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

By Marta E. Altisent

This selection of reports by means of eighteen in demand theorists and critics bargains a various landscape of the trendy Spanish novel noticeable throughout the prism of Spain's contemporary political, cultural and ideological historical past. It considers the improvement of the radical as a social replicate 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 less than definite literary developments: the metaphysical novel, the city novel, recuperative debts of the Civil battle, female first-person narrations, and the increase of the preferred detective, old, and erotic novels. 3 reviews handle the resurgence of the Catalan, Basque and Galician novel and their departure from a poetics of id to at least one of world matters. Interdisciplinary techniques deal with the reciprocal affects of literature and cinema, and the results of at the intake of fiction will not be forgotten. The spouse offers plentiful bibliographies and a important chronology, whereas all titles and quotations are translated into English.

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The appearance in 1902 of this new style of fiction in the works of Unamuno, Valle-Inclán, Baroja and Azorín has left an indelible mark on Spanish literary historiography and has slanted it in favour of the new or modernist narrative, as though overnight this had actually displaced the realist and natur­ alist novel. Received wisdom has favoured innovation over tradition, with the result that, in standard histories of literature, the early twentieth century is dominated by modernists and avant-gardists, women writers in particular being seriously under-represented, since they continued to be more interested in the exploration of social and family relationships than they were in philosophical debate and formal experiment (Johnson 2003: vii–viii).

This process of modernization and cultural and social dynamism culminated in 1931 in the proclamation of the Second Republic. The new regime brought enormous hope to the country as a whole, even though that hope soon proved illusory and disintegrated into polarization and upheaval. Increasingly violent internal conflict led to the rebellion staged by the most conservative forces in the country which ushered in the bloody Civil War. The implosion of the Civil War The Civil War and the consequences of the lengthy and repressive dictatorship that followed were the most decisive factors shaping the history of Spain in the second half of the twentieth century.

At the same time, the popularity of Javier Cercas’s *Soldados de Salamina (2001) not only demonstrates that commercial success is not necessarily incompatible with ambitious aesthetic and artistic goals, but also illustrates the close interconnections that today exist between literary fiction and film. Conclusion: the future of the novel The history of the Spanish novel in the twentieth century is an uneven one. The century began with major figures such as Unamuno and Valle-Inclán who continued to write well into the 1930s.

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