TAMIU Professor's New 2004 Book Calls for More Rigor in Study of Hispanic Short Novels

TAMIU Professor's New Book Calls for More Rigor in Study of Hispanic Short Novels

A trailblazing Texas A&M International University faculty member has authored a new book that deeply examines the genre of the nouvelle or short novel in Hispanic literature.

Dr. José Cardona-López, associate professor of Spanish, and author of short story books, "Siete y tres nueve" (Seven Plus Three Equals Nine), "La puerta del espejo" (The Door of the Mirror) and "Todo es adrede" (Everything is Deliberate) as well as novel "Sueños para una siesta" (Dreams for a Nap), has published a new book titled, "Teoría y Práctica De La Nouvelle" (Theory and Practice of the Nouvelle).

Published by the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad de Juárez (Autonomous University of Juárez) Press, the book presents academic and critical ideas on a rarely discussed topic of short novel analysis within the framework of theories that have been presented in the world on what short novels or nouvelles should be.

The book is designed to encourage the study of Hispanic short novels in particular, which according to Cardona-López, have seldom been placed under the literary world's academic microscope.

"During my study, I found an enormous presence of reflections written on the narrative form of the nouvelle by critics and authors in France, Germany, England, Russia, and the United States," Dr. Cardona-López explained, "However, I noticed an absence of the same in Spain and Spanish America, even though during the first three decades of the 20th century, thousands of short novels began to appear in Spain."

In the book, Cardona-López reviews and discusses numerous theories on the nouvelle that were written in several languages. In addition, he reveals that little that has been said on the subject in Spanish America. In the latter part of the book, he analyzes five Hispanic narrations utilizing the theories presented about the nouvelle as a specific narrative form.

"Often, in Spanish America, when someone analyzes a short novel, they tend to make statements about the work being short or long but their study never goes beyond that," Cardona-López explained, "This happens because the person simply has no knowledge of the theories of the nouvelle or is not interested in discussing the rigors of the genre."

Cardona-López said his new book will be distributed among academics in both Mexico and the United States.

"What I am calling for is that more attention be placed on the framework of nouvelle theories when studying Hispanic short novels, and I am happy to know that some professors of Hispanic literature are already planning to utilize my book for their classes," he said.

With his book, Cardona-López said he also wishes to open the floor for future literary debates on the genre of the Hispanic nouvelle.

"What is important is for scholars to expose their ideas and to continue this process of studying. The purpose of my book is not to come out with absolute truths," Cardona-López said.

For further information, please contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326-2180, e-mail pais@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu