Memory in the Spanish novel of the 1980's and the 1990's: Julio Llamazares, Javier Marias, Antonio Munoz Molina and Manuel Rivas
Abstract (Summary)This dissertation analyzes the treatment of memory by four authors of the same generation--all born in the 1950's--in four novels of the late 1980's and 1990's: El jinete polaco by Antonio MuÃ?Â±oz Molina, El lÃ?Â¡piz del carpintero by Manuel Rivas, Todas las almas by Javier MarÃ?Âas, and La lluvia amarilla by Julio Llamazares. Using Walter Benjamin's dialectics of melancholia as a framework, the first chapter studies how contemporary Spanish historiography and literature recreate recent Spanish history. The study focuses on the representation of the change from a rural country with an oral and collective memory to a society that undergoes a fast process of modernization and, almost simultaneously, postmodernization. The subsequent chapters analyze the novels using the principles of the deconstruction of Jacques Derrida and post-deconstructivist theories, which postulate a new understanding of the subject based on an ethical relationship with the Other. These chapters further observe a melancholic relationship with the past. This sensation of loss leads the narrators to search for their past in a series of objects which materialize the loss of meaning and the presence of the past in the present. Their narratives are a work of mourning which simultaneously recreates and listens to the voices of the dead informing the narrator's self. The dissertation points out the difference between the sense of melancholia present in the novels of MuÃ?Â±oz Molina, Rivas and Llamazares, which is caused by a historical trauma, and the sense of melancholia created in Marias' work, this one the effect of a transhistorical or structural trauma. Likewise, while in El jinete polaco, El lÃ?Â¡piz del carpintero and La lluvia amarilla the work of memory is based on an ethical relationship with the past, in Todas las almas the constructive work of memory adopts a more ludic tone.
School Location:USA - Massachusetts
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2001