The past in contemporary Spanish Novel: the topic of the Civil War


  • David Becerra Mayor



Novel, Spanish Civil War, postmodernism, aideologism, historical memory


In Spain, a great number of novels about our most recent past, specifically on the Spanish Civil War, have been published in the last years. This paper aims to offer an explanation for the proliferation of such a large number of titles on the Spanish Civil War. The paper first presents a research hypothesis, analysing this return to the past such that in contemporary Spanish narrative the past appears as if it were a product of advanced capitalism: once authors have accepted and internalized the premise, as suggested by the post-modern mantra of the “end of history”, that we live in the best of possible worlds and that there is no opposition or contradiction in our present, the novelist must seek recourse in the conflictual past in order to be able to evoke narrative complexity. The paper also attempts to define a paradigm that shows the aesthetic and ideological mechanisms used in the reconstruction of the war which these novels propose. The following techniques – the equidistant and symmetrical description of the national war, its “aideological” image of reality, its questioning of the objectivist paradigms and the ontological balance established between History and fiction – are some of the features by which it is possible to characterise this literary trend of the Spanish Civil War today, in line with the dominant postmodern ideology.


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Author Biography

  • David Becerra Mayor

    David Becerra Mayor se doctoró por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid con la tesis La Guerra Civil como moda literaria (1989-2011). Ha publicado artículos
    de crítica literaria en distintas revistas especializadas acerca de obras como La Celestina o El Quijote y la producción literaria de escritores como Quevedo, Torres Villarroel, García Lorca o Max Aub. Es autor, junto con Antonio J. Antón, de la biografía Miguel Hernández: la voz de la herida (El Páramo, 2010). Colabora habitualmente en Mundo Obrero y es responsable de la sección de Literatura de la Fundación de Investigaciones Marxistas. Es director de Revista de crítica literaria marxista. 



31. 12. 2012




How to Cite

Becerra Mayor, D. (2012). The past in contemporary Spanish Novel: the topic of the Civil War. Verba Hispanica, 20(2), 25-42.