TCU Daily Skiff Tueday, April 13, 2004
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Professors speak on Latin American literature

By Lori Russell
Staff Reporter

Jazz music mingled into Moudy Building South Monday evening along with a large crowd of students and guests who came to hear David Bedford, a professor of Spanish and Latin American studies, discuss genres of Latin American literature.

Joseph Butler, associate dean of the school of fine arts, introduced Bedford and the two respondents for the evening, Neil Easterbrook, an English professor, and Bonnie Frederick, who chairs the Spanish and Latin American studies department.

Bedford focused on the definitions and descriptions of different categories of English and Argentinean literature, including discussions of science fiction and magical realism.

He discussed some of the differences between each form, pointing out elements embraced by both English and Latin writers.

Frederick followed Bedford’s lecture with a discussion of the influence of Edgar Allen Poe on the Latin American writers of the 19th century.

“They were entranced by his use of words, the musicality of his writing and they imitated that polished use of words in their own writing,” Frederick said.

Tessie Mosteiro, a guest who attended the lecture, said she found the lecture very interesting.

“Even though I had never really thought about it before, being familiar with Poe and (Jorge Luis) Borges, I could see the comparisons being drawn between the two,” Mosteiro said.

Words in the fantastic genre of Latin American writing begin to take on their own life and carry the reader from the real to the unreal world, Frederick said.

Easterbrook addressed the basic notion of defining or describing too specifically different categories of writing.

“Genre terms are only ways of focusing our discussions — not facts,” Easterbrook said. “When we think of them as facts we limit their development.”

Ryan Miller, a freshman math major, said he had never thought about breaking down the genre into different types before.

Sarah Chacko/Photo Editor
David Bedford, professor of Spanish and Latin American studies, signs a copy of his book “The Labyrinth, The Ring and The Spaceship” after a lecture on Argentinean literature Monday evening in Moudy Building North.
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