Two Confessions

By María Zambrano, Rosa Chacel
Translated by Noël Valis, and Carol Maier

Subjects: Spanish Studies, Literary Criticism, Literature, Comparative Literature, Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture
Paperback : 9781438457307, 246 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438457291, 246 pages, September 2015

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Table of contents

Noël Valis
María Zambrano
Rosa Chacel

Afterword: Pieces of a Scattered Puzzle
Carol Maier

First English translation of these important works by two of Spain’s most gifted writers and intellectuals.


Following the defeat of the Second Spanish Republic, María Zambrano (1904–1991) and Rosa Chacel (1898–1994), two of Spain's most gifted intellectuals and writers, wrote compelling meditations on the meaning of confession in life and literature. Noël Valis and Carol Maier provide the first complete English-language translations of these essays. Zambrano and Chacel were friends, if not always amicably so; supporters of the Republic; and exiles. Both disciples of the philosopher Ortega y Gasset, they were nevertheless able to establish their own creative independence in their writing. Not only do the essays address national issues centered on Spanish literature, culture, and history, they also offer a unique philosophical-spiritual and literary approach to confession within the areas of philosophy, literature, religion, autobiography, women's and gender studies, and cultural studies. The translators' introduction, afterword, and meticulous annotations supplement the texts.

Noël Valis is Professor of Spanish at Yale University, and her many books include the award-winning translation of Noni Benegas's poetry, Burning Cartography. Carol Maier is Professor Emerita of Spanish and Translation Studies at Kent State University and the translator of several books, including the award-winning translation of Rosa Chacel's Memoirs of Leticia Valle and María Zambrano's Delirium and Destiny: A Spaniard in Her Twenties, also published by SUNY Press.


"These are surprising and thought-provoking confessions by two remarkable Spanish thinkers and authors … Noël Valis and Carol Maier provide the first complete English-language translation of these essays with excellent supplementary material. Their translations preserve the beauty and rhythm of the original Spanish texts … [the confessions] open doors to key human and historical realities and to original philosophical and literary analysis. " — Society

"Both translators are to be applauded for taking on the difficult challenge of giving a new voice to these often forgotten women writers who deserve to be heard and who are virtually unknown in the English-speaking world. Their translations are extremely valuable for facilitating wider access to the work of two original and important female thinkers. " — Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature