado la tierra”, for instance, Rulfo deals with the theme of a group of men to whom the government has given a vast chunk of arid land. “Del pueblo pare acá es de ustedes”,8 explains the government representative to the men. The campesinos proceed to cross the “llano” a metaphor for the government’s “generosity” towards its citizens. As they cross the vast arid valley, a single drop of water is witnessed by the men. The drop of water provides a brief moment of hope, but this promise quickly disappears, “dejando una plasta como la de un salivazo”.9 Hope turns into anguish. It is from the title that one can find the deceit and the irony.

to top

III. “Un d’a de estos”, by Gabriel Garc’a Márquez.

A. BASE VOCABULARY (in order of appearance in story).
____1. amaneció—(past tense of amanecer)-to dawn, to get light.
____2. tibio—tepid, lukewarm.
____3. dentadura postiza—false teeth.
____4. molde de yeso—plaster cast.
____5. sin cuello—without a collar.
____6. cargadores elasticos—suspenders.
____7. enjunto—lean, skinny.
____8. fresa—type of machine used by dentists.
____9. pedaleando—pedalling.
____10. destemplada—disagreeable, unpleasant.
____11. puliendo—polishing.
____12. cartón—cardboard box.
____13. “te pega un tiro”—“he will shoot you”.
____14. apresurarse-to hurry, to hasten.
____15. apoyada-leaning, resting, supported, propped.
____16. umbral-threshold, doorsill.
____17. herv’an-(imperfect tense of hervir)-to boil.
____18. olor glacial-frigid smell.
____19. pomos de loza-porcelain knobs.
____20. cancel de tela-folding screen made of cloth.
____21. talones-heels.
____22. sin anestesia-without anaesthesia.
____23. absceso-abscess.
____24. cacerola-saucepan.
____25. pinzas-tweezers, pliers.
____26. escupidera-spitting place.
____27. aguamanil-washstand.
____28. cordal-wisdom tooth.
____29. muela-back tooth.
____30. gatillo-instrument for drawing teeth.
____31. aferró-(past tense of aferrar)-to cling.
____32. crujido-creak; clatter.
____33. mand’bula-jaw.
____34. lágrimas-tears.
____35. jadeante-panting.
____36. desabotonó-unbuttoned.
____37. buscó a tientas-groped around for, felt around for.
____38. bolsillo-pocket.
____39. trapo-a cloth.
____40. cielo raso-clear, cloudless sky.
____41. desfondado-without end.
____42. telaraña-spider web.
____43. buches de agua de sal-mouthfuls of salt water.
____44. displicente-disagreeable; cross, peevish.
____45. pasar la cuenta-to send the bill.
____46. “la misma vaina”-“the same thing”.
____1.a. complete the sentences with the appropriate word/s from the list at the end of this exercise.
____1. Don Aurelio Escovar, era un dentista _____.
____2. Su mirada pocas veces _____ a la situación.
____3. El alcalde quer’a que le _____una muela.
____4. El dentista pul’a ____ mientras hac’a esperar al alcalde.
____5. Por el dolor, el alcalde se hab’a _____ la mejilla izquierda pero no la derecha.
____6. El dentista le _____ al alcalde que hab’a que hab’a que hacer la operacióh “sin anestecia”.
____7. El alcalde sintió un _____ helado en los riñones,
____8. El dentista le dijo al alcalde que all’ pagaba por _____ muertos.
____9. Don Aurelio le recomienda al alcalde que hiciera buches de_____.
____10. Como era _____, la cuenta iba a ser pasada lo mismo al municipio que al alcalde.
dientes de oro
