From Hungers To Appetites: Women Writers After The Spanish Civil War
My dissertation reveals a feminist discourse in texts written by Spanish women who use hunger and appetite as literary tropes after the post Civil War Hunger Years. I argue that the symbolic employment of hunger and appetite allows women writers to find feminism within traditional feminine identities. Drawing attention to the food women cook for others, particularly in their role as mothers, these authors ask us to question the hungers of women themselves. Once they identify various feminine hungers, they begin to explore the emergence of appetite. The emergence of appetite from a condition of hunger is where, I argue, a feminist impulse is manifest. I frame my study in the symbolic connotations of hunger and appetite in the writing of two Spanish women grouped with the Generation of '27, Rosa Chacel and María Zambrano. In Chacel's diaries and Zambrano's philosophical essays, they reveal the tensions that form as women struggle to give their bodies the artistic and intellectual nourishment that they need in the first decades of the Franco regime. They also show that when a woman engages with appetite, a natural desire to explore the world or, as Chacel says, to say "yes" to everything, she is more connected to herself, to art, to knowledge and to others. In the third chapter, I turn to texts of Generation of '50 novelist, Mercedes Salisachs, who explores the hungers repressed in women who grow up during the Franco Regime and live into the Spanish Transition to Democracy. I finish my study with contemporary novelist, Adelaida García Morales, who points to the emergence of appetite from within a chronically repressed feminine hunger as key to reestablishing the health of both the individual and of the community after the Regime. By revealing the feminist function of hungers and appetites in literature from the 1940s to the 1980s, my dissertation challenges the notion that Spain is a nation that lacks a strong feminist presence during the Franco regime. I highlight that Spanish feminism re-appropriates the female body as a site where an active exploration of life emerges from within lack itself.
Spanish women writers; Spanish feminism
Castillo, Debra Ann
Aching, Gerard Laurence; Keller, Patricia M.
Ph. D., Romance Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis