Compañeros del exilio: Una cartografía de resistencia después de la Guerra Civil española

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This dissertation studies the cultural production of three intellectual couples following the Spanish Civil War. Using a variety of genres, my project explores and problematizes traditional approaches to the study of literary and artistic productions in the Post-Civil War period. While previous studies of women’s texts have often been limited to describing feminine difference and noting the oblivion and exclusion of female voices from the canon, I argue that women’s voices need to be considered as part of a larger cultural discourse. By establishing a dialogue among texts created by literary couples, we see the variety and complexity of experiences and responses both during and after the war. Also, while traditional approaches have studied the texts produced in exile separately from those created in Spain, I include texts written in both territorial Spain and exile. Through an examination of responses and strategies of resistance utilized in both spaces, I challenge both the idea that Inner Spain was left with a cultural void after the exodus of 1939, and the myth that there was no communication between the interior and exterior of Spain.

The first chapter reconsiders the works of María Teresa León in relation to her husband, Rafael Alberti. León’s literary persona has long been overshadowed by the very public voice of Alberti, and most studies of her work have focused on this fact rather than on her extensive literary production. By looking at a number of texts by León, some of them completely overlooked by the canon, we see themes similar to Alberti’s, particularly a dedication to their political ideals and the future of Spain. In the second chapter, I question the claim that the exodus of Spanish intellectuals at the end of the Civil War left the country devoid of cultural values by studying the works of Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio and Carmen Martín Gaite. The case of Martín Gaite is notable because she achieved more fame and recognition for her work than her spouse. Although she was writing in a very conservative Spain for women, she used strategies of the fantastic to undermine patriarchal domination that clearly influenced her husband’s works. In the final chapter, I examine the work of Jomí García Ascot and María Luisa Elío, who accompanied their parents into exile in Mexico as children. While a common assumption is that they should have adapted perfectly to their new country, the uprootedness of living in exile and a phantom Spain become central themes in both of their works. Their collaboration in the mythical film on exile, En el balcón vacío, portrays the decisive influence of Juan Ramón Jiménez, an exile and inner Spain icon of his own.