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Narrating Memory Of The Spanish Civil War And Postwar In The Autobiographical Novels Of Enriqueta Antolín

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Title:
Narrating Memory Of The Spanish Civil War And Postwar In The Autobiographical Novels Of Enriqueta Antolín
Series Title:
19th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium
Creator:
Aghajan, Keyon
Language:
English
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Undetermined

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Center for Undergraduate Research
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Conference papers and proceedings
Poster

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Abstract:
Recent Spanish visual and literary production has had a recurring theme of looking back into the country's past, particularly its civil war and the dictatorship that followed. In terms of literary production, the historical novel is the genre of choice to explore this past. In this study, I investigated autobiographical works of fiction that question the past-specifically La gata con alas (1992), Regiones devastadas (1995), and Mujer de aire (1997) by Enriqueta Antolín, which function collectively as a trilogy-as autobiography and autofiction (a mixture of fiction and autobiography) are underappreciated genres in Spain. The peculiar narrative form of Antolín's trilogy, written in the second person from the perspective of a woman to her childhood double in the first two novels and again in the second person to her childhood love interest in the third, provide a new way of constructing memory by a constant questioning of one's own memory through a dialogue. This is an innovative means by which to access collective memory of the Spanish civil war and postwar, straddling between the national narrative constructed by the dictatorship and one's own newly constructed narrative. ( en )
General Note:
Research authors: Keyon Aghajan - University of Florida
General Note:
University Scholars Program
General Note:
Faculty Mentor: Luis Álvarez-Castro - Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, University of Florida

