“Crossing to the Other Side: The Afterworld and Aftermath of Trauma, War, and Exile in Rosa Chacel’s Ciencias naturales (1988)”
Palabras clave:Novela, Siglo XX
Agencias Financiadoras:The University of Auckland
This article offers a reading of Rosa Chacel’s Ciencias naturales as a testimony to the trauma and grief that Republican supporters suffered as a result of the Nationalists’ victory in the Spanish Civil War, the consequences of exile, and the loss of the liberal Spain and cultural avant-garde with which Chacel identified. Whereas Chacel’s three diaries have attracted many critical studies, hardly any exist on Ciencias naturales and none, to my knowledge, has linked Chacel’s diaries with that novel. Arguing that Chacel’s use of the diary in Ciencias naturales can be seen as a site of memory as developed by Pierre Nora, this study draws on theories of trauma to illuminate how Chacel’s last work in her trilogy of memory novels bears witness to the original wound of the Civil War, constantly reiterating structures, symbols and motifs that articulate the paradigm of departure and return characteristic of traumatic memory. Finally, in its concluding section, the essay links Chacel’s Ciencias naturales with José Ortega y Gasset’s project of historical reason.