agua de sal
sin t’tulo
la misma vaina
____2.a. Write the infinitive of the verb which corresponds to each word and translate into English.
________1. madrugador
________2. ordenó
________3. correspond’a
________4. pedaleando
________5. puliendo
________6. cambiado de expresión
________7. acercaba
________8. afirmó,
________9. aferró
________10. crujido
________11. desabotonó
________12. despidió
____3.a. Choose the word/s from column B opposite in meaning to each word in column A.
___________ 1. amanecer
___________ 2. r’gido
___________ 3. trabajando
___________ 4. guardar
___________ 5. sacar
___________ 6. apresurarse
___________ 7. desesperación
___________ 8. amargura
___________ 9. desabotonar
___________ 10. displicente
________a. botar
________b. ternura
________c. anochecer
________ch. abotonar
________d. flágido
________e. poner
________f. tranquilidad
________g. descansado
________h. tomarse el tiempo
________i. desagradable
____4.a. Structures: form sentences or phrases using the given words. Refer to the story for the correct structures.
________1. dentadura/vidriera/de/postiza/la/sacó/una
________2. muela/dice/una/el/sacas/alcalde/si/que/le
________3. una/después/hizo/de/ocho/las/pausa
________4. dedos/punta/la/cerró/los/gaveta/de/con
________5. talones/boca/los/y/abrió/afirmó/la
________6. ser/tiene/anestecia/que/sin
________7. mirar/hizo/al/todo/alcalde/sin
________8. trapo/el/le/un/limpio/dio/dentista
________9. muertos/paga/teniente/nos/aqu’/veinte
________10. la/-dijo/pasa/cuenta/me
____5.a. Comment briefly on the following.
________1. “una mirada que raras veces correspond’a a la situación.”
________2. “el dentista vio en sus ojos marchitos muchas noches de desesperación.”
________3. “sintió un vacio helado en los riñones.”
________4. “Aqu’ nos page veinte muertos, teniente.”
________5. “Es la misma vaina.”
____6.a. Answer the following questions in Spanish. Use full sentences. Create a paragraph.
________l. Además de ser dentista “sin titulo”, ¿qué era Don Escovar?
________2. Describe su fisionom’a y carácter
________3. ¿Qué hac’a Don Aurelio cuando llego su niño?
________4. ¿Que quer’a el alcalde?
________5. ¿Por qué estuvo de acuerdo Don Aurelio en hacer la operación? Crees tú que por el revolver que tra’a el alcaldé?
________6. ¿Qué hizo el alcalde cuando supo que la extirpación tendréia que ser “sin anestecia”?
________7. ¿Qué posible significado tienen pare t’ estas palabras:? “Aqui nos paga veinte muertos, teniente.”
________8. ¿Cómo estaba el alcalde luego de la operación?
________9. ¿Por qué, si es alcalde, le da al dentista un saludo militar?
________10. ¿Qué tipo de satisfacción obtuvo el dentista?

