Saturday, February 03, 2007

Nada by Carmen Laforet

Few people have entered literature more dramatically than Carmen Laforet. She was 23 when the unpublished Nada (Nothing) won the 1944 Nadal Prize; it has remained in print in Spain ever since. It still surprises that this powerful, albeit implicit, indictment of Franco's dictatorship got past the censors. At the time, it was seen as a sensationalist novel about violent, mad, abnormal people. Today, when Nada is recognised as one of the few great novels to be written during the dictatorship, its portrayal of a crushed, starving middle-class family in a sordid Barcelona reveals how violent abnormality was the norm of life under fascism.
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