Spain is different?

Historical memory and the ‘Two Spains’ in turn-of-the-millennium Spanish apocalyptic fictions

Author(s) Dale Knickerbocker

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Iberian and Latin American Studies

  • December 2021 · 288 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786838124
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786838131
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786838148

About The Book

The end of the second millennium witnessed an increase in science-fictional apocalyptic narratives globally. There is a noteworthy difference between such fictions from Latin America and the anglophone world and those from Spain, in which scientific explanations of events coexist with biblically-inspired plots, characters and imagery. This is the first book-length study of either science-fictional novels or apocalyptic literature in that country, analysing six such works between 1990 and 2005. Within a theoretical framework that includes critical and genre theories, archetypal criticism, and biblical scholarship, the book explains this phenomenon as a result of three historical factors: the ‘Two Spains’, Spanish ‘difference’, and the ‘Pact of Silence’, a tacit agreement that made justice and accountability impossible in the name of a peaceful transition to democracy. It repressed any processing of the historical trauma experienced during the Civil War and dictatorship, trauma that manifests itself symbolically in these fictions.


‘This insightful study of the apocalyptic 1990–2005 SF novels by Montero, Negrete, Aguilera, del Barco, Vaquerizo, and the duo Pallarés and Garrigós, reveals how the Civil War traumas silenced by the democratic transition surfaced in a Spain not only “different” but also still hopelessly split between irreconcilable views of the nation.’
Dr Sara Martín, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

‘This fascinating book provides a refreshing perspective on the subject of Spanish historical memory and collective identity, and reveals the important role of apocalyptic stories. Brave, timely and accessible: Spain might or might not be different, after all, but the author opens up different angles on how Spain has (mis)handled its past.’
Dr Patricia García, Departamento de Filología, Comunicación y Documentación, Universidad de Alcalá


Series Editors’ Foreword
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Apocalypse and apotheosis in Rosa Montero’s Temblor
Chapter 3. Apocalypse and alienation in Javier Negrete’s Nox perpetua
Chapter 4. The Mater of all apocalypses: Juan Miguel Aguilera’s La locura de Dios
Chapter 5. Enlightening the apocalypse: Enrique del Barco’s Punto Omega
Chapter 6. Born to kill: Eduardo Vaquerizo’s Mentes de noche y hielo
Chapter 7. ‘Fiery the angels rose’: José Miguel Pallarés and Amadeo Garrigós’s Tiempo prestado
Works cited

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Dale Knickerbocker

Dale Knickerbocker is McMahon Distinguished Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at East Carolina University. He specialises in Hispanic science fiction, horror and the fantastic, and is author of Juan José Millás: the obsessive-compulsive aesthetic, and editor of Lingua Cosmica: Essays on World Science Fiction.

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