Body and posthegemony in Spain: Affect, habitus, and multitude in contemporary Spanish novels
Monteagudo Canales, Alberto
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This research draws on current approaches in the theory of posthegemony. I’m particularly interested about the contributions to this matter provided by Jon Beasley-Murray, Toni Negri, Gilles Deleuze, and Pierre Bourdieu among others. Beyond this, I aim to outline the possibilities of this theory within the context of contemporary Peninsular studies. On one hand, posthegemony could be linked to postmodernity and the end of ideology, also announced by those who suggest that neoliberal regimes construct and rely upon new forms of rule for which ideology no longer plays a significant role. On the other hand, using these lens to read a selection of Spanish novels from the 80s to our present, we can observe the posthegemonic transit from a regime as Franco’s dictatorship to a monarchic democracy, where the control of the citizens is embedded on their body: by emotions, as fear (of immigrants, the return of past conflicts like the Civil War,) fused with habits (as a result, among other things, of a daily life under a welfare state). I argue that novels as Eduardo Mendicutti’s Una mala noche la tiene cualquiera, Andrés Sorel’s Las voces del Estrecho, or El padre de Blancanieves by Belén Gopegui, help us to unveil these mechanisms of the social order by providing a critique that not only affects the reader, but also can provoke a change in her very habits. Hence, these novels open the door to the imagination, to the possibility of change, to the prospect of a different social order; and also, they precede new forms of social organisation, as the one that surged in 2011 as part of the social movement 15-M in Spain.