Antonio Soler on Contemporary Spanish Culture

On Wednesday, December 3, Spanish novelist Antonio Soler gave a lecture entitled “Contemporary Spanish Culture: 39 years of democracy after 39 years of dictatorship.”

Among other topics, Soler spoke about the recent history of Spain in relation to Spanish literature and culture and how the major publishing houses, driven by demands to be profitable, have encouraged authors to create uncomplicated, easily read literature that doesn’t require much thought from the reader.

The talk was in Spanish with an English translation by Giulia Pagano ’17.  The translation was projected on a screen behind the speaker so that all audience members could understand.

A question and answer session followed the talk, where Prof. Aldrich and Prof. Margaret Frohlich translated Soler’s answers into English as he spoke.

Student Kathryn Cargill ’16 said of the lecture, “Soler’s talk was highly informative and thought-provoking. He seemed a bit pessimistic about the route that Spanish literature is taking, but his answers to audience questions proved that he does have hope for the future.”

Soler is the Fall 2014 Writer-in-Residence for the Spanish and Portuguese department. He has been working with Prof. Aldrich’s SPAN 340 class, “Spanish Literature of the Transition (1968-1998): Encounters with the Imagination and the Other” this semester. Also, on November 13, he gave a reading of and talk about his short story, “Lilí.”

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