Tag Archives: hispanic history

Dulce Maria Loynaz

“Dulce Maria Loynaz: (1903-1997) Cuban poet and prose writer. Born in Havana to a father who was a general in the struggle for Cuban independence, she showed her poetic gifts early, publishing her first poems in La Nacion at age seventeen. She studied civil law, and practice until 1961. In her major books, Versos, 1920-1938 (1938), Juegos de agua: Versos del agua y del amor (1947), Poemas sin nombre (1953), Carta de amor a Tut-ank-Amen (1953), and Ultimos dias de una casa (1958), the poet is intensely concerned with the beauty and evocative capacity of language which she uses to express nostalgia for places, scenery, and people, and to sing of the beauty of Cuba. Her devotion to language manifested itself in a process of distillation, though which she moved away from the formal elements of poetry, such as rhyme and verse forms, toward a poetic prose. In fact, her novel Jardin (1951) is characterized by the kind of lyrical expression on which her poetry is built. These qualities also pervade her travel book, Un Verano en Tenerife (1958). She received the Cervantes Prize in 1993.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

The Weekly Text, 8 October 2021, Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 Week IV: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on Los Angeles

Here on the fourth Friday of Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, is a reading on Los Angeles along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

This second-largest city in the United States, known in the vernacular by its initialism, L.A., was founded as a city in 1781, but claimed as Spanish territory by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542. The city became Mexican territory in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. Then, in 1848 (a momentous year in world history, to say the least), after the Mexican-American War, following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the United States purchased the territory that became the state of California two years later, in 1850.

The city is a rich producer and repository of Chicano culture. This is the municipality, after all, that played a role in giving the world the nonpareil Los Lobos.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Book of Answers: Mario Vargas Llosa

“From what country does Mario Vargas Llosa hail? Peru.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Cultural Literacy: Bay of Pigs

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba in 1961. This is a full-page worksheet with a reading of four relatively dense compound sentences and five comprehension questions. The Bay of Pigs debacle, as the reading observes, was an embarrassment to the administration of President John F. Kennedy. It is also a significant moment in the history of the Cold War.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva

“Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva: Known as Jose Bonifacio (1763?-1838) Chief architect of Brazil’s independence from Portugal. Andrada was born in Brazil but educated in Portugal, where he became a distinguished scholar. On returning to Brazil in 1819, he became chief minister of the Portuguese prince regent (later the emperor Pedro I), who had fled Portugal with the rest of the royal family to escape Napoleon. He became the leading intellectual advocate of independence. After Pedro I declared Brazil independent in 1822, Andrada served as prime minister and as tutor to the child emperor, Pedro II, who became an effective and enlightened monarch.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Alamo

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Alamo. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of three dense compound sentences and three questions. I am tempted to explain why I take issue with the use of the word “heroic” in the text, but perhaps that is best left to the students reading it.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Manuel Puig on the Psychology of Oppression

“Outside of this cell we may have our oppressors, yes, but not one inside. Here one oppresses the other. The only thing that seems to disturb me…because I’m exhausted, or conditioned, or perverted…is that someone wants to be nice to me, without asking anything back for it.”

Manuel Puig, Kiss of the Spider Woman ch. 11 (1976)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Cultural Literacy: Guatemala

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Guatemala. This is a full-page worksheet with a four-sentence reading and eight comprehension questions. I contrived the questions for this text with an eye toward assisting students in developing their own understanding of how to tease out relatively complex details in a text. In this case, that work involves situating Guatemala in relation to its neighboring nations in Central America.

Editorially (if I may), I think Guatemala ought to be a subject of deeper inquiry in our world history or global studies (or whatever your district calls these kinds of courses), especially the dreadful consequences of United States foreign policy in this sovereign nation. Reading the primary documents from this period leads to the inescapable conclusion that the United States government was complicit in genocide.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Ariel

“Ariel: (1900) An essay by Jose Enrique Rod, which had a tremendous impact on Hispanic American Intellectuals. Rodo appealed to the youth of Spanish American to aspire to be the spirituality, idealism, and rationality symbolized by Shakespeare’s Ariel and to reject the brutishness and sensuality represented by Caliban. Because Rodo censured U.S. materialism and utilitarianism in the essay, many readers erroneously assumed that he was pitting Anglo-Saxon crassness against Latin idealism. A later essay by Fernandes Retamar made a quite different interpretation of Caliban, as the native and victim of imperialism.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Cultural Literacy: Carlos Fuentes

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Carlos Fuentes. This is a half-page worksheet with a one-sentence reading (the sentence is longish and might require editing for some readers) and two short comprehension questions. It’s the barest of introductions to this eminent Mexican novelist and essayist; enough to help students gain knowledge of Carlos Fuentes, a significant figure in world literature. In other words, students will gain passing cultural literacy from this document, but little more.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.