to top

IV. “El asesino desinteresado Bill Harrigan”, by Jorge Luis Borges.

____A. BASE VOCABULARY (in order of appearance in story).
________1. desinteresado-desprendido, apartado del interés. disinterested, impartial.
________2. Ilustre-illustrious, noble.
________3. fundamento-foundation, groundwork.
________4. vertiginosa-(adj.) transient disturbance of the judgement.
________5. meseta-elevated and flat terrain of great extension.
________6. pelado-(adj.) plucked, bare, hairless.
________7. pistoletazos-pistol shot, the shot of a wound.
________8. aturden-to perturb, to confuse.
________9. emisor-one who emits.
________10. veteado-striped, veined, streaky.
________11. reluciente-relucent, lucent, light, clear.
________12. conventillo-(dim.) convent.
________13. deb’a-owed.
________14. Irlandés-native of Ireland.
________15. catinga-(americanismo)-del Guaran’ Cati, olor fuerte y desagradable propio de algunas plantas y animales// olor que las personas, especialmente los negros, exhalan.
________16. vientre-belly.
________17. mota-(american’smo) pelo crespo, especialmente el de los negros. kinky hair.
________18. primado-most prominent.
________19. pecas-freckles.
________20. crencha-the parting of the hair in two equal parts.
________21. esmirriádo-thin, tired, consumed.
________22. chúcaro-concave.
________23. soez-mean, vile, worthless.
________24. pandilla-gang.
________25. cloaca-sewer, a conduct for dirty water.
________26. niebla-fog, mist, haze,damp.
________27. fétido-fetid, stinking.
________28. desmorronaban-destroying little by little.
________29. cascotazo-hit on the head.
________30. restitu’an-returning to the place of departure.
________31. encanecido-(adj.) gray haired.
________32. envenedador-(adj.) poisoning.
________33. buhardilla-small garret.
________34. jorobada-(adj.)crooked, hunchback.
________35. volcaba, -upsetting, overturning, dumping.
________36. transeúnte-passer-by.
________37. balde-buckett.
________38. ahogaba-to suffocate, smother.
________39. en seguida-(idiom)right away, at once.
________40. pululaban-to swarm.
________41. arrebataban-to snatch, to carry away.
________42. saqueaban-to sack, plunder, pillage, loot.
________43. aprendizaje-apprenticeship.
________44. desdeñaba-to scorn, disdain.
________45. presentimiento-presentiment, premonition.
________46. alcen el trapo-(idiom).
________47. ponientes-sunsets.
________48. hacha-axe.
________49. demoledora-(adj.) to demolish.
________50. bisonte-bison, buffalo.
________51. despejado-clear, cloudless.
________52. desaforada-colossal, huge.
________53. acompasado-rhythmic; slow;easy going; cautious.
________54. pobló-populated.
________55. aculebrado-(adj.) like a serpent.
________56. taberna-bar, saloon.
________57. todopoderoso-almighty.
________58. destemplada-(adj.) unpleasant, irregular.
________59. agrietan-to crack.
________60. acodados-(adj.) elbow-shaped.
________61. fornidos-husky, sturdy, well built, robust.
________62. pendenciero-quarrelsom..
________63. ostentación-ostentation, appearance.
________64. impasiblemente-impassively.
________65. Hay quienes hablan-(idiom) there are those who speak.
________66. aguardiente-brandy, moonshine, liquor.
________67. anonadan-to overwhelm, to humble.
________68. cimarrona-untamed, wild.
________69. laterales-lateral, at the sides.
________70. hijos de perras-sons of bitches.
________71. desaf’o-challenge, dare.
________72. susurran-to whisper.
________73. temerosamente-in a fearful or timid way.
________74. detonación-detonation, noise.
________75. retumba-to resound, to rumble.
________76. parapetado-sheltered, behind a parapet.
________77. cordon-cord, strand, string;a military cordon, formed by a line of troops to prevent any communication.
________78. intruso-intruder.
________79. reanuda-resumes
________80. concede-to concede, to grant.
________81. apretones-(de mano), handshakes.
________82. adulaciones-flatteries, compliments.
________83. tiende su frazada-(phrase) spreads his blanket.
________84. muchachuelo-male youth.
________85. estribar-to lean, rest.
________86. vagabundo-vagabond, wanderer, roamer, (adj. in text)
________87. troperos-cowboys.
________88. burdeles-brothels.
________89. arrastraban-to drag, impel.
________90. lucidez-lucidness, brilliancy, brightness.
________91. squeado-to consider with disgust or dislike, to disdain.
________92. punter’a-aim, n~arksmanship.
________93. pormenores-details, particulars.
________94. irrecuperables-irretrievable.
________95. lujo-luxury.
________96. coraje-anger.
________97. al galope-at a gallop.
________98. descerrajo-to discharge fire-arms.
________99. overo-
________100. encajo-to insert, put in;to give, let go.
________101. trancó-to bar, to barricade, to close.
