: Andrew J. Deiser
: 28.62 MB
By examining four novels in this study, I explore two important transitions in recent Spanish history: the transition to democracy following the death of Francisco Franco in 1975 and the transformation of Spain from a modern to a postmodern society during the latter half of the twentieth century. More concretely, I analyze Terenci Moix's El dia que va morir Marilyn (1969), Montserrat Roig's El temps de les cireres (1977), Manuel Vázquez Montalban's Los mares del Sur (1979), and Juan Marsé's El amante bilingüe (1990) in relation to these historical changes. I conduct a three-tiered analysis for each novel. First, I look at how the novel responds to the political context in which it was published. Second, I examine how social conflict between Barcelona's upper and lower classes is inscribed into the novel's narrative. Finally, I explore how different narrative features of each novel reveal the historical shift to late capitalism. This study demonstrates that each of these novels creates an imaginary Barcelona that responds to and is shaped by its political, social, economic, and cultural surroundings. Moreover, when viewed as a whole, these narratives show the emergence of a working-class consciousness among the immigrants from southern Spain who migrated to Barcelona during the period that spanned from the early 1950s to the early 1970s. While this working-class consciousness largely remains below the surface of the narratives in El dia que va morir Marilyn and El temps de les cireres, it stands at the forefront in Los mares del Sur and El amante bilingüe. In addition, this study demonstrates that when viewed together, these novels reveal that the years surrounding the political transition from dictatorship to democracy in Spain are inextricably bound to the broader historical transition from modernity to postmodernity.