This essay takes a practical approach to the examination of the novel The Holy Innocents (Los santos inocentes) by the contemporary Spanish writer, Miguel Delibes, from a spatial perspective. Using a framework proposed by Natalia Álvarez Méndez, it considers three broad spatial dimensions of the work, namely discourse space, chronotopic space and story-space. The first is focused on textual features, which, in this case, serve to highlight the oppressive nature of the life lived by members of the labouring class in the novel and to heighten the force of the denouement. The second set of features relates to the spaces within which characters move about in the novel and helps convey the dynamic in operation in terms of how the work moves towards a resolution. The final aspect, story-space, relates to the wider context of the novel, including both the socio-historical framework and the ecological dimensions of it. These spatial aspects are seen to help elucidate some of the key universal issues raised by Delibes’s classic work.
Spaces of Longing and Belonging offers the reader theoretical and interpretative studies of spatiality centered on a variety of literary and cultural contexts. It brings new and complementary insights to bear on creative uses of spatiality in artistic texts and generally into the field of spatiality as a cultural phenomenon, especially, although not exclusively, in terms of literary space. Ranging over questions of aesthetics, politics, sociohistorical concerns, issues of postcoloniality, transculturality, ecology and features of interpersonal spaces, among others, the essays provide a considerable collection of innovative pieces of scholarship on important questions relating to literary spatiality generally, as well as detailed analyses of particular works and authors. The volume includes ground-breaking theoretical investigations of crucial dimensions of spatiality in a context of increased global awareness.