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Disremembering the Dictatorship

The Politics of Memory in the Spanish Transition to Democracy

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Edited by Joan Ramon Resina

Most accounts of the Spanish transition to democracy have been celebratory exercises at the service of a stabilizing rather than a critical project of far-reaching reform. As one of the essays in this volume puts it, the “pact of oblivion,” which characterized the Spanish transition to democracy, curtailed any serious attempt to address the legacies of authoritarianism that the new democracy inherited from the Franco era. As a result, those legacies pervaded public discourse even in newly created organs of opinion. As another contributor argues, the Transition was based on the erasure of memory and the invention of a new political tradition. On the other hand, memory and its etiolation have been an object of reflection for a number of film directors and fiction writers, who have probed the return of the repressed under spectral conditions.
Above all, this book strives to present memory as a performative exercise of democratic agents and an open field for encounters with different, possibly divergent, and necessarily fragmented recollections. The pact of the Transition could not entirely disguise the naturalization of a society made of winners and losers, nor could it ensure the consolidation of amnesia by political agents and by the tools that create hegemony by shaping opinion. Spanish society is haunted by the specters of a past it has tried to surmount by denying it. It seems unlikely that it can rid itself of its ghosts without in the process undermining the democracy it sought to legitimate through the erasure of memories and the drowning of witnesses' voices in the cacaphony of triumphant modernization.

Small City on a Big Couch

A Psychoanalysis of a Provincial Mexican City

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Karen Rodríguez

This book psychoanalyzes a small Mexican city to figure out how the city makes sense of both herself and her many Others in the face of constant change. It puts the city on the couch and works through her past and present relationships, analyzing issues surrounding sexuality, the compulsion to repeat, transferences and desires.

Producing the Pacific

Maps and Narratives of Spanish Exploration (1567-1606)

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Mercedes Maroto Camino

Producing the Pacific offers the reader an interdisciplinary reading of the maps, narratives and rituals related to the three Spanish voyages to the South Pacific that took place between 1567 and 1606. These journeys were led by Álvaro de Mendaña, Pedro Fernández de Quirós and Isabel Barreto, the first woman ever to become admiral of and command a fleet.
Mercedes Maroto Camino presents a cultural analysis of these journeys and takes issue with some established notions about the value of the past and the way it is always rewritten from the perspective of the present. She highlights the social, political and cultural environment in which maps and narratives circulate, suggesting that their significance is always subject to negotiation and transformation. The tapestry created by the interpretation of maps, narratives and rituals affords a view not only of the minds of the first men and women who traversed the Pacific but also of how they saw the ocean, its islands and their peoples. Producing the Pacific should, therefore, be of relevance to those interested in history, voyages, colonialism, cartography, anthropology and cultural studies.
The study of these cultural products contributes to an interpretive history of colonialism at the same time that it challenges the beliefs and assumptions that underscore our understanding of that history.

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Edited by Anton H. Touber

Le rayonnement des troubadours, ce phénomène fascinant qui a fait de la lyrique troubadouresque l'élément générateur de la poésie amoureuse européenne, est encore loin d'être connu dans tous ses détails. Les voies de diffusion des poésies des troubadours se perdent souvent dans la nuit des temps.
Du point de vue chronologique, nous nous situons à une époque marquée par une véritable explosion démographique, par la mobilité croissante de la population et un certain renouveau spirituel. Telles sont les forces motrices des voyages incessants des élites spirituelle, politique et intellectuelle éuropéennes. La célèbre 'reine des troubadours', Aliénor d'Aquitaine, a contourné - quant aux kilomètres parcourus - plusieurs fois le globe. Elle a traversé toute l'Europe, et ses voyages l'ont menée jusqu'à Antioche lors de la seconde croisade. Pendant tous ces déplacements, la reine d'Aquitaine a pris soin de cultiver son rôle de protectrice et mécène des arts en général et de la poésie des troubadours en particulier; et, la plupart du temps, elle se faisait accompagner par ses poètes et musiciens attitrés. Parmi la noblesse voyageuse, beaucoup l'imitaient.
La poésie des troubadours s'est répandue en Catalogne, dans le nord de l'Italie et en Sicile, dans la France du nord, en Allemagne, en Autriche, en Suisse, en Galice et au Portugal. Cette influence a fait naître dans ces pays une lyrique nationale qui a été étudiée de différentes manières. Le présent livre se présente comme une tentative pour expliquer la naissance de la lyrique européenne, afin de poser les fondations des futures recherches.

