, Volume 93, Issue 2, pp 233–247 | Cite as

Existential(ist) Echos: Bad Faith Poetics in Pascual Duarte and his Family

  • Edwin Murillo


This article studies the existentialist quality of Camilo José Cela’s La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942). Through a close textual reading, I argue that Cela’s novel produces a bad faith discourse which showcases man’s sovereignty. Although earlier critical studies have debated the novel’s existential, tremendismo and/or naturalist qualities, they have unanimously overlooked how Pascual Duartes bad faith readdresses humanity’s tragic absurdity. My analysis contends that the hyper-brutality of Cela’s novel, far from substantiating neonaturalist rationalizations about the protagonist’s sociopathic behavior, instead uncovers Pascual’s le neánt. Moreover, this negativity on the part of the Galician’s novel redefines 1940s social realism, as man is revealed to be the sum of his conscious actions.


Existentialisms Tremendismo Bad Faith Cela Pascual Duarte Sartre 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern Languages and LiteraturesUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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