Reivindicacion del pasado: Una asignatura pendiente de la espana democratica en la narrativa de Antonio Munoz Molina
Villodre Lopez, Maria Pilar
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This dissertation analyzes, from a historical perspective, five of Antonio Munoz Molina's novels: Beatus Ille , El jinete polaco , Plenilunio , Los misterios de Madrid and Sefarad . Since history has a tendency to repeat itself, Munoz Molina demands a reappraisal of the past so that the same mistakes are not repeated. In these works, the historical past is recounted, not only through personal archives, but also through the stories told by the characters. Symmetry between present and past events is a constant element in these novels. It is used by the writer to vindicate Spain's historical past in order to acknowledge it and keep its memory alive. During the "Transition" to democracy, the political Right and Left signed a "pact of silence" with the purpose of avoiding violent confrontations, yet it is precisely for this reason that Spanish society is in danger of forgetting its historical past. This fact has generated a feeling of "disillusionment" in Spanish society, a feeling that Muñoz Molina vividly depicts in some of his novels. The first two novels, Beatus Ille and El jinete polaco , evoke the Second Republic, the Spanish Civil War, the Franco era and the post-Franco regime. In doing so, they offer a revisionist view of Spain's recent history that opens up new possible interpretations of it. When considering Plenilunio and Los misterios de Madrid , the present study focuses on the relationship between Church and State during and following Franco's dictatorship. Spain's amnesic attitude towards the past manifests itself in this relationship over time and thus occupies an important place in the readings undertaken in this part of the dissertation. In turning then to Los misterios de Madrid , this study builds upon the preceding analyses but also emphasizes the divergences that existed in Spain between urban and postmodern Madrid and rural and conservative Magina during the '90s. In Sefarad , besides paying tribute to the Republican exile, the author also remembers the Jewish victims of the Holocaust as well as the victims of the Communism. The characters constitute a microcosm of exiled and marginalized persons, their victimization being the common link between all of them. The characters' political beliefs are skillfully used by the writer to exalt democratic values and at the same time to condemn authoritarian political power. Opposed to persecution and rejection of the "other" in authoritarian systems, Muñoz Molina in his narrative defends the cultural pluralism of the United States as the paradigm of a democratic state.