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HP230/330 Cultures in Transition: Spanish Fiction and Film of the First Democratic Period

Module Code: HP230/330
Module Name: Cultures in Transition: Spanish Fiction and Film of the First Democratic Period
Module Coordinator: Dr Santiago Bertrán
Not running 2024-25
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

How did Spain and its society evolve from dictatorship to democracy? How did writers and film directors respond to this rapidly changing context? How do their works at once register and shape this Transition, as well as our subsequent readings of it?

This module explores literary and filmic expressions from one of the most fascinating periods in Spain’s history – the transition from dictatorship to the modern democratic state that continues to define the country today. Focusing on the different ‘uses’ that authors have made of literary and filmic genres and readings, we shall see how their works at once register and determine the conditions of possibility of this period, the successes of which are still hotly debated. From the subversive and unapologetic statements of writer Terenci Moix and director Ventura Pons, to the experimental yet highly refined works of novelists Ana María Moix and Javier Marías, through to the political manifestos of director Pere Portabella and dramatist José Sanchis Sinisterra, we shall see how different authors understood both creation and engagement with the individual and the collective at a time of particular socio-cultural intensity, and how their works provide us in turn with different modes of ‘orientation’ before the never-ending task of democracy. Throughout the module, you will thus be encouraged to examine the formal, ideological, and affective diversity of this complex creative period, paying special attention to such concerns as ethics and aesthetics, history and memory, and nationalism and cosmopolitanism, among others that affected the creative development of Spain into a globalized democracy.


One 10-minute video presentation (20%) + 3,000 word-essay (80%)

Primary Reading

Ramon-Terenci Moix:La torre dels vicis capitals…(1968) [stories]

Ana María Moix:Julia(1969) [novel]

Pere Portabella:Informe general(1977) [film]

Ventura Pons:Ocaña, retrato intermitente(1978) [film]

Javier Marías:El siglo(1983) [novel]

José Sanchis Sinisterra:¡Ay, Carmela!(1985) [play]