Experimental Narrative and Social Critique in the Works of Elena Quiroga

By Sarah Leggott.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 24, 2015 $US5.00

This study discusses the postwar novels of Spanish writer Elena Quiroga (1921–1995), works which have been the focus of little scholarly attention and are not well known by the reading public. This is despite the fact that Quiroga, who published ten novels and three novellas over the course of her literary career, was awarded major literary prizes including the prestigious Nadal (1950) and Critics’ Prize (1960) and was the second woman elected to the Real Academia Española. In this study, I consider the reasons for this neglect of Quiroga and her works, taking into account the context of the repressive environment of postwar Spain in terms both of the Franco regime’s strict censorship process and the prevailing literary trends of the time. I also discuss the ways in which Quiroga’s complex and experimental novels of the 1950s and 1960s depart from the social realist narrative that dominated literary production in Spain during this period, and examine the narrative strategies that Quiroga used to allow her to deal with a range of topics that were highly taboo in postwar Spain.

Keywords: Literary Criticism, Women Writers, Postwar Spain

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.9-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 24, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 372.278KB)).

Prof. Sarah Leggott

Associate Professor, School of Languages and Cultures, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand