This research explores how the Spanish Civil War is represented in three works by the author and historian Juan Eslava Galán: the novels Señorita (1998) and La mula (2003) and the essay Una historia de la guerra civil que no va a gustar a nadie (2005). The approach of Eslava to the Civil War is important, firstly, because of his combination of fiction and history; secondly, because of the use of violence and humour; and thirdly, because of his mastery to disseminate historical discourse keeping high standards of research. His work becomes more relevant considering its context; even though the war ended in 1939, it is still a topical and polemical issue in present-day Spain, due to the ongoing revision of its historical memory. Therefore, the works by an author and a historian as Eslava become a valuable contribution to this current debate. This thesis starts by examining the way in which Eslava’s works fit into a narrative tradition that began with the conflict in 1936, highlighting their relevance, and it continues by considering the importance of Eslava’s representation of the Civil War through violence and humour. The theoretical framework is Postmodernism and in particular its approach to fiction and history. This study reaches several conclusions: (i) Eslava’s representation of the War crosses genres, elaborating a similar discourse in fictionalised essays and historical novels; (ii) both war sides are held accountable for the conflict but with quantitative and qualitative differences; (iii) non-ideologised episodes in a highly ideologised conflict also offer essential information about the conflict; (iv) violence is legitimised in certain contexts; (v) humour provides a counter-discourse for Fascism and Nazism; and (vi) the Civil War should be revisited as a historical period full of nuances, avoiding the reductionism still present in some political and pseudohistorical discourses.
|Date of Award||2018|
|Supervisor||Raquel Medina (Supervisor)|
- Spanish civil war
- historical novel
- historical essay