Espacios de mujeres españolas: memorias, represión, fragmentos y espectáculos, 1939-.

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During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) Spain suffered a huge repression, as General Francisco Franco overtook an established Republican Government and stayed in power for nearly forty years. People lived in fear; a fear so severe that they were forced to repress their memories of wartime events. After the death of Franco in 1975, Spain established a democratic-monarchic government. Again, forgetting the past was the path taken by all political parties to avoid any confrontations, as memory slipped into oblivion. In my investigation, I will contribute to the excavation of the past and help break the silence by focusing on Spanish women's spaces during the social context of the Spanish Civil War, Spain's postwar, Transition to Democracy and PostTransition. I will study theories of memory based on the research of Paul Ricoeur, Tzvetan Todorov, Pierre Nora, and Maurice Halbwachs, as a source to explore Spanish women's spaces and identities as well as their contributions, not only to society and culture but also to the literary world. The authors at the core of my study include: Carmen Laforet, Ana María Matute, Carmen Martín Gaite, María Luisa Elío, Mercé Rodoreda, Carmen Praga, Tomasa Cuevas, Dolores Medio, Dulce Chacón, Ricardo Vinyes and Javier Cercas. My research spans several genres, with novels and testimonies by and about women that use memory - individual and collective - as a vehicle to reconstruct their feminine identities and spaces. Although Spanish women were trapped in a patriarchal society during the postwar years, they were able to skillfully manipulate the imposed censorship to express themselves and their needs. The texts that I include in my investigations can be broken into three main phases: repressed memory, fragmented memory and spectacular memory. This dissertation shows how memory can serve as an agent for liberation especially for women of an oppressed and forced silence of the past.