Between Two Consensus: The Spanish Civil War in the Current Spanish Novel
Wednesday, May 2 • 3-5 p.m.
Geisel Library, Seuss Room
Sponsored by the Literature Department, History Department and UC San Diego Library’s Special Collections & Archives.
In the last few years, many novels dealing with the Spanish Civil War appeared in the literary market in Spain. This was a strange phenomenon: the society that was born after Franco’s dictatorship was a society without memory. The democratic Spanish society that was born during the so-called “Transition” was based on silence and oblivion agreements. In this context, the Spanish Civil War turned into a taboo: it could open old wounds and it could wake up the old ghosts of the war. The Transition spirit urged the Spanish people to look ahead, towards European progress and modernity. But, suddenly, the society changed and started to look back. In the year 2000, the “Asociación por la recuperación de la memoria histórica” (Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory) was founded, and many novels dealing with the Spanish Civil War were published. It was great news; apparently, literature had started to fight against the silence and oblivion established during the Democratic Transition. Seemingly, these novels broke the Transition agreements. However, when we start to read these novels we realize they do not question the Transition agreements, they also strengthen them. This presentation will analyze how these novels reproduce two consensus: the Transition consensus and the Neoliberal consensus.