By Marta E. Altisent
This selection of reviews through eighteen sought after theorists and critics deals a various landscape of the trendy Spanish novel visible during the prism of Spain's contemporary political, cultural and ideological background. It considers the advance of the unconventional 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 definite literary trends: the metaphysical novel, the city novel, recuperative debts of the Civil warfare, female first-person narrations, and the increase of the preferred detective, old, and erotic novels. 3 reviews deal with the resurgence of the Catalan, Basque and Galician novel and their departure from a poetics of identification to 1 of world matters. Interdisciplinary ways deal with the reciprocal affects of literature and cinema, and the results of at the intake of fiction should not forgotten. The spouse presents abundant bibliographies and a helpful chronology, whereas all titles and quotations are translated into English.
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Extra resources for A Companion to the Twentieth-Century Spanish Novel (MonografÃas A) (Monografías A)
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Baroja, who held pessimistic views about Spain’s ability to solve increasingly violent confrontations between the ideologies of left and right, turned to contemporary events in an attempt to leave a novelistic record of those momentous years. In this, he shared the change of mood of the rather younger writers of the Spanish avantgarde, who also moved from playful esoteric creations to socially committed literature in or around 1930. In the trilogy La selva oscura (1931–32), which deals with the coming of the Second Republic, Baroja employs a new documentary realism based largely on newspaper reports, from which he borrows generously; but, just as his historical novels had often sought to give a new slant to the events described in the history books, so his contemporary novels recycle press material in order to raise doubts about the accuracy or impartiality of the reports.
Many of his novels remain unstudied, but one that has repeatedly attracted attention is his most deeply philosophical one, *El árbol de la ciencia (1911), the story of a medical doctor (as was Baroja himself) who loses his faith in medicine and tries to construct a more solid scientific explanation of life and mankind’s role in it. The hero eschews the pragmatism of his uncle and interlocutor (also a medical doctor) in favour of Kant’s defence of science in the Critique of Pure Reason and Schopenhauer’s gloomy modification of Kant in The World as Will and Representation.
El jinete polaco (1991) and Plenilunio (1997) tackle the controversial and painful issues of the need to keep alive in the collective memory the forgotten heroes of the Civil War and the terrorist activities of the Basque Homeland and Freedom Movement, known as ETA. The ethical imperative resurfaces alongside the re-emergence of the structures and concerns of the classical novel, such as linear narrative and descriptive contextualization. Ethics remain a central concern for writers of previous generations.
A Companion to the Twentieth-Century Spanish Novel (MonografÃas A) (Monografías A) by Marta E. Altisent