Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
First Committee Member
Thomas E. Lewis
Second Committee Member
Ana M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez
Third Committee Member
This dissertation analyzes the ways in which the Spanish Generation X writers José Ángel Mañas (b. 1971), Lucía Etxebarria (b. 1966), Gabriela Bustelo (b. 1962), and Pedro Maestre (b. 1967) represent Madrid and other late twentieth-century cityscapes in their respective novels Ciudad rayada (1998), Beatriz y los cuerpos celestes (1998), Veo veo (1996), and Matando dinosaurios con tirachinas (1996). These novels sketch an alarming social portrait of youth dissent in Spain's nascent democracy, which had relatively recently joined social, political, and economic arms with the rest of Western Europe. I read the representations of Madrid, Edinburgh, Elda, and Alcoy in these narratives as antagonistic and anthropomorphic spaces that stalk, coerce, and then attack the first-person narrators who scurry about them, rat-like. But these characters demonstrate impressive instincts that protect them from death and emotional destruction and strengthen their identities in the face of a postauthoritarian society enmeshed in the forces of global capitalism.
These Generation X authors introduce their characters to a discordant physical environment, one that works against the grain of the image Spain sought to show the world in 1992 as Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympics, Seville held the Universal Exposition, and Madrid was recognized as the European Union's Capital of Culture. Spain was trying to show the world that it had resurrected itself from the ashes of dictatorship to become a modern democracy worthy of a seat at Europe's table. But Mañas, Etxebarria, Bustelo, and Maestre do not accept that line of thinking. In their renderings, Spain does not emerge as successful in international political and economic arenas but as a highly conflictive nation.
Generation X, literature, peninsular, space, Spain, Spanish
viii, 196 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 191-196).
Copyright 2013 Corey Michael Rubin
Rubin, Corey Michael. "Rats in the city: mapping a space-character interface in the narratives of Spain's generation X." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2013.