The literary treatment of Catalan nationalism in six novels by Eduardo Mendoza, Juan Marse?, Nuria Amat, Enrique Vila-Matas and Manuel Va?zquez Montalba?n

by Tapia Fernandez, Maria Rosa.

Abstract (Summary)
This project shows the recent evolution in the literary treatment of Catalan nationalism through the analysis of six novels that were published between 1986 and 2000. It studies the works of Eduardo Mendoza (La ciudad de los prodigios, 1986), Juan Marsé (El amante bilingüe, 1990), Enrique Vila-Matas (El viaje vertical, 1997), Nuria Amat (La intimidad, 1997 y El país del alma, 1999), and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (El hombre de mi vida, 2000). The first chapter is dedicated to La ciudad de los prodigios, a postmodernist parody of the symbolic and discursive constructs of bourgeois Catalanism, and the first novel in a group of works that approach nationalism from different angles. This study demonstrates that Mendoza’s apparent ideological relativism does not prevent him from passing judgment on the Catalan bourgeoisie of the turn-of-the-century period, a criticism that implies an indirect attack on the Catalan ruling class and its use of nationalist discourse during the years that followed the Spanish democratic transition of the late nineteen seventies. Marsé’s work continues this critical trend at the end of the nineteen eighties and reflects the complex reality of Catalonia during a time in which the regional Administration was striving to implement the so-called process of normalization of the Catalan language and culture. The novel implies that this was often done at the expense of the immigrant population from poorer parts of Spain, who suffered the negative consequences of the normalization effort. This analysis offers a new interpretation of the novel that focuses on the author’s metaliterary concerns and puts this work in the context of a narrative production that pays increasing attention to ethical and hermeneutical problems. The novels of Enrique Vila-Matas, Nuria-Amat, and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, which were written a decade later, confirm a clear evolution in the treatment of nationalist themes. They represent a variety of narrative perspectives that range from ironic ambiguity to a nuanced apology of the Catalan bourgeoisie during the postwar period. It is argued here that the appearance of this new trend in the fiction of three authors of different age, ideology, and social origin must be explained in the context of a society were traditional nationalist values enjoy a greater degree of prestige and consensus among Catalans than they did a decade earlier. The recurrent presence and the change in the perception of nationalist discourse in the Spanish novel during the last two decades are proof of the central role that this subject has in the current social, political, and intellectual debate in Spain and Catalonia. iii
Bibliographical Information:


School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:mendoza eduardo marse? juan vila matas enrique amat nu?ria va?zquez monta?lban manuel


Date of Publication:

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