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Spanish Stories

Book Review

 

Title:

Spanish Stories - Cuentos Espaņoles

Editor:

Angel Flores

Publisher:

Dover Publications Inc., New York, NY

ISBN:

0-486-25399-6

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

July, 2000

Rating:

Spanish Stories - Cuentos Espaņoles  is a dual-language Spanish-English book of short stories by Spanish authors  in the original language with a side-by-side translation into English. The book contains 13 classical stories by well-known authors about Spanish and Spanish-American  life and culture. Notes about each story and a vocabulary listing are included in the appendix at the end of the book.

ama-0486253996.gif (9284 bytes)Each of these stories is an important and exciting Spanish language work in its own right. Authors from the past such as Quiroga and Cervantes and works by contemporary authors including Cela and Goytisolo are among the treasures to be found in this collection. Each story gives insight into Iberian and South American thinking and culture as it is manifested in literature. Those that are not of Spanish descent will find these stories particularly fresh and entertaining.

The text is presented in its original Spanish language form along with a corresponding English translation. The Spanish in these stories requires a firm grasp of the language -- the grammar is not suitable for the beginning student. It is possible to look to the English translation for clarification, or to read the book entirely in either English or Spanish without losing any of the richness of the stories.

Much of the complex vocabulary and details of the translation are covered in great detail at the rear of the book. These resources will assist most readers in understanding the complexities of the colloquialisms in the stories and save countless hours of searching for the meaning of complex phrases and new words. A list of questions about each story is also included in the appendix to test reading comprehension.

Another aspect of this work that is exciting is that the life and background of each author is given at the beginning of the story so that the reader can grasp what the author attempts to accomplish in the presentation of the story. This feature provides a foundation for understanding each story in context.

This book is a real gem and should be considered required reading for any student of the Spanish language. The stories in this work are some of the most important short stories rendered in Spanish from the most highly regarded authors. English or Spanish -- this book is an entertaining evening of reading.

 

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