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Journal ArticleDOI

Errancy and alterity: Antonio Muñoz Molina's search for lost time

01 Dec 2013-Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies (Routledge)-Vol. 19, Iss: 3, pp 211-232
TL;DR: In this paper, Munoz Molina adapts Proust's model for the recovery of the self through fiction, and demonstrates how to engage empathetically with the victims of mid-twentieth century history.
Abstract: This article considers Antonio Munoz Molina's debt to Marcel Proust in his use of literature as a means of exploring alterity in the novel Sefarad (2001). Adapting Proust's model for the recovery of the self through fiction, Munoz Molina demonstrates how to engage empathetically with the victims of mid-twentieth century history. Sefarad thus posits a search for lost time through the forgotten testimonies of suffering at the hands of totalitarian regimes as a means of constructing identity, of comprehending the self in relation to the other.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore the debates regarding the use of fiction to represent traumatic twentieth-century experiences through an analysis of Jorge Semprun's Quel beau dimanche (1980) and L’ecriture ou la vie (1994), Antonio Munoz Molina's Sefarad (2001) and Alberto Mendez's Los girasoles ciegos (2004).
Abstract: This article explores the debates regarding the use of fiction to represent traumatic twentieth-century experiences. Through an analysis of Jorge Semprun’s Quel beau dimanche (1980) and L’ecriture ou la vie (1994), Antonio Munoz Molina’s Sefarad (2001) and Alberto Mendez’s Los girasoles ciegos (2004), it interrogates the value and morality of contemporary Spanish novelists’ use of fiction to explore the past. At the same time, this article seeks to build on a nascent field of critical investigation by drawing links between how novelists have written about two different historical experiences: the Spanish Civil War and the Holocaust.

7 citations

Book Chapter
01 Jan 2010

1 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the role of the family as a space of transmission and the function of gender as an idiom of remembrance of the Holocaust is discussed. But the focus is on the second generation, which is the hinge generation in which received, transferred knowledge of events is being transmuted into history or into myth.
Abstract: Postmemory describes the relationship of the second generation to power- ful, often traumatic, experiences that preceded their births but that were never- theless transmitted to them so deeply as to seem to constitute memories in their own right. Focusing on the remembrance of the Holocaust, this essay elucidates the generation of postmemory and its reliance on photography as a primary medium of transgenerational transmission of trauma. Identifying tropes that most potently mobilize the work of postmemory, it examines the role of the family as a space of transmission and the function of gender as an idiom of remembrance. The guardianship of the Holocaust is being passed on to us. The second genera- tion is the hinge generation in which received, transferred knowledge of events is being transmuted into history, or into myth. It is also the generation in which we can think about certain questions arising from the Shoah with a sense of living

1,104 citations


"Errancy and alterity: Antonio Muñoz..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Other characters are, by a phenomenon described by Marianne Hirsch (2008) as post-memory, haunted by events that they have not actually lived; they are haunted by the memories of others....

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Book
01 Jan 1979
TL;DR: One of the great critical works produced since the 1950s' - "New York Times" as mentioned in this paper, and "nothing short of a masterpiece" - "The New York Times".
Abstract: 'Nothing short of a masterpiece...One of the great critical works produced since the 1950s' - "New York Times".

217 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Sefarad (Munoz Molina 2001) forms part of an emerging strand of what could be termed errant writing, together with one or two other narratives of a similar nature, such as Javier Marias's Negra esp...
Abstract: Sefarad (Munoz Molina 2001) forms part of an emerging strand of what could be termed errant writing, together with one or two other narratives of a similar nature, such as Javier Marias's Negra esp...

67 citations


"Errancy and alterity: Antonio Muñoz..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Indeed, in these instances we are far from the “quebradiza persistencia del pasado en el presente” that Grohmann observes in his analysis of memory in the novel (2011, 179). Such is the power and ubiquity of memory in Sefarad that numerous characters appear capable actually of reliving events through memory. In this way, Mateo Zapatón, “narrador incansable de faenas históricas y de anécdotas del mundo taurino” (189), in his workshop, “rodeado de contertulios, [ . . . ] viv[e] otra vez el instante en que Manolete aún podı́a haberse salvado de la cornada homicida” (188–9; emphasis added). The narrator of “Sacristán” exclaims, upon seeing a figure that triggers his memories of the past: “De todo eso me acordé como si volviera a vivirlo” (193; emphasis added). However, involuntary memory, generally a source of wonder and beauty in À la recherche, in Sefarad is frequently tinged with guilt. In this novel, the narrator rarely finds beauty in the past, but pain. Like Marcel who, on his second visit to Balbec, suffers a “[b]ouleversement de toute ma personne” as an involuntary recollection of his grandmother assails him while he bends down to unbutton his shoe (III, 152), the narrators of Sefarad are haunted by the past. In “Tan callando” the narrator spends the nights “viendo caras de muertos y lugares que no existen” (281), or that exist no longer, for these dead people and places are his past. Analogously, the narrator of “Sherezade” is haunted by her dead brother and sees him when she is awake “con la misma claridad con que lo veo en sueños” (531). Other characters are, by a phenomenon described by Marianne Hirsch (2008) as post-memory, haunted by events that they have not actually lived; they are haunted by the memories of others....

