Dos voces femeninas desde el exilio



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Texas Tech University


This study focuses on the short stories of two Spanish women writers who left Spain in 1939, as a result of the Spanish Civil War: Rosa Chacel (1898), who settled in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, and Merc6 Rodoreda (1909-1983), who lived first in Paris and finally in Geneva.

Both women had written and published works as well as numerous journal articles prior to the onset of the Civil War. They belonged to avant-garde literary groups during the first quarter of the century: Rosa Chacel to the Generation of 1927 and Rodoreda to the Sabadell Group.

They composed most of their fiction—including all the short stories--in exile. Rosa Chacel has two collections, published originally in 1951 and 1961, and reedited, together with four more stories, in a later volume titled Icada. Nevda. Diada (1971). Mercfe Rodoreda has three collections published in 1957, 1967 and 1978 which clearly show her evolution as a writer.

The dissertation consists of an introduction, four chapters and a conclusion. Chapter II explores the experience of exile and its repercussion in the lives and work of both women. It includes historical data and a study of the different faces of exile—temporal, linguistic, territorial and inner exile—as portrayed in the stories. The third chapter deals with a variety of narrators and points of view. Special attention is given to the use of monologue, as a feminine rhetorical form of speech, and its relationship with the voices from exile. Chapter IV explores the use of epiphanies and of several recurrent symbols--water, mirrors, flowers, and silence—to examine the themes of time, death, and solitude, all of which are directly linked to the authors' personal and professional experiences in exile. The final chapter presents several stories from the perspective of the fantastic. It analyzes different phenomena—terror, lunacy and metamorphosis—and establishes the relationship between fantastic and exilic 1iterature.

The richness of interpretation offered by the stories places their authors among those whose works represent universal values, and who deserve more detailed attention than that afforded them to date.