Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

First Advisor

Maria Van Liew

Second Advisor

Francisco Sanchez

Abstract

Looking from our 21st century viewpoint, the collection of interviews España para ti…para siempre (1976) and Cinco años de País (1982) can be seen as artifacts of the Spanish Transition to democracy and should be regarded as collections of “places of memory.” Many scholars chronicling the Transition and its impacts have positioned Rosa Montero as a prominent feminist writer of the period. However, her journalistic writing demonstrates her mediatic role as linchpin between the social and political transitions interwoven into the foundation of Spain’s democratic emergence from Francoism. These works were published at a particular moment of consensus in Spanish history when an immense fund of memory was dismissed due to the Pacto de Olvido. Reading these works and seeing the accompanying portraits of popular and influential individuals from our contemporary vantage point, one can begin to interrogate the trajectory of public opinion of the Transition as a kind of ideological reckoning. Rosa Montero’s contributions in the form of these literary interviews have helped form the identity of contemporary Spain and give voice to its history of becoming.

Rosa Montero is one of the first women writers to criticize the situation of women during the Transition. She became well-known during the last years of Francoism and the beginning of the Transition, and her fame continues today. In her work, Rosa Montero is concerned with a whole range of issues relating to sexual politics and the patriarchy. She writes about a gamut of issues, including reproductive health, cultural myths, sexual taboos, workplace discrimination, domestic violence, and traditional family structures. Nevertheless, Montero makes it clear that she does not speak for all Spanish women because she is writing from the position of privilege as an educated, white, urban, heterosexual professional.

This project is not intended to be an exhaustive study of either the Spanish Transition nor the canon of Rosa Montero, but rather an analysis of how she participates in, influences, and presents the political and social transitions in Spain since the death of Franco. I argue that the works of Rosa Montero should be considered lieux de mémoire that contribute to the Spanish collective memory of the Transitional period in “radical” defiance of the "grand narrative" of the Franco regime.

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