________102. desarmaron-disarmed him.
________103. cachivache-good-for-nothing.
________104. envainaron-to sheathe.
________105. espanto-fright.
________106. burlas-jokes, mockery.
________107. vidriera-glass window, stroe window.
________108. almacén-department store, warehouse.
________109. t’lbury-
________110. leguas a la redonda-(idiom)
________111. maquillar-to apply make-up.
________112. enterraron-to bury.
________113. con júbilo-(idiom) with joy, jubilation.
____1.b. complete the sentences with the appropriate word/s from the list at the end of this exercise.
________1. En la imágen de tierras de Arizona y New Mexico se encontraba _____ de Billy de Kid.
________2. Al morir, Bill Harrigan deb’a _____ vidas; “sin contar mejicanos”.
________3. Billy the Kid nació en _____.
________4. Se crió entre _____.
________5. De niño perteneció a _____ “the Swamp Angels”.
________6. A Bill Harrigan le _____ asistir a los melodramas de “cowboys”.
________7. El _____ atra’a a los americaños de la época.
________8. En 1873 Billy the Kid se encuentra en una _____ bebiendo aguardiente.
________9. _____ a un tal El Dago.
________10. De esa muerte _____ Billy the Kid y murió Bill Harrigan.
________11. Preparaba fiestas y pagaba _____ a balazos.
________12. _____ le proporcionó dos balazos.
________13. Hombres _____ de leguas a la redonda.
________14. Al cuarto d’a lo enterraron _____.
Nueva York
la otra imágen
El Dago
la cuenta
la pandilla
con júbilo
El comisario Garret
____2.b. Write the infinitive of the verb which corresponds to each word and translate into English.
________1. aturden
________2. reluciente
________3. desmorronaban
________4. desgarrones
________5. anonadan
________6. desaf’o
________7. adulaciones
________8. envainaron
________9. acudieron
________10. enterraron
________11. demoledora
________12. presentimiento
3.b. Replace the words given in English for a Spanish counterpart.
________1. pride
________2. fleeing
________3. large silver coins
________4. with a serpent and an eagle
________5. fronteir man
________6. anger
4.b. Provide a brief comment on the following items.
________1. Resplandor de esqueleto pelado por los pájaros.
________2. “sin contar mejicanos”
________3. Atracción del oeste
________4. Enterer con júbilo
5.b. Choose the word/s from column B opposite in meaning to each word in column A.
___________ 1. desinteresado
___________ 2. ilustre
___________ 3. resplandor
___________ 4. fatigado
___________ 5. esmirriádo
___________ 6. soez
___________ 7. fétido
___________ 8. restituir
___________ 9. intruzo
___________ 10. muchachuelo
___________ 11. burlas
___________ 12. lujo
___________ 13. espanto
___________ 14. con júbilo
________a. fornido
________b. educado
________c. oscuridad
________ch. adulaciones
________d. fresco, listo
________e. hombre
________f. familiar, bienvenido
________g. interesado
________h. pobreza
________i. con pena
________j. gracia
________k. oloroso
________l. malvado, común
________m. quitar, partir
____6.b. Answer the following questions in Spanish. Use full sentences. Create a paragraph.
________1. ¿A qué edad muere Bill Harrigan?
________2. ¿Cuál era su origen étnico?
________3. ¿Por qué se marcha al oeste?
________4. ¿A dónde va?
________5. ¿Por qué mata a Belisario Villagrán, “el Dago”?
________6. ¿En qué pueblo se encuentra con el comisario Garret?
________7. ¿Qué reacción hubo en el pueblo luego de su muerte?
________8. ¿Crees que es una historia fantástica?, expande.
V. “Nos hen dado la sierra”, by Juan Rulfo
A. BASE VOCABULARY (in order of appearance in story).
________1. rajada-(adj.) split, cracked, broken open.
________2. grietas-crevices, cracks, clefts.
________3. muy allá-(idiom)-much farther, way over there.
________4. ahorita (americanism) right now.
________5. ese alguien-(idiom) that someone.
________6. hace rato-(idiom) a while ago.
________7. neintitantos-twenty some odd.
________8. puñito a puñito-(idiom) handful by handful.
________9. desperdigando-to separate, scatter.
________10. platicar’a-to converse, to talk over, to discuss.
________11. resuello-breathing, hard breathing, panting.
________12. plasta-soft mass;flattned object.
________13. salivazo-portion of salivaspit at once.
________14. ¿Quién diablos?-(idiom) Who the devil.
________15. huizaches-(americanism)tree, similar to the “acacia”.
________16. trespeleques-insignificant subjects of low social class.
________17. manchita-pieces of terrain distinguisable from other due to particularities.
________18. zacate-(americanismo) del azteca “zacatl”, grass.
________19. enroscadas-(adj.) to coil, to twist.
________20. terciada (adj.) to swing over one’s shoulders.
________21. “la 30”-type of pistol.
