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History, Violence, and the Hyperreal

Representing Culture in the Contemporary Spanish Novel

by Kathryn Everly

Publication Year: 2010

What does literature reveal about a country’s changing cultural identity? In History, Violence, and the Hyperreal by Kathryn Everly, this question is applied to the contemporary novel in Spain. In the process, similarities emerge among novels that embrace apparent differences in style, structure, and language. Contemporary Spanish authors are rethinking the way the novel with its narrative powers can define a specific cultural identity.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Series: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xii

"The presentation of Spanish social consciousness and national identity in novels of the past twenty years has been varied and at times even contradictory. Ranging from works rooted in the historical to works that defy and challenge traditional narrative..."

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pp. xiii-xiv

"I am sincerely grateful to my colleagues in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at Syracuse University and especially those in the Spanish program, who have been flexible and always supportive of my work and family life. I want to thank Gail Bulman, Myrna Garc

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pp. 1-26

"The novels produced in Spain in the last twenty years have confounded attempts by critics who sought to neatly categorize them. A noticeable trend in Spanish literary criticism seeks to reconcile the disparate styles, themes, and epistemological approaches found in these novels. Robert Spires points out that this may be symptomatic of the turn of the millennium, which..."

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Part 1

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pp. 27-30

"The first part of this study focuses on the controversial nature of the historical novel. Trained historians defend the need to unearth facts that establish concrete truths about past events, while writers and critics in the literary field play precociously with the existence of absolute truth and give precedence to the imaginary..."

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Chapter One

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pp. 31-46

"The tension between History and violence seems to plant the seeds of resentment and prejudice. The act of forgetting violent events as a form of self-preservation can be attributed to a national consciousness as well as to individuals. Carme..."

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Chapter Two

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pp. 47-62

"Carme Riera’s interest in vindicating the oppressed sectors of society through historical rewriting is clearly evident in her 1994 novel Dins el darrer blau. Nevertheless, throughout her literary career, the Mallorcan author has effectively evaded categorization and refused to be labeled as any one kind of contemporary writer. She deftly handles feminist narrative, the ..."

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Chapter Three

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pp. 63-84

"Just as Carme Riera crosses narrative boundaries with her 1994 vindication of Mallorcan criptojudíos in Dins el darrer blau studied in Chapter 1, Dulce Chacón’s La voz dormida (2002) reveals the unique experience of women during and after the Spanish Civil War. Chacón also subverts the narrative norm..."

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Chapter Four

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pp. 85-110

"In the prologue to Relatos reales, a collection of essays written for Barcelona’s edition of El País, Javier Cercas comments on the idea of his preferred genre, the 'relato real.' Following the literary footsteps of great Spanish writers, Cercas reinvents the idea of genre in his attempt to fuse historical facts and fiction."

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Part 2

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pp. 111-114

"In this section of the study, I move away from a strict sense of historical representations of culture and toward a contemporary notion of the historical present. Many critics have noted that the contemporary literary production of the Generation X in..."

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Chapter Five

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pp. 115-132

"Television plays a crucial role in defining popular culture and, as Rob Owen explains, crosses cultural boundaries, creating a common perspective. Although Owen is writing about Xers in the United States, his observations pertain to the Spanish Generation X as well. Ray Loriga, considered one of the forerunners..."

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Chapter Six

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pp. 133-154

"Lucía Etxebarria’s public persona has overshadowed, at times, the value of her literary production.1 In line with Ray Loriga’s skepticism outlined in the previous chapter, Etxebarria remains another cautious member of the Generation X in Spain. Even..."

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 155-182

"José Ángel Mañas’s Historias del Kronen (1994) remains one of the most important representations of Gen X literature in Spain.1 The novel has been widely studied, mainly by North American critics, and despite a lukewarm reception by the..."

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pp. 183-188

"As exemplified by the title of this study, the notion of culture is complicated and multifaceted. Cultural reproductions in the novel range from historical to textual violence, from documenting alternative historical voices to alternative present-day..."


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pp. 189-198

Works Cited

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pp. 199-210


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pp. 211-214

About the Author

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pp. 215-217

E-ISBN-13: 9781612491264
E-ISBN-10: 161249126X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557535580
Print-ISBN-10: 1557535582

Page Count: 228
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures