The 5 most important books written in Spanish
- April 23rd, 2015
- Posted in Spanish Culture
Some of the world’s greatest literary achievements are Spanish language works. These works have transcended borders allowing students who speak just about any language to be able to enjoy the inspired letters. Below is a quick look at the 5 best books by authors who wrote in Spanish.
Don Quijote de la Mancha
This is considered by many historians as the most important novel in history and the one that has most influenced other authors since its publication 1605. It was written by Miguel de Carvantes Saavedra, and although it was created as a parody of the bestsellers of the time –Chilvalric Romances such as Amadís de Gaula –it quickly became a classic.
It’s also one of the most translated books in the world, and it tells the adventurous tale of an unwealthy noble who believes he’s a knight (named Don Quijote) and his sidekick Sancho Panza. The unlikely pair embarks on a series of curious, often absurd challenges including an attack by Don Quijote on windmills which he mistakes for giants.
La Celestina (also known as The Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea) is attributed to Fernando de Rojas. The work stirred great literary controversy when it was published sometime around 1500.
It was even banned at one point, but the ban was placed many years after the book had already spread around all of Europe when the story had become very well known. The story is about the impossible love between Calisto and Melibea, with Celestina the matchmaker to secure the relationship. Drama and romance blend with murder, magic and tradition in this tragedy that is one of the greatest of Spanish literature.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
In 1967, the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez wrote one of the greatest novels in history, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad), which tells the story of seven generations of the Buendía family. An easy read, the familiar themes and extensive time period make this book an enjoyable experience for any reader.
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair
Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada ) is considered to be one of best works of poetry. Neruda wrote it when he was just 19 years old and indeed it consists of 20 wonderful poems and a final song described as one of despair. The love, the sadness and the human body are the most visible themes throughout the work.
The Shadow of the Wind
Despite it being the most recent book on this list The Shadow of the Wind (La sombra del viento, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 2001) has been recognized worldwide along with the great talent of the author which can be appreciated within the novel’s pages.
It’s also the first in a series of novels that have also received international critical acclaim. It takes place in the mid 20th century in a dark and gothic Barcelona. Fantasy blends with historical facts in this book that is the best suspense novel written so far in Spanish in the 21st century.