________22. carabina-carabine, small machine gun.
________23. son otro asunto-(idiom) are another matter.
________24. tanta y tamaña tierra pare nada (sentence)-So much and such a big land for nothing.
________25. tatema-del azteca tatemar, to brown, to bake.
________26. Costra de tepetate (amer.idiom)-costra:scab, crust. tepetate:type of rock.
________27. jeta-nog’s snout, thick, heavy lips.
________28. casuarinas y paraneras-types of trees.
________29. yuntas-yokes.
________30. doter-to endow.
________31. azadón-hoe.
________32. comal-(amer.)disco de barro, en el cual se cuecen tortillas y se tuestan granos, café, ma’z, cacao.
________33.r etoña-to sprout.
________34. zopilotes-turkey vulture.
________35. terregal (amer.)-tierra suelta, polvareda.
________36. reculando-to back up, to recoil.
________37. pepenaste (amer.) del azteca’pepena’, to collect what is on the ground.
________38. merqué-to buy
________39. bastimento-supply, provisions.
________40. derrumbadero-crag, precipice.
________41. zangolotea-to jiggle, to flop around, to rattle.
________42. parvadas-a large amount of something.
________43. chacalacas-(amer.) del azteca-a type of loud chicken
________44. retacha-(amer.)rebotar un cuerpo elástico.
________45. desentumecerla-to relieve of numbness.
________46. tepemezquites-especies of cactus.
________47. arriendo-return, turn back.
1.c. Complete the sentences with the appropriate word/s from the list at the end of the exercise.
________1. Después de muchas horas de caminar ___ ni semilla ni sombra.
________2. Al final de la llanura seca ___.
________3. A las once de la mañana, caminaban hombres.___.
________4. Cuando el cuento comienza quedan ___ hombres solamente.
________5. Cuando cae una gota de agua, los hombres esperan que ___ más.
________6. El personaje nos dice que desde que era muchacho nunca vio llover en ___.
________7. ___ se esconden en la sombra de una piedra.
________8. El delegado no vino a converser, vino a traer ___.
________9. Los hombres le dicen al delegado que no han dicho nada ___, sino contra el llano.
________10. El gobierno quiere que los campesinos ___ semillas.
________11. Esteban llevaba ___ debajo de su gavan.
________12. Esteban llevaba su gallina para ___ y no para comersela.
________13. Cuando llegan al pueblo se oye ___.
________14. Los hombres dicen que les gusta ___.
________15. La tierra que les hen dado está ___.
el polvo
en contra del centro
hay un pueblo
una gallina
ladrar a los perros
las lagartijas
los papeles
“allá arriba”
el llano
____2.c. Write the infinitive of the verb which corresponds to each word and translate into English.
________1. rajada
________2. saborea
________3. llueva
________4. platicar’a
________5. cayendo
________6. ocurre
________7. probado
________8. resbalan
________9. nacerá
________10. manifiéstenlo
________11. endurecido
________12. dado
____3.c. Structures: form sentences or phrases using the given words. Refer to the story for the correct structures.
________1. dado/la/nos/tierra/han
________2. todav’a/muy/está/el/allá/pueblo
________3. somos/nudo/nosotros/que
________4. gota/cae/agua/de/una
________5. para/tamaña/tanta/y/nada/tierra
________6. oir/nos/quiso/no
____4.c. Choose the word/s from column B opposite in meaning to each word in column A.
___________ 1. allá
___________ 2. hace rato
___________ 3. cerca
___________ 4. lluvia
___________ 5. dar
___________ 6. peligroso
___________ 7. a pie
___________ 8. tierras de riego
___________ 9. salir lejos
___________ 10.seguir adelante
________a. quitar
________b. lejos
________c. aqu’
________ch. a caballo
________d. tierras áridas
________e. ahorita
________f. regresar
________g. salir cerca
________h. sequ’a
________i. salvo
____5.c. Provide a brief statement on the following items.
________1. ni una semilla de árbol, ni una ra’z de nada.
________2. ¿Quién diablos har’a este llano tan grande? ¿Para qué sirve,eh?
________3. A mi se me ocurre que hemos caminado más de lo que llevamos andando.
________4. Es al latifundio que tienen que atacar, no al gobierno que les da la tierra.
________5. No se puede contra lo que no se puede.
____6.c. Answer the following questions in Spanish,.Use full
sentences. Create a paragraph.
________1. ¿Qué oyen los hombres después de muchas horas de caminar por el llano?
________2. ¿Qué acerca el pueblo a los hombres?
________3. ¿Cuantas personas hab’an comenzado el viaje?
________4. ¿Quer’an hablar los hombres?
________5. ¿Además de la carabina, ¿qué le quitaron a los campesinos?
________6. ¿Cuál es la actitud de los peones frente al delegado del gobierno?
________7. ¿En tu opinión, ¿crees que los hombres están contentos?, ¿podran sobrevivir en esas tierras?
________8. ¿Qué crees del titulo del cuento?

