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Journal ArticleDOI

The ‘Truth’ of the Past: Fiction as an Alternative to History in Contemporary Spanish Narratives of the Civil War and the Holocaust

18 Aug 2016-Hispanic Research Journal-iberian and Latin American Studies (Routledge)-Vol. 17, Iss: 4, pp 322-338
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.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Preston as mentioned in this paper has written a text that is masterly and authoritative in scope, seeking to place the extermination of the Spanish during this period in analysis of genocide, and he quite evenly, detailed the crimes against humanity of both the left and right as well as the subsequent concealment of the same.
Abstract: Paul Preston is a renowned historian, and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on 20th-century Spanish history. His book on the genocidal actions taken against Spanish civilians between 1936 and 1945 is an important resource that has changed historiography on the period. From the perceived failures of the elected government to the rise of Francisco Franco and his subsequent authoritative takeover of Spain (that lasted 41 years), his book covers these events in painstaking detail. The ensuing, bloody civil war led to the death of hundreds of thousands, and the author carefully detailed every aspect of how the murders enfolded. Repression occurred on both sides, and Preston carefully laid out the origins of extermination in Spain, from the legacy of the Africanistas, to emerging genocidal rhetoric to finally murder on a massive scale. He has written a text that is masterly and authoritative in scope, seeking to place the extermination of the Spanish during this period in analysis of genocide. He quite evenly, detailed the crimes against humanity of both the left and the right as well as the subsequent concealment of the same. The radical rightists, the army, and even citizen mobs carried out mass acts of genocide against civilians who had been categorized, dehumanized, and purposely targeted for death. Preston, who in March 2012 speaking at the Embassy of Spain in London, argued that the Francoists, like Francisco Franco and other military – and civilian – conspirators killed more Spanish than the Nazis killed Germans.(1) Preston begins the text with a prologue that defends his use of the word holocaust in the title of the book, a decision, and his intent with selecting the word, will be discussed later in this review.

55 citations

Book Chapter
01 Jan 2011

27 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2015

10 citations

01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: Cuerda as mentioned in this paper discusses el ultima pelicula, ambientada en los anos inmediatamente posteriores a la conclusion of la Guerra Civil espanola, in which personajes atrapados and desorientados in medio de circunstancias superan la fragil escala de their libertad de accion, del ejercicio de su voluntad, haciendo germinar una historia de gran dramatismo.
Abstract: En esta entrevista, Jose Luis Cuerda habla acerca de su ultima pelicula, ambientada en los anos inmediatamente posteriores a la conclusion de la Guerra Civil espanola. El filme se centra, arropado por su clasica factura, en unos personajes atrapados y desorientados en medio de circunstancias que, por incontrolables, superan la fragil escala de su libertad de accion, del ejercicio de su voluntad, haciendo germinar una historia de gran dramatismo que nace del fortuito cruce de las sendas de sus vidas en unos tiempos sumamente dificiles. Ultimo guion escrito por Rafael Azcona en su larga y ejemplar trayectoria profesional- cuantos quisieramos dar nuestros pasos con el acierto ejemplar que el supo imprimir a los suyos-, permitase que este articulo sirva, modestamente, para mantener viva aun la memoria de su vida y su obra.

4 citations

References
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Book
28 Mar 2011
TL;DR: The first edition of "Eichmann in Jerusalem" appeared as a series of articles in "The New Yorker" in 1963 and was later published as a book in 1970 as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Hannah Arendt's portrayal of the terrible consequences of blind obedience, "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil" contains an introduction by Amos Elon in "Penguin Classics". Sparking a flurry of heated debate, Hannah Arendt's authoritative and stunning report on the trial of German Nazi SS leader Adolf Eichmann first appeared as a series of articles in "The New Yorker" in 1963. This revised edition includes material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt's postscript commenting on the controversy that arose over her book. A major journalistic triumph by an intellectual of singular influence, "Eichmann in Jerusalem" is as shocking as it is informative - a meticulous and unflinching look at one of the most unsettling (and unsettled) issues of the twentieth century. Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was for many years University Professor of Political Philosophy in the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research and a Visiting Fellow of the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is also the author of "Eichmann in Jerusalem", "On Revolution", and "Between Past and Future". If you enjoyed "Eichmann in Jerusalem", you might like Elie Wiesel's "Night", available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Deals with the greatest problem of our time ...the problem of the human being within a modern totalitarian system". (Bruno Bettelheim, "The New Republic"). "A profound and documented analysis...Bound to stir our minds and trouble our consciences". ("Chicago Tribune").

2,986 citations

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


"The ‘Truth’ of the Past: Fiction as..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Marianne Hirsch (2008) has coined the term ‘postmemory’ to discuss how traumatic memories can be transmitted from one generation to the next....

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 1994
TL;DR: In this article, the authors discuss the history of the Holocaust and the return of the Historically Repressed Conclusion: Acting-Out and Working-Through, with a focus on acting-out and working-through.
Abstract: Introduction 1. Canons, Texts, and Contexts 2. Reflections on the Historians' Debate 3. Historicizing the Holocaust 4. Paul de Man as Object of Transference 5. Heidegger's Nazi Tum 6. The Return of the Historically Repressed Conclusion: Acting-Out and Working-Through

403 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

110 citations


"The ‘Truth’ of the Past: Fiction as..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The founding of the academic journal History & Memory by Saul Friedländer and Dan Diner in 1989 appears to mark a turning point in memory’s promotion as a partner of, rather than a rival to, history (Assmann, 2006)....

    [...]

  • ...Moreover, given that the Holocaust is now ‘established as factual by historical discourse and common knowledge, the accuracy of the testimony becomes less important’ (Assmann, 2006: 269–70)....

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 2011
TL;DR: Four leading historians of modern Spain discuss the impact of Paul Preston’s latest book, The Spanish holocaust, and more generally the impact that genocide studies has had on Spain.
Abstract: Selected as the Sunday Times History Book of the Year for 2012, this is a meticulous work of scholarship from the foremost historian of 20th-century Spain. The culmination of more than a decade of research, 'The Spanish Holocaust' seeks to reflect the intense horrors visited upon Spain during its ferocious civil war, the consequences of which still reverberate bitterly today. The brutal, murderous persecution of Spaniards between 1936 and 1945 is a truth that should have been told long ago. Paul Preston here offers the first comprehensive picture of what he terms "the Spanish Holocaust": mass extra-judicial murder of some 200,000 victims, cursory military trials, torture, the systematic abuse of women and children, sweeping imprisonment, the horrors of exile. Those culpable for crimes committed on both sides of the Civil War are named; their victims identified. 'The Spanish Holocaust' illuminates one of the darkest, least-known eras of modern European history.

94 citations