What was life like in Spain under dictatorship? How did writers and film directors respond to the repressive Franco Regime?
This module examines Spanish fiction and film since 1939, with a particular focus on narrative modes of representing trauma and of subverting socio-political realities. From the shock and trauma of a child’s perspective of war in Ana María Matute, to the use of psychoanalytical frameworks in Luis Martín-Santos, Carlos Saura, and Juan Goytisolo, through to the anticipation of democracy in Víctor Erice, we explore ways in which Spanish novels and films of the period attacked and subverted the Franco Regime’s ideology. We shall see how, right into the democratic period with Carmen Martín Gaite and Javier Marías, the legacy of the Franco state still preoccupied writers, even as they were looking beyond Spain to new horizons in North America. You will be encouraged to focus on close textual readings in order to understand how fictional and historical narratives may intersect in different media, and how cultural and intertextual echoes may function contextually as strategies for subverting prevailing socio-political norms.
One 5,000-word essay OR
One 2,500-word essay + one 1-hour exam