to top


Franco, Jean: An Introduction to Spanish-American Literature. Cambridge University Press, Great Britain, 1969.

1. page 344.
2. IBid. pg. 344.
3. IBid. pg. 347.
4. IBid. pg. 305.
5. IBid. pg. 305.
6. IBid. pg. 306.
7. IBid. pg. 305.
8. Rulfo, Juan: El llano en llamas. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica,1986. pg. 12.
9. IBid. pg. 10.

to top

VII. OTHER WORKS By Gabriel Garc’a Márquez

1955-La Hojarasca (novel). Ediciones S.L. Bogotá.

1958-El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba (novel).

Mito, Num. 19 (mayo-junio), pp. 1-38.

1962-Los Funerales de la Mamá Grande (cuentos). Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico.

1962-La mala hora (novel). Talleres de Gráficas Luis Pérez.,Madrid.

1967-Cien años de soledad (novel). Editorial Sudamericana, Buenos Aires.

1970-Relato de un naufrago (cuento). Tusquests, Editor, Barcelona.

1972-La increible y triste historia de la Candida Erendira y su abuela desalmada (cuentos). Barral Editores, Barcelona.

1974-Cuando era feliz e indocumentado (reportajes) Plaza & Janes, Barcelona.

1975-El otoño del patriarca (novel). Plaza & Janes, Barcelona.

By Jorge Luis Borges (short Stories)

1935-Historia Universal de la Infamia. Colección megáfono, 3., Buenos Aires.

1942-El Jard’n de los Senderos qué se Bifurcan. Sur, EC. Buenos Aires.

1944-Ficciones, Sur, EC. Buenos Aires.

1949-El Aleph. Losada, Ed. Buenos Aires.

1951-La Muerte y la Brújula. Emecé, Buenos Aires.

By Juan Rulfo

1953-El llano en llamas (cuentos). Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico.

1955-Pedro Páramo (novel). Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico.

to top

VIII. TEACHER’S BIBLIOGRAPHY on Gabriel Garc’a Márquez

Amorós, Andres: Cien años de Soledad, Revista de Occidente, núm.70 (enero de 1969), pp.58-62.

Benedetti, Mario: “Gabriel Garc’a Márquez o la vigilia o la vigilia dentro del sueño”, Letras de continente mestizo (Montevideo: Collección Arca, 1967), pp. 45-154.

Campos, Jorge: “Garc’a Márquez fábula o realidad”, Insula (Letras de America), num, 258. pp.11-12.

Dessau, Adalbert: “El tema de la soledad en las novelas de Gabriel Garc’a Márquez”, El ensayo y la cr’tica literaria en Iberoamerica (Toronto: Universidad de Toronto, 1970), pp. 209-214.

Domingo, José: “Gabriel Garc’a Márquez”, Insula, Núm. 259, pp.6-8.

Franco, Jean: “El mundo grotesco de Garc’a Márquez”, Indice, Num. 24 (1968), pp37.

Fuentes, Carlos:-Garc’a Márquez: la segunda lectura”, La nueva novela Hispanoamericana (México: Cuadernos de Joaqu’n Mort’z, 1969), pp.58-67.

Giacoman, Helmy F. (ED) “Homenaje a Gabriel Garc’a Márquez”, New York: Las Americas Publishing Co., 1972.

Gullón, Ricardo: “Garc’a Márquez o el olvidado arte de contar”, Asomante, Num. 3. (1969), pp.7-17. (como libro: Madrid: Taurus Ediciones, S.A., 1970).

Maddocks, Melvin: “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, LIFE (book review), June 5. 1970, p.12.

Oviedo, José Miguel: “Macondo: un territorrio mágico y americano”, Asedios a Garc’a Márquez, (Santiago:Ed. Universitaria, 1971), pp. 89-105.

Rama, Angel: “Una novela de la violencia americana”, Asedios a Garc’a Márquez, (Santiago: Ed. Universitaria, 1971), pp.106-125.

Rodr’guez-Monegal, Emir: Narradores de esta America, Montevideo: Ed. Alfa, 1969). La hazaña de un escritor”, Visión (18 de julio de 1969), pp.27-31.

Urondo, Francisco: “La buena hora de Garc’a Márquez: Cuadernos Hispanoamericaños (Madrid), num. 232 (abril de 1969), pp. 163-168.

Wolff, Gregory: “The Fable Made Flesh”, Newsweek (books), March 2, 1970, pp. 88-89.

Zavala, Iris M: “Cien años de soledad, Crónica de Indias”, Insula (Madrid), tomo xxv. num.286 septiembre de 1970), pp.3-11.