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Copyright Keyon Aghajan. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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NarratingMemoryoftheSpanishCivilWarandPostwarintheAutobiographicalNovels ofEnriquetaAntoln KeyonAghajan,Luislvarez-Castro DepartmentofSpanishandPortuguese,UniversityofFlorida,Gainesville,FL Abstract RecentSpanishvisualandliteraryproductionhashad arecurringthemeoflookingbackintothecountry's past,particularlyitscivilwarandthedictatorshipthat followed.Intermsofliteraryproduction,thehistoricalnovelisthegenreofchoicetoexplorethispast.In thisstudy,Iinvestigatedautobiographicalworksofctionthatquestionthepastspecically Lagatacon alas Regionesdevastadas ,and Mujer deaire byEnriquetaAntoln,whichfunction collectivelyasatrilogyasautobiographyandautoctionamixtureofctionandautobiographyareunderappreciatedgenresinSpain.Thepeculiarnarrative formofAntoln'strilogy,writteninthesecondperson fromtheperspectiveofawomantoherchildhooddoubleinthersttwonovelsandagaininthesecondperson toherchildhoodloveinterestinthethird,provideanew wayofconstructingmemorybyaconstantquestioning ofone'sownmemorythroughadialogue.Thisisaninnovativemeansbywhichtoaccesscollectivememoryof theSpanishCivilWarandpostwar,straddlingbetween thenationalnarrativeconstructedbythedictatorship andone'sownnewlyconstructednarrative. HistoricalContext TheSpanishCivilWar-1939wasawarbetweenthe Republicans,aleft-leaninggroupinfavoroftheSpanish SecondRepublic-1939,andtheNationalists,aconservative,CatholicgroupledbyGeneralFranciscoFranco. WiththetriumphoftheNationalists,thiswarmarked theendoftheSpanishSecondRepublicandthebeginningofafascistdictatorshipledbyFranciscoFrancoup untilhisdeathin1975.Thepostwardictatorshipperiod -1975wasmarkedbycensorshipandpropaganda, inscribinganationalnarrativeofanti-communism,antianarchismandercenationalismnotonlyinnewspaper publicationsandradiobroadcastsbutalsoinlaw.In2007, theHistoricalMemoryLawalawproposedbythethenPrimeMinisterJosLuisRodrguezZapaterowaspassed torecognizethevictimsoftheCivilWarandtoformally condemnFranco'sregime.Thislawfunctionedinvarious waystotemperthenationalmemoryoftheCivilWar,includingbutnotlimitedtoremovingfascistsymbolsfrom publicspaces,increasedfundingfortheexhumingofmass graves,andeventheexpansionofthecircumstancesunder whichoneobtainsSpanishnationality.Arthasfunctioned ttinglyasameansbywhichtolookintothispast,whether itisintheformoftelevisionorliterature. AutobiographyandAutoction: Relevance,Theory,andAntoln's Works Acurrentlywell-sellinggenreofpopularctioninSpain isthehistoricalnovel.Far-removedfromthepoliticalmotivesthatoncemarkeditspurpose,thehistoricalnovel incontemporarySpainservesasaformofentertainment, ofteninthestyleofadetectivenovel,wheretheprotagonistsetsoutonamissionoraninvestigation,usuallyrelatedtothehistoricalmomentinwhichtheprotagonistis placed.Theseworksofctioncanresultintriteplotsand dialogs,exposingthereadertopasthistoricaleventsbut onlyone-dimensionallyquestioningthem.Autobiography andautoctionamixtureofctionandautobiography arefarlesspopulargenresinSpain.However,recentpublicationsofautobiographicalworkssuggestthattheselfreectionofthesegenresisanaptstartingpointofculturalanalysis.Forinstance,SilviaNanclares'introspectiononhersearchformotherhoodin Quinquiereser madre leadstodiscussionsofSpain'scurrentlysufferingeconomythatdelaysmotherhoodformanySpanish women,andevenLuisgMartn'sautoreectiononhishomosexualityin Elamordelrevs leadstoreectionsontheconditionsunderwhichyounggay madrileos performedtheirsexualityinthe1980s. Thetruedierenceisthatonerelateswhathas happened,theotherwhatmayhappen.Poetry, therefore,isamorephilosophicalandahigher thingthanhistory:forpoetrytendstoexpress theuniversal,historytheparticular. -Aristotle, Poetics Thus,Antoln'sworksareofgreatinterest.Hertrilogy doesnottintothetraditionaldenitionsofautobiographyandautoction.Theambiguityoftheidentityof thenarratormeansthatthenovelsfailtoformtheautobiographicalpactthatPhilippeLejeuneproposesforan autobiography,andtheproportionbetweenctionandautobiographycanbesounclearastobeunclassiablewithin GrardGenette'sdistinctionofauthenticandfalseautoctions,yetthenovelsareneverthelessautobiographical;not necessarilyinthesimplisticsensethattheyhaveautobiographicalcomponentsasmanyworksofctiondobut thatthesecomponentsactivelyfunctionintheconstruction ofthememoryofthewarandpostwar.Therefore,these genresreachbeyondtheboundariesofthelivesoftheauthorsinwhichthesectionsareinscribed;theyserveasa meansbywhichtoquestion,meditate,andcommenton socialandpoliticalissues. TheConstructionofMemoryinthe Trilogy Thersttwonovelsinthetrilogy Lagataconalas and Regionesdevastadas arenarratedpeculiarly inthesecondpersonfromtheperspectiveofanadult woman,supposedlyareectionofAntolnherself,toher childhooddouble,recountingtheeventsofherchildhoodin aninformalyoureferringtoherchildhoodselfrather thananauthoritative`I.'Thethirdnovel, Mujerdeaire ,istolddirectlyfromtheperspectiveoftheadult, yetthereisastarkcontrastintheconstructionofmemory fromthersttwo.Thersttwonovelsarelledwithuncertaintyanddoubtconcerningchildhoodevents,particularly thedisappearanceoflovedones.Herchildselfposesquestionsregardingthesemysteriousdisappearances,whichare requestionedandmostlyansweredinthethirdnovelbyher adultself.Thisautoquestioningandre-questioningofintimate,personalexperiencesaredoneintandemwiththe questioningofthesocialandpoliticalclimatearoundher. Thechildhoodselfisexposedtothepropagandaontheradioandthenewspapersreadtohereventhetitleofthe rstnovel lagataconalas ,literally,thecatwithwings makesreferencetotheissuethatthedictatorshiptransmittedsomanyliesthatitwouldevendeclarethatcats couldy.ForAntoln,memoryisconstructedthroughan autoreectivedialecticthatincessantlyquestionsthepast, andevolvesthroughthepassageoftime. Figure1:GeneralFrancoaddressingagatheringofyouthorganizations inMadrid[6] Conclusions Antoln'sconstructionofmemoryspeakstotheHistoricalMemoryLawof2007;inhernovels,Antolnquestions thepast,bothpersonalandnational.Thislineofquestioningputsatstakealreadyestablishednarrativesofthe warandpostwar,agoalthatZapaterosoughttoaccomplishwiththelawheproposed.Italsodiersfromthe structureofpopularhistoricalnovels,whichoftenhavea lineartimelinethatdoesnotpermittheconstantactof re-questioningthepastthatismarkedinAntoln'strilogy. Suchre-questioningofestablishednarrativescontributes toare-workingofthecollectivememoryofwar,alineof thinkingthatisttingforworksofartsuchasAntoln's novels,forartcanbeusedtoinformusabouthistorical eventsinamoreuniversalway. References [1]EnriquetaAntoln. Lagataconalas Alfaguara,Spain,1992. [2]EnriquetaAntoln. Regionesdevastadas Alfaguara,Spain,1995. [3]EnriquetaAntoln. Mujerdeaire Alfaguara,Spain,1997. [4]AristotleandS.H.Butcher. PoeticsofAristotle.[electronic resource]. [S.l.]:London:MacMillan,1898., 1898. [5]GrardGenette. Fictionetdiction:prcdde Introductionl'architexte. Points:Essais511.Paris:Seuil, 2004.,2004. [6]GettyImages. 6thnovember1939:Spanish dictatorgeneralfrancofrancisco bahamonde-1975 addressingagatheringofyouth organisationsinmadrid.,1939. [7]PhilippeLejeune. Lepacteautobiographique. Points:Essais326.Paris:Seuil, 1996,c1975.,1996. [8]LuisgMartn. Elamordelrevs. Narrativashispnicas:571. Barcelona:Anagrama,2016. [9]SilviaNanclares. Quinquieresermadre Alfaguara,2017. Acknowledgements IwouldliketoextendmythankstotheCenterforUndergraduate ResearchforfundingmyprojectundertheUniversityScholarsProgram,andtomyresearchadviser,ProfessorLuislvarez-Castro,for hissuggestionsinmyresearch. ContactInformation Email:k.aghajan@u.edu