Download A Companion to the Twentieth-Century Spanish Novel by Marta E. Altisent PDF

By Marta E. Altisent

This choice of reviews via eighteen sought after theorists and critics deals a various landscape of the fashionable Spanish novel obvious during the prism of Spain's fresh political, cultural and ideological historical past. It considers the advance of the radical as a social reflect and as a altering literary shape, torn among the culture of stern realism and the aesthetics of rupture affecting all Western literature from the Avant-Garde to the Postmodern age. whereas a few essays emphasise the Spanish cultural context and canonical writers, others are of a broader nature, grouping lesser-known writers below sure literary developments: the metaphysical novel, the city novel, recuperative bills of the Civil conflict, female first-person narrations, and the increase of the preferred detective, ancient, and erotic novels. 3 reports handle the resurgence of the Catalan, Basque and Galician novel and their departure from a poetics of identification to 1 of world issues. Interdisciplinary techniques handle the reciprocal affects of literature and cinema, and the consequences of at the intake of fiction usually are not forgotten. The significant other presents considerable bibliographies and a precious chronology, whereas all titles and quotations are translated into English.

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Those novelists who remained in Spain during the dictatorship were forced to adapt to the limitations imposed by the regime. Camilo José Cela is the one novelist of the immediate post-war period who, in *La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942) and *La colmena (1951), contrived to capture some of the despair and banality of everyday life in a society both provincial and backward. Cela’s works stand out among the fiction published during the first two decades after the war, though both Carmen Laforet’s *Nada (1945) and Ana María Matute’s *Los hijos muertos (1958) are of interest.

As Unamuno himself said (1981: 11), the characters in his novel are ‘puppets that the author parades on the stage while he speaks’. Those same characters are paraded at a time and place that are accidental and contingent, whereas space and time had been central to the realist novel. Unamuno’s fictions progressively dispense with descriptions of either character or milieu, a process which culminates in *San Manuel Bueno, mártir (1933), in which the small town of Valverde de Lucerna, where the story is set, becomes an abstract and universal space, shorn of any recognizable physical correlative.

Ethics remain a central concern for writers of previous generations. Juan Goytisolo, for instance, continues to produce works that are politically both critical and committed, while Manuel Vázquez Montalbán and Juan Marsé have written novels in which social and political agendas predominate. Theirs, however, has become a minority position. The younger generation is concerned with global issues, the new technologies of communication, and the demands of the mass-market. This shift has both ushered in an expansion of horizons when it comes to artistic expectation, and provoked, in turn, the trivialization and simplification of many of the issues involved.

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