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Pathologies of the Past: Spain’s “Belated” Memory Debates

  • Alison Ribeiro de Menezes

Abstract

Spain’s current memory debates are arguably rather belated, and not simply because for many their appearance in public discourse has been tardy. If we take the notion of “belatedness” in a Freudian sense, as designating the manner in which the past is always already interpreted,1 then Civil War memory in Spain is at least triply belated. Interpreted according to Regime dictates during the Francoist period, and reinterpreted according to the new memory horizon of the Transition to democracy, it has, since roughly the turn of the millennium, been undergoing a further revision that has