Focusing on literary texts produced from 2000 to 2009, Lorraine Ryan examines the imbrication between the preservation of Republican memory and the transformations of Spanish public space during the period from 1931 to 2005. Accordingly, Ryan analyzes the spatial empowerment and disempowerment of Republican memory and identity in Dulce ChacÃ³n’s Cielos de barro, Ãngeles LÃ³pez’s Martina, la rosa nÃºmero trece, Alberto Méndez’s ’Los girasoles ciegos,’ Carlos Ruiz ZafÃ³nÂ´s La sombra del viento, Emili Teixidor’s Pan negro, Bernardo Atxaga’s El hijo del acordeonista, and José MarÃa Merino’s La sima. The interrelationship between Republican subalternity and space is redefined by these writers as tense and constantly in flux, undermined by its inexorable relationality, which leads to subjects endeavoring to instill into space their own values. Subjects erode the hegemonic power of the public space by articulating in an often surreptitious form their sense of belonging to a prohibited Republican memory culture. In the democratic period, they seek a categorical reinstatement of same on the public terrain. Ryan also considers the motivation underlying this coterie of authors’ commitment to the issue of historical memory, an analysis which serves to amplify the ambits of existing scholarship that tends to ascribe it solely to postmemory.
Lorraine Ryan is a Birmingham fellow at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
’What is primarily new and important about this study is the commingling of memory and space in the context of memory studies in Spain. Ryan argues persuasively for the necessary integration of the temporal and the spatial and illustrates her point through the close reading of seven different narrative texts. Ryan is sophisticated theoretically, is an excellent reader-and it shows throughout her work.’ - David Herzberger, University of California, Riverside, USA
'Within the present Spanish context of the reconceptualization of historical memory during the Civil War and postwar periods, this book shows the importance of spatial narrative in order to appropriate one's own (collective) history and identity.' - Forum for Modern Language Studies
'Lorraine Ryan’s Memory and Spatiality in Post-Millenial Spanish Narrative offers a novel approach to memory studies ... Ryan’s monograph makes a valuable and original contribution to the burgeoning field of memory studies. Her focus on space, her concern with authorial motivation, her deft use of a range of conceptual frameworks, and her detailed contextualization make it essential reading for those working on memory studies in Spain.' - Bulletin of Hispanic Studies
'Ryan does an excellent job of exploring the approach contemporary writers have taken to Republicanism in order to reclaim a political position which had been silenced for many years...Overall, the book is an informative, tendentious, and penetrating analysis of Republican memory after the Civil war.'- Angela P. Pacheco, Purdue University, British Society for Literature and Science