Category Archives: Spanish literature

Spanish Flash Fiction – the runners up

Two weeks ago we announced the hotly anticipated results of our Spanish Flash Fiction Competition. Congratulations to both winners and the four runners up, and well done to everyone who entered what turned out to be a fiercely competitive contest.

We featured the winning entry from the older category on our blog earlier this month. Now, it’s our pleasure to showcase the two runners up from the younger category, Years 7-11: Kasia and Fakyha. You will find their stories below – we hope you enjoy them.

¡ Felicidades, Kasia y Fakyha!

más allá
Nunca olvidaré junio de 1988, la forma en que me observaron cuando mi mandíbula cayó al suelo. Sus ojos tan negros como la noche oscura, se veían rectos, no a mis ojos no del todo, sin a ellos. Era una forma de vida terriblemente, totalmente extraña… pero tenían intelligencia… la cosa y sus compañeros. Vi mi reflejo en ellos, una cara sorprendida con la piel tan pálida como la nieve. Mi mente se puso en blanco: todo lo que sabíam todo lo que sé, todo lo que sabré, ha explotado. Nunca olvidaré junio de 1988.

— Kasia, Year 7, Westcliff High School For Girls

Photo by Robert Wiedemann on Unsplash

“Abuelito, no puedo dormir,” dijo el niño.
“Ay muchacho, deja te cuenta una historia. Una vez, un fragmento de la luna se cayó a la tierra. Ese día el cielo estaba encendido en fuscia y oro. El fragmento aterrizó en un campo de rosas. ¿Qué pasó depués? Bueno, una palabra: avaricia. Mucha gente trataron de robar el fragmento pero fallaron. ¿Por qué? El fragmento conocía sus intenciones; desapareció de los captores y cada vez volvió al campo.
“¿Abuelito, dondé está el fragmento ahora?”
Le mostro un collar y allí está el fragmento. “Vino a mí.” yo dije.
“¡Qué chulo, abuelito!”

— Fakyha, Year 10, Nonsuch High School for Girls

Spanish Flash Fiction Competition Results

Last week we shared the results of our French Flash Fiction Competition. This week, we bring you the results of our equivalent competition in Spanish. Students in Years 7-13 were invited to submit a short story in Spanish of no more than 100 words. There were two categories: Years 7-11 and Years 12-13. We were delighted to receive almost 600 eligible entries, which covered all sorts of topics, from butterflies to the apocalypse, from a love story between two monkeys, to a personification of war. We even received a memorable recipe for Sangria!

After much deliberation, the judges have selected a winner and two runners up in each age group. The winner of the Years 7-11 category is Catherine, in Year 8, from Churchers College, and the runners up are Kasia, Year 7, Westcliff High School For Girls and Fakyha, Year 10, Nonsuch High School for Girls. The winner of the Years 12-13 category is Freya, Year 12, Aylesbury High School, and the runners up are Salome, Year 12, The College of Richard Collyer, and Alexandra, Year 13, Bradfield College. Huge congratulations to all the winners and runners up!

We would like to say a massive well done to everyone who entered. The standard was extremely high, and we were thrilled to see a vast array of topics and narrative styles which demonstrated imagination and linguistic flair. Choosing the winners was no easy feat, and we would really like to thank all of the entrants for the time and careful thought they put into their stories. Writing a story in 100 words is a tall order, and to do so in a language that may not be your mother tongue is especially commendable. Please do keep using your Spanish creatively and think about entering the competition again next year.

We’ll leave you with one of the winning entries. This one’s by Freya, in the older category, and is a beautifully subtle and delicate meditation on loss.

Pareces tan hermosa cuando duermes. Una fractura en el paso del tiempo, un rincón encubierto del mundo bullicioso, entre los árboles ondulantes y los suaves trazos de la brisa de verano. El vacío me llenó, y el silencio era casi abrumador.
Entonces sus pasos pesados atravesaron ese refugio, cada paso fracturando la escena congelada, como rascarse en una pintura. Te seguí. En silencio, en silencio, hasta que no podía aguantarlo más. Es hora de convertir esa pintura roja. Aquel silencio sofocante se rompe cuando caes al suelo, y la hierba comienza a oscurecer.
Pareces tan hermosa cuando duermes.

— Freya, Year 12, Aylesbury High School

 

Virtual Book Club: Spanish Episode

Good news, bookworms! After an extended hiatus while this year’s cohort of undergraduates settled into the academic year, the Virtual Book Club is back, this time with an episode focussing on Spanish. This episode features a discussion about an extract from El castigo sin venganza (Punishment Without Revenge), a seventeenth-century play by Lope de Vega.

The discussion is led by doctoral researcher Rebecca, with undergraduates Lottie and Hector. They consider how the extract deals with questions of masculinity, honour, and morality, and ask how our reading as a twenty-first-century audience might differ from that of an early modern audience. Sixth formers interested in the Medieval and Modern Languages course at Oxford might be interested to know that the course offers the opportunity to study literature throughout the ages, from the medieval to the present. This episode is designed to offer a glimpse into the early modern period, and how some of the central questions asked by writers at that time continue to resonate in new ways today.

If you would like to receive a copy of the text, which will be provided in both the original Spanish and an English translation, or if you would like future Virtual Book Club updates, please email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk