Hispanic Society Olivia Vázquez-Medina (Oxford University) on South American Literature

The Hispanic Society had the pleasure of welcoming Ms Olivia Vázquez-Medina to the college. Originally from Mexico and having moved to England 5 years ago to continue her research on South American Literature at Oxford University, there could be few people better to talk to us about our Pre U examination texts. The talk took the form of a university-style lecture with a discussion of our two Pre-U Literature text – El Túnel by the Argentinean author Ernesto Sábato and Crónica de una muerte anunciada by the acclaimed Columbian writer Gabriel García-Márquez. Ms Vázquez-Medina raised various comparisons between the two regarding the inadequacy of language as a medium of communication as well as the use of symbolism and narrative technique. Her ideas were well received and rigorously tested in the question and answers session that followed.

The evening ended with a brief slide show showing pictures of García-Márquez’s home town Aracataca, where the writer got much of his inspiration for his other more famous novels such as 100 Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera. All in all, it was a great success, both as a lecture that was engaging and interesting, and as an extremely useful final revision seminar before the imminent exams.

Chris Holcroft (DMG)