"Across the Spectrum: Hispanic Cultural Heritage," by Robert Lima

"Across the Spectrum: Hispanic Cultural Heritage," by Robert Lima

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"Across the Spectrum: Hispanic Cultural Heritage," by Robert Lima

This is a collection of new and previously published writings of Robert Lima on the cultural heritage that binds Spain with Central, Caribbean and South America through mythological beliefs and literary expressions.

Featured in the first part are the cultural roots that define the belief in and influence of the nature of evil and myths as found in the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and throughout the Mediterranean world from antiquity to the present. Following are chapters on Elche, where pagan and Christian mysteries meet; on the Caribbean, where Christian and African beliefs combine in Santería, Voudoun and Brazilian Candomblé; on the esoterica of Mexican painter-writer Leonora Carrington’s work; on the origins of Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) and Los Reyes Magos (The Wise Men of the Epiphany); and on the mythic mix in the belief system of Galicia, the northwestern region of Spain, wherein Celtic, Suevian and Roman topoi converged. It is in its folklore, which has been preserved in the oral tradition of Galicia and in a few written accounts, that the Celtic spirit of the people survives in the form closest to its roots. It is their principal myths, legends and superstitions that are here collected and retold.

The second part features a comprehensive assessment of the writers of Spain’s “Generación del 98,” which included Valle-Inclán, Unamuno, Azorín, Pío Baroja, Benavente, Antonio Machado, a group which Azorín baptized VABUMB. Following are writings on important works by three major authors: Ramón del Valle-Inclán (Galicia, Spain, 1866-1936), Federico García Lorca (Granada, Spain, 1898-1936), and Jorge Luis Borges (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1899-1986).

Three (five for Borges) essays are devoted to each author and their approach often includes matters that are covered in the first part of the manuscript, thus showing a cohesion.

Part One – Cultural Roots 

1. Gendering Evil: Pandora, Lilith, Satan
2. The Mystery Women of Elche
3. Afro-Centrism: Santería, Voudoun, Candomblé
4. Leonora Carrington: The Fine Art of Alchemy or the Mysterium Coniunctionis
5. Nochebuena: The Ancient Celtic and Roman Roots of Christmas
6. Los Reyes Magos: The Wise Men of the Epiphany
7. The Mythography of Galicia
A. The Legend of Santiago
B. The Tower of Breogán
C. As Meigas (Witches)
D. La Santa Compaña (The Company of the Dead Souls)
E. Rolando/Roland/Orlando
F. Os mariños (The Mariners)
G. Monte Pindo (Home of the Celtic Gods)
H. The Tower of Hercules
I. A Queimada (The Flaming Incantation)


Part Two – Literary Culture

8. Crisis and Response: The Dynamics of Spain’s “Generation of 1898”
9. Ramón del Valle-Inclán (1866-1936)
A. Midnight. The Gnostic Flight of WWI 111
B. Hermes Trismegistos in The Lamp of Marvels
C. The Esperpento: A Theatre of Absurdity, Cruelty and Savagery
10. Federico García Lorca (1898-1936)
A. The Angst of Sexuality in Bodas de sangre
B. The Dionysiac Dimension: Pagan Elements and Rites in Yerma
C. Off-Stage Males in La casa de Bernarda Alba
D. “Lorca”
11. Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)
A. Borges. The Man with the Occult Eye
B. Coitus Interruptus: Sexual Transubstantiation in the Works of JLB
C. Knight, Death and the Devil: Dürer’s Imprint on Two Poems by Borges
D. Borges on Borges
E. A Borges Suite
12. Santería in Cuban Literature
13. The Candomblé Plays of Zora Seljan


ISBN 978-1-58871-324-7 (HB) $50
ISBN 978-1-58871-325-4 (PB) $40