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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2006

SPN 385M • Spanish Postwar Narrative Strategies

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47250 W
6:30 PM-9:30 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

Spanish writers were ingenious in devising narrative strategies to subvert the rigid censorship imposed during the Franco years. Cela, himself a censor, fragmented his narrative to the extent that his exposition of the misery of postwar life would be difficult to piece together for readers not acquainted with cinematic structures. Censors were especially disarmed by a young female writer and missed the deeply subversive counterdiscourse of Nada. Another strategy borrowed from film discourse is the slow pace and trivial dialogue of Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio's El Jarama, so that it is not until the end of the novel that we realize that this trivial dialogue existed because Franco feared discussions of politics to the extent of prohibiting public gatherings of more than ten people at a time. This novel recreates the conversations of a censored society. By far one of the most scathing novels of the twentieth century is Martën Santos's Tiempo de silencio, a work that draws on an array of narrative strategies dating back to Cervantes. This novel confounded censors' ability to comprehend its diastrous commentary upon the dismal state of Spanish science and intellectual achievement during the postwar period.

The course concludes with study of Juan Goytisolo's autobiographical mosaic, Juan sin tierra, and the more hopeful Cuarto de atrás, an historical memoir by one of Spain's two successful women writers of her day.

Grading Policy

One in-class oral report on critical readings =25% Oral report on topic of the Term Paper =25% Class Participation =20% Term paper or Examen Final =30%


Cela, La colmena Laforet, Nada Sánchez Ferlosio, El Jarama Martën Santos, Tiempo de silencio Goytisolo, Juan sin tierra Martën Gaite, Cuarto de atrás Delibes, Cinco horas con Mario


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