Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Asunción Gómez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Santiago López-Ríos

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Ricardo Castells

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Santiago Juan-Navarro

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Aurora Morcillo-Gómez

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Spanish Civil War, exile, identity, second generation

Date of Defense



The victory of the dictator Francisco Franco, after the Spanish Civil War (1936- 1939), resulted in the political repression of thousands of citizens who had been loyal to the Republican government, and the exile of more than 200,000 civilians. The studies of Spanish Civil war exile literature have paid more attention to the first generation of exiled writers. However, the purpose of this dissertation is to study the construction of the self in the autobiographical and auto-fictional works written by the second generation. These authors -- born between 1920 and 1938-- left Spain as children and reached adulthood in different host countries; therefore, they have in common a “nomadic” identity, which was mainly shaped in the exile.

This study explores the relationship between nation, space, time, language, and culture in the autobiographical narratives of the second generation of Spanish Civil War exiled writers. It focuses on several elements that are intertwined throughout their work: (1) the cultural negotiation that these writers establish when they are forced to confront two national identities, that of the country of origin and that of the host country; (2) the

temporal dialectic established between the past (in Spain) and the present of their own lives; (3) the capacity of language to apprehend the past through memory; (4) the narrative strategies that these writers develop in response to the interstitial situation of exile; (5) the dynamics played out in relation to language and culture (these narratives become the sites of intersection between the native and the acquired language, between the self and the other); (6) the importance of memory, forgetfulness, and trauma in the representation of the self in relation to individual and national identity.

Finally, I point out new areas of research and reflect on how the individual autobiographical accounts under study contribute to create a collective history and how through them we can rethink the political and social narratives of the Spanish Civil War.





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