ANTÍGONAS EXILIADAS DE LA GUERRA CIVIL DE LAS ESPAÑAS (1936-1999): CONCHA MÉNDEZ Y ERNESTINA DE CHAMPOURCIN
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The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) left a marked influence on the culture and literature of contemporary Spain. After Franco violently toppled the Second Spanish Republic, those with progressive ideas were persecuted, executed, and more than a half a million were forced into a nearly forty-year diaspora. These displacements left diverse traces buried in private memories and certain literary and cultural practices. Despite active research in the last four decades, there are still untapped questions and silences. Particularly, works by exiled women writers and intellectuals that have been relegated to the margins. They offer unexplored spaces of memory and insights into the experiences of forced uprootings. Through poets Concha Méndez (1898-1986) and Ernestina de Champourcin (1905-1999), this thesis delves into geographies of memory, and seeks to broaden the relevance of poetry written in exile, biased by the male canon and its scholarship. It posits the recognition of fresh and close readings of repression and resistance while looking through the violet lenses of equity. These poets refused to abandon their own voices or be silenced due to their marginalized condition as women and exiles. The figure of the classical archetype, Antigone, and the dialogic theories of María Zambrano, allow for a further exchange with these authors’ poetry, oral testimonies and remembrances. The entombment of Antigone, for Zambrano, represents both a challenge and a liberation where expulsion is redeemed by the affirmation of the feminine self. Even though these women were banished to the same location, Mexico, D.F., Concha Méndez offers insights into the study of the plight of her terminal exiles. Meanwhile, Ernestina de Champourcin represents the possibility of interrogating a reconstruction of exile as she attempts a definite return to Spain. However, both voices and experiences coexist within the trauma of loss, solitude, survival, a search for refuge, and the reinvention of oneself. They call for a review and rethinking of categories such as inner exile, and propose new multidisciplinary lenses in order to read alternative discourses of exodus in a feminine mode.