Posted: 9/15/22

TAMIU's Dr. José Cardona-López Publishes New Short Novel, "La Vieja Inés"


La Vieja Ines Book cover

A short novel or nouvelle, written in Spanish by Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Regents Professor of Spanish American Literature Dr. José Cardona-López, has been recently published by the Mexican publisher, Ediciones Eón.

Titled, "La vieja Inés: (Todo sobre el caso Torres Villaquirán)," translated as "The Old Inés: (Everything about the Torres Villaquirán Case)," explores the oppressive and absurd Torres Villaquirán case in a serious and at the same, comical manner, according to Patricia Méndez, who wrote the book introduction.

The book, according to Méndez's introduction, represents a satire against a society that favors killings. It is a mockery against expressions of power, which for its rigor and effectiveness, is based on the ambiguous and curly language that is usually present in its laws.

 Dr. Cardona-López said he feels proud and satisfied with his work.

"I feel very proud and satisfied," he said, "This publication is the result of a very patient work of reading, researching, and writing. In it I used a very serious matter and tool: the humor for laughing and smiling. It is an absurd story, probably the re-writing of a typical tribunal case in which a person is sued for not doing what according to society and its laws she/he must do. During the 20th Century, many writers did so. What I have tried to do is placing a case and its trial beneath a complete shadow of humor. Also, present it as a show, as it happens with many of our activities in the present times of social networks."

Cardona-López said that over the course of world’s history, thousands of judiciary cases have been filed in which justice has failed.

"This situation has transitioned to literature’s pages. If we watch it under the magnifying glass that is humor, the other side of things appears," he said, "And we always need to see those other sides…and language is very important to do it. For this reason, in my nouvelle, language is very important. Sometimes, it becomes a character."

Cardona-López has been working actively on the main subject of his scholarly agenda, the Hispanic novella or nouvelle. This year saw the publication of  "Una selva tan infinita. Teoría de la novela corta: deslindes y reflexiones " (Such an infinite jungle. Short novel theory: boundaries and reflections) Ciudad de México: Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. The book edition was brought to fruition by  Dr. Cardona-López and Dr. Elsa Rodríguez Brondo.

Dr. Cardona-López has presented papers on this subject in several international conferences, and has published numerous articles on it. In 2014, during the III International Colloquium on Mexican Novella (UNAM), he delivered an open class on how to talk about a novella or nouvelle.

Originally from Palmira, Colombia, Cardona-López has been a member of the TAMIU faculty since 1997. He earned his Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Kentucky and an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. His B.S. in Agricultural Engineering was earned at the National University in Palmira.

Author of the internationally renowned novel, Sueños para una siesta (Dreams for a Nap) and several short story books, he received the prestigious Laurel Trilce de Oro (Golden Laurel Trilce), a Peruvian Award for his Lifelong Contribution to Literature and Culture, in 2015.

His book, Teoría y práctica de la nouvelle (Theory and Practice of the Nouvelle), is devoted to the study and discussion of the most important theoretical approaches to the "short novel," novella or nouvelle, a narrative genre that presently is having a revival in the United States and several Hispanic countries. His articles and essays on the Spanish American literature have appeared in prestigious academic journals.  

Some of his short stories have been included in anthologies published in Canada, Colombia, Spain, the United States and Perú. Short stories and micro-fictions by him have appeared in printed and electronic magazines in Colombia and abroad.

"La vieja Inés" is available in both print and e-book formats at: https://edicioneseon.com.mx/shop/la-vieja-ines/ and elibro.com

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

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