Fact and fiction : representations of the Asturian Revolution (1934-1938)
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The purpose of this thesis is to study the literary response to the Asturian Revolution of October 1934. It will be shown that a distinct type of literature emerged reflecting the increasing political and social polarisation of Spanish society during the first decades of the twentieth century. Through a careful analysis of the texts published within four years of the Revolution, I will demonstrate how a set of writers, whether authors by profession, politicians, intellectuals, or workers, responded to the most important episode of working- class revolutionary action in Asturias before the Civil War. I will show that their aim was to not only record their experiences and thoughts on the events but also to guide and persuade their readers to adopt a particular political stand, often advocating revolutionary or counter-revolutionary action. These texts are examples of a trend set by intellectuals influenced by national and international political developments who sympathised with (and often openly militated in favour of) a political party line. This politically committed social literature displays a set of common features largely determined by the fact that the time span between the October Revolution and the writing of the works is short. The written responses are spontaneous as they were composed in the heat of the moment against a dramatic backdrop of revolutionary defeat and governmental repression. The texts in question are essentially documentary prose works in which the causes, course and outcome of the Revolution are narrated. By analysing the prose narrative works I will demonstrate that there is a gradual development in the literary characteristics of the texts, and that one group in particular deserves to be classified as 'non-fictional novels'. This term highlights the contrasting documentary and fictional nature of these novels, conditioned by a change in the concept of literature and its purpose, which was in turn prompted by the political and social situation facing Spanish society at the time.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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