Books studying the presence of Spain in American literature, and the possible influence of Spain and its literature on American authors, are still rare. In 1955 appeared a pioneer work in this field - Stanley T. Williams' The Spanish Background of American Literature. But that book went no further than W.D. Howells' Familiar Spanish Travels, published in 1913. The Last Good Land covers most of the twentieth century, including such groups as the Lost Generation and African American writers and exiles. It also considers then recent revolution in Spanish cultural and historical thought introduced by Americo Castro, which several American writers discussed in this volume may be said to have anticipated. Recent studies have expanded on Williams' volumes, but in the majority of cases these works limit their scope to a single period (the nineteenth century, the Spanish Civil War), a movement (predominantly Romanticism) or authors known for their interest in Spain (Irving, Hemingway). The result is often a lack of continuum, or the exclusion of such authors as Saul Bellow, William Gaddis or Richard Wright. Within American literature itself, The Last Good Land contains revisions of traditional interpretations of certain writers, including Hemingway. The variety of authors treated, both in respect to ethnicity and gender, guarantees a varied and global view of Spanish culture by American writers.
Preface Spain and the United States within the Western Tradition The Pioneers: Washington Irving and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow From Romantic Idealization to Realistic Ambiguity, or from the Civil War to the Cuban War W.D. Howells: The Future that Never Became a Present Santayana, or the Existential Confirmation of Stereotypes The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas: The Lost Generation Rediscovers Spain John Dos Passos: Rosinante's Winding Road to the Right Virgin Spain: Jewish-American Travel Literature Hemingway: Stories of the Last Good Land Two Women at War: Lillian Hellman and Josephine Herbst Spain is Beautiful: Claude McKay and Langston Hughes Dream Heaven Saul Bellow's "The Gonzaga Manuscripts": Spain is Europe Not So Good, but Still Good: William Gaddis, Chester Himes, Nelson Algren Pagan Spain: Ethnicity and Religion in Richard Wright Spain as Autobiography: Barbara Probst Solomon Conclusion Bibliography Index