Review by Choice Review
This impressive history of the literature of Spain sets a new standard of excellence. Gies (Univ. of Virginia), his 46 collaborators, and Cambridge University Press are to be congratulated for fashioning a chronicle that is uniformly well thought out and well written. In addition to Gies's introduction--with its perceptive observations on collectively authored literary histories--the volume includes 56 discrete essays under ten headings that range from "History and Canonicity" to "Post-Franco Spanish Literature and Film." With the useful chronology, up-to-date bibliography, and 63-page index, the reader can easily put a finger on any author, work, or period. The strengths of the essays reflect the abilities of the volume's respected and internationally known contributors, who argue their expertise so clearly and so cogently that this reviewer found no discordant notes, no disappointments. Though singling out a handful of essays and qualities is difficult--if not grossly unfair, given the balance of the whole--several choices come to mind: an exceptionally good treatment of the Middle Ages; a bright section on Renaissance poetry; attention to women writers in the 19th century; and inclusive coverage of modern Catalan literature. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Academic collections at all levels. R. M. Fedorchek Fairfield University
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