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  • ...Alexis Grohmann makes several references to the parallels between Proust and Muñoz Molina, yet these are confined principally to a discussion of their shared digressive narrative style, and the critic’s references to Proust concern principally the areas in which his own study overlaps with that of Pierre Bayard’s study of Proust’s digressions (Grohmann 2011, 41, 164, 172, 188, 196, 198, 207, 264, and passim). Justo Serna (2004) and Andrés Soria Olmedo (1988) also dedicate some analysis to the echoes of Proust in the narrative of the Spanish author....

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  • ...], se yuxtaponen el pasado y el presente, queda abolido el tiempo y vuelven los muertos para convivir, por lo menos en el espacio o tiempo que ocupa la narración, con los vivos” (Grohmann 2011, 185). The use of involuntary memory as a means of suppressing time originates, as I have outlined above, in Proust’s À la recherche. Abolishing time is the ultimate aim of Proust’s art: through involuntary memory the “minute affranchie de l’ordre de temps” produces “l’homme affranchi de l’ordre de temps:” only outside of time can we discover “notre vrai moi” (IV, 451). However, here, as far as chronology is concerned at least, the analogies between Sefarad and À la recherche end. The temporal bridges that Marcel discovers between the then and the now are designed purely for his own use. Those created byMuñoz Molina are designed to be transited by the other. Thus the narrator of “Münzenberg” informs the reader that he knows a woman who “anduvo perdida por Moscú la mañana del dı́a en que se anunció la muerte de Stalin” and that “[a]l hablar con ella siento un vértigo como de cruzar un alto puente de tiempo, casi de encontrarme en la realidad que ella ha visto” (365). To construct a bridge to the memory of others: this is the obligation assumed by author and narrator in Sefarad as they propose to repeat “lo que otros les han contado para que no se eclipsen los vestigios, vidas y relatos del pasado” (Grohmann 2011, 180). A monument much like the Hispanic Society of America, depicted in the final chapter of the novel as “un Rastro en el que han ido a parar, arrastrados en la confusión de la gran riada del tiempo, todos los testimonios y herencias del pasado” (734), Sefarad is a museum of remembrance that “procura impedir esas desapariciones de personas muertas o todavı́a vivas contando sus historias” (Grohmann 2011, 179). Sefarad is an attempt to save the past from oblivion, the same oblivion from which Marcel seeks to rescue the self. Even the incipits of À la recherche and Sefarad, despite their use of the same temporal construction, offer a glimpse of the radical difference that underlies these two works: Proust writes je, Muñoz Molina writes nosotros. This difference is indicative of Muñoz Molina’s divergence from the Proustian paradigm followed faithfully by the author in El jinete polaco (1991). In this novel, published ten years earlier, “the main character Manuel links the telling of stories to the foundation of the self....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the most important cross-linguistic differences do not require a different sentential semantics, but should rather be explained in terms of different discourse level properties.

63 citations


"Errancy and alterity: Antonio Muñoz..." refers background in this paper

  • ...This article considers Antonio Muñoz Molina’s debt to Marcel Proust in his use of literature as a means of exploring alterity in the novel Sefarad (2001). Adapting Proust’s model for the recovery of the self through fiction, Muñoz Molina demonstrates how to engage empathetically with the victims of midtwentieth century history....

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 1993
TL;DR: In this article, Julia Kristeva's Eliot Lectures on Proust mark an important stage in her career, as a critic, writer and theoretician, and show beyond doubt that she regards him as the major French writer of the present century.
Abstract: Stephen Bann is Professor and Director of the Centre for Modern Cultural Studies at the University of Kent, where he has taught since 1967- He has taken an active part in the translation and dissemination of contemporary French writing over the past quarter century. His own books include The Clothing of Clio ( 1984 ), The True Vine ( 1989 ) and The Inventions of History (1990). Julia Kristeva's Eliot Lectures on Proust mark an important stage in her career, as a critic, writer and theoretician. Proust has been one of her major interests, as a teacher, over the past few years. This book shows beyond doubt that she regards him as the major French writer of the present century. Indeed, Proust is shown to anticipate to a remarkable degree the preoccupations of a contemporary audience. He opens up a dimension of "embodied" time which sustains and nourishes the human psyche in its present predicament. Kristeva does not reject Previous Proust criticism. On the contrary, she Builds on much of the best that has been written in recent year's, notably the work of Gerard Genette, Gilles Deleuze and Rene Girard. She also uses material from the archival study of Proust's manuscripts, and historical accounts of his own philosophical sources.

35 citations


"Errancy and alterity: Antonio Muñoz..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Through its distortion of chronology À la recherche inaugurates a “completely new form of temporality” by making sense of the dislocated chronology of the modern world, using “psychic time as a space of reconciliation” (Kristeva 1993, 3–4)....

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