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.
Number of pages: 250
Weight: 407 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 15 mm
"...a work of considerable detail and painstaking analysis which should become essential reading for those undertaking a study of post-Francoist Spain, not merely in the context of its politics, but also in that of culture, literature and film." in: Hispanic Research Journal, October 2003 "... an important contribution to the field of Spanish Cultural Studies [...] it provides a critical understanding of the Spanish transition to democracy and the role played in it by the politics of memory. [...] it acknowledges the position of certain Spanish writers and filmmakers, ... as privileged and key cultural producers of contemporary Spain." in: Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2003 "...earns high marks and deserves a place on the bookshelves of Hispanists." in: Hispania, 85, May 2002 "...bietet [...] neue, anschlussfahige Perspektiven. " in: Iberoromania, No. 59, 2004 "Insgesamt liegt mit diesem Band ein gelungenes Kompendium vor, das ... eine grosse Bereicherung fur die "Amnesiedebatte" leistet. ... Es ware auch deshalb zu hoffen, dass diese Publikation weitere Untersuchungen nach sich zieht." in: Tranvia, Juni 2002, Heft 65
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