Literature, Cinema, Transition, Disenchantment. Or the State of Exception (October 24-26)

This week we discussed the meaning of The Transition in post-Franco Spain, and how disenchantment played a significant part in that period.  For your blogpost, compose a brief commentary about how you see these issues represented in Luis Martín Santos‘s novel Time of Silence and Víctor Erice’s film The Spirit of the Beehive.

Blogpost are due on Saturday October 28 at 5pm at the latest.

The Delight and the Hegemonic Fury. Liberalism Within Fascism (17-19 October)

This week we have discussed issues of liberalism and its taking place within the frame of the last 15 years of the Francoist fascist regime.  In this paradoxical frame, we have engaged questions of humor, noir film, masculinity and femininity, gender bending and representation, voiceover, poetic voices, stream of consciousness, and that “she” remembering the future.  To trace these cultural happenings, we have engaged primary evidence (Berlanga’s The Executioner, Zambrano’s essay “Remembering the Future,” and the three poems by González, Guillén, and Hernández), and secondary evidence by Pavlovic, Marsh, and Duprat de Montero.

Given our class and screening discussions, I trust that most of you have grasped the importance and meaning of these matters.  Given, also, that you have to turn in your second short paper (this one on the topic of “Manipulation of Historical Memory”), I am hereby establishing a moratorium on blogposting for this week.   Please, note that, as I said many of you in the first paper, this thematic axis is NOT your title for this paper.  You must assign your paper a title that announces what is YOUR argument about the manipulation of historical memory in Spanish literature and cinema that we have read and discussed until now.

You do NOT have to post a blog on the above-stated matters this weekIMPORTANT NOTE: if posting on these matters can help you contribute to your second short paper, please do not hesitate to do so, and I will give you feedback on that posting.

Monies I Never Told You. Suffering, Finances, and Transnational Melodrama (October 12-13)

During this short week we are going to read two chapters of the book on Spanish cinema, local genres, global films: Jordan, “Spanish Cinema and the ‘National / Transnational’ Debate” and Oliete-Aldea, “Questions of Transnationalism and Genre.” On Wednesday we are going to watch the film by Isabel Coixet, Cosas que nunca te dije (Things that I Never Told You)  (1996).

On Thursday, we are going to hear three presentations: one, the Databases and resources orientation (Mandatory attendance, Woodruff 312) by Phil MacLeod; and then we are going to hear the presentations of the studies by Besas, on “The Financial Structure of Spanish Cinema” and Loyo, “Local Responses to Universal Sufferings in Isabel Coixet’s Transnational Melodramas.”  I ask that you pay close attention to the relationship between finances, suffering, and melodrama.

These readings and presentations will help you begin to develop an understanding of an important link for the rest of the semester, which I present to you as a tripartite question that I want you to try to consider in order to write your blogposts for this week: what is the relationship between finances and transnational melodrama? Is transnational melodrama, in other words, a result of the financial structure of Spanish Cinema? Or, conversely, did the financial structure of Spanish Cinema depended on the emergence of the genre of melodrama as a transnational event?  The blogpost comments and questions are due on Saturday October 15 at 5PM at the very latest.

Italy in Spain’s Mind. Neorealism and Its Discontents (3-5 October)

This week we have explored the myriad ways in which the aesthetic and political characteristic of Italian Neorealism appears in the cinema and literature of twentieth-century Spain.  The chapter by Pavlović we discussed reviewed some of the tenets that Steven Marsh’s article presented about this matter last week, and prepared us to grapple with the reading of both Buñuel’s film Viridiana and Antonio Machado’s poem “Una España joven / A Young Spain.”  The articles by Bonaddio on hibridity, politics, and entertainment, and by Tarancón on realism, social conflict, crime drama and film noir also provided us with language and concepts to further understand this national / transnational exchange.


By Saturday at 5PM at the latest, please post your comments, questions, or doubts you have regarding what you understood by the role of Italian Neorealism, its ‘translation’ to Spain’s cinema and literature, and its relation with Spanish traditions of Realism, esperpento, the grotesque, historical memory, and nostalgia.