A Pepper-Pot of Cultures

Aspects of Creolization in the Caribbean

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Edited by Gordon Collier and Ulrich Fleischmann

The terms ‘creole’ and ‘creolization’ have witnessed a number of significant semantic changes in the course of their history. Originating in the vocabulary associated with colonial expansion in the Americas it had been successively narrowed down to the field of black American culture or of particular linguistic phenomena. Recently ‘creole’ has expanded again to cover the broad area of cultural contact and transformation characterizing the processes of globalization initiated by the colonial migrations of past centuries.
The present volume is intended to illustrate these various stages either by historical and/or theoretical discussion of the concept or through selected case studies. The authors are established scholars from the areas of literature, linguistics and cultural studies; they all share a lively and committed interest in the Caribbean area – certainly not the only or even oldest realm in which processes of creolization have shaped human societies, but one that offers, by virtue of its history of colonialization and cross-cultural contact, its most pertinent example. The collection, beyond its theoretical interest, thus also constitutes an important survey of Caribbean studies in Europe and the Americas.
As well as searching overview essays, there are
– sociolinguistic contributions on the linguistic geography of ‘criollo’ in Spanish America, the Limonese creole speakers of Costa Rica, ‘creole’ language and identity in the Netherlands Antilles and the affinities between Papiamentu and Chinese in Curaçao
– ethnohistorical examinations of such topics as creole transgression in the Dominican/Haitian borderland, the Haitian Mandingo and African fundamentalism, creolization and identity in West-Central Jamaica, Afro-Nicaraguans and national identity, and the Creole heritage of Haiti
– studies of religion and folk culture, including voodoo and creolization in New York City, the creolization of the “Mami Wata” water spirit, and signifyin(g) processes in New World Anancy tales
– a group of essays focusing on the thought of Édouard Glissant, Maryse Condé, and the Créolité writers
and case-studies of artistic expression, including creole identities in Caribbean women’s writing, Port-au-Prince in the Haitian novel, Cynthia McLeod and Astrid Roemer and Surinamese fiction, Afro-Cuban artistic expression, and metacreolization in the fiction of Robert Antoni and Nalo Hopkinson.

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Edited by Eduardo Gregori and Juan Herrero-Senés

This book offers a critical reinterpretation of the Spanish avant-garde, focusing on narrative, transculturality, and intermediality. Narrative, because it prioritizes the analysis of prose over poetry, against the traditional use of critical literature on the subject up to this point. Transculturality, because the Spanish avant-garde simply cannot be understood without the acknowledgement of its multi-linguistic reality and the transnational scope of the experience of Modernism in Europe – of which Spain was an integral yet underexposed component. And intermediality, because the interrelations of painting, photography, film, and literature articulate a correlation and mutual affect among different media, creating a rich cultural tapestry that needs to be addressed.

Contributors: Rosa Berland, Jennifer Duprey, Marcos Eymar, Regina Galasso, Eduardo Gregori, Juan Herrero-Senés, John McCulloch, Andrés Pérez-Simón, Lynn Purkey, Domingo Ródenas de Moya, Evelyn Scaramella and Antonio Sáez Delgado.

The Last Good Land

Spain in American Literature

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Eugenio Suárez-Galbán

Books studying the presence of Spain in American literature, and the possible influence of Spain and its literature on American authors, are still rare. In 1955 appeared a pioneer work in this field – Stanley T. Williams’ The Spanish Background of American Literature. But that book went no further than W.D. Howells’ Familiar Spanish Travels, published in 1913. The Last Good Land covers most of the twentieth century, including such groups as the Lost Generation and African American writers and exiles. It also considers then recent revolution in Spanish cultural and historical thought introduced by Américo Castro, which several American writers discussed in this volume may be said to have anticipated. Recent studies have expanded on Williams’ volumes, but in the majority of cases these works limit their scope to a single period (the nineteenth century, the Spanish Civil War), a movement (predominantly Romanticism) or authors known for their interest in Spain (Irving, Hemingway). The result is often a lack of continuum, or the exclusion of such authors as Saul Bellow, William Gaddis or Richard Wright. Within American literature itself, The Last Good Land contains revisions of traditional interpretations of certain writers, including Hemingway. The variety of authors treated, both in respect to ethnicity and gender, guarantees a varied and global view of Spanish culture by American writers.