The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) pitted conservative forces including the army, the Church, the Falange (fascist party), landowners, and industrial capitalists against the Republic, installed in 1931 and supported by intellectuals, the petite bourgeoisie, many campesinos (farm laborers), and the urban proletariat. Provoking heated passions on both sides, the Civil War soon became an international phenomenon that inspired a number of literary works reflecting the impact of the war on foreign and national writers. While the literature of the period has been the subject of scholarship, women’s literary production has not been studied as a body of work in the same way that literature by men has been, and its unique features have not been examined. Addressing this lacuna in literary studies, this volume provides fresh perspectives on well-known women writers, as well as less studied ones, whose works take the Spanish Civil War as a theme. The authors represented in this collection reflect a wide range of political positions. Writers such as Maria Zambrano, Merce Rodoreda, and Josefina Aldecoa were clearly aligned with the Republic, whereas others, including Mercedes Salisachs and Liberata Masoliver, sympathized with the Nationalists. Most, however, are situated in a more ambiguous political space, although the ethics and character portraits that emerge in their works might suggest Republican sympathies. Taken together, the essays are an important contribution to scholarship on literature inspired by this pivotal point in Spanish history.
Spanish Women Writers and Spain’s Civil War