On Jorge Luis Borges

Alazraki, Jaime: “Jorge Luis Borges”, New York: Columbia University Press, 1969.

Barrenechea, Ana Mar’a: “Borges the Labyrinth Maker”, Ed. and Trans. Robert Lima, New York: New York University Press, 1965.

Christ, Ronald J: “The Art of Fictions Jorge Luis Borges”. Paris Review 40 (Winter-Spring 1967), pp.116-64.

Costa, Rene de: “A Note on Narrative voice in Borge’s Early Fiction”. Modern Philology 76 (1978), pp. 193-96.

Dunham, Lowell and Ivar Ivask, Eds: “The Cardinal points of Borges”, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971.

Engu’danos, Miguel: “Imagination and escape in the Short Stories of Jorge Luis Borges.” Texas Quarterly 4 (Winter 1961):118-27.

Flores, Angel: “Magical Realism in Spanish American Fiction”, Hispania 38 (May 1955):187-92.

Kerrigan, Anthony: “Introduction to Ficciones.”, Ed. A. Kerrigan, New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1962.

Levine, Suzanne Jill:”A Universal Tradition: The Fictional Biography.” Review No.8 (1973):24-28.

McBride, Mary: “Jorge Luis Borges, Existentialist: The Aleph and the Relativity of Human Perception.” Studies in Short Fiction 14 (1977), 401-03.

Rodrigues-Monegal, Emir: “Jorge Luis Borges: A Literary Biography.” New York:E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1978.

Shaw, Donald L: “Borges: Ficciones.” London: Grant and Cutler, 1976.

On Juan Rulfo

Anderson Imbert, Enrique: Historia de la literature hispanoamericana, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico, 1957.

Fernández Moreno, César (coordinator): América Latina en su literature, Mexico: Siglo XXI, 1972, pgs., 199-200, 233.

Franco Jean: Spanish American Literature Since Independence. London: Benn, 1973, pas. 246-252.

Gnutzmann, Rita: “Perspectives narratives de El llano en llamas, de Juan Rulfo”, Anales de literature hispanoamericana (1972), 321-336.

Leal, Luis: Breve historia del cuento mexicano, Ediciones de Andrea, Mexico, 1956.

Luraschi, Ilse: “Some Stylistic Devices in the Works of Juan Rulfo”, University of Pittsbugh (thesis), 1972.

Rodr’guez Alcalá, Hugo: El arte de Juan Rulfo, Ediciones de Bellas Artes, Mexico, 1965.

to top


Borges, Jorge Luis: Historia universal de la infamia, Alianza Editorial, S.A., Madrid, 1971; Emece Editores, S.A., Buenos Aires, 1954.

de Garayalde, Giovanna: Jorge Luis Borges: Sources and Illumination, The Octagon Press, London, 1978.

———. Diccionario Manual Ilustrado de la Lengua Espanola, VOX, Bibliograf, S.A., Barcelona, 1954; 3rd Edition, 1972; Revisión y Prólogo por D. Samuel Gili Gaya.

Franco, Jean: An Introduction to Spanish-American Literature, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1969.

Garc’a Márquez, Gabriel: Los funerales de la Mamá Grande, Editorial Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1982.

Gordon, Donald K.: Los cuentos de Juan Rulfo, Colección Nova Scholar, Playor, S.A., Madrid, 1976.

Neves, Alfredo N.: Diccionario de Americanismos, Editorial Sopena Argentina, S.A., Buenos Aires, 1973.

———. Recopilación de textos sobre Gabriel Garc’a Márquez, Serie Valoración Múltiple, Centro de Investigaciones Literarias, Casa de las Americas, La Habana, Cuba.

———. Recopilación de textos sobre Juan Rulfo, Serie Valoración Múltiple, Centro de Investigaciones Literarias, Casa de las Americas, La Habana, Cuba.

Rulfo, Juan: El llano en llamas, Colección Popular, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico, 1953, 1986.

Sommers, Joseph: La narrativa de Juan Rulfo: Interpretaciones cr’ticas, Secretar’a de Educación Pública, Sep/Setentas, Mexico, 1974.

Velázquez: A New Pronouncing Dictionary of the Spanish and English Languages, Wilcox and Follett Company, Chicago, New York, 1943.

to top

Contents of 1987 Volume I | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

© 2016 by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Terms of Use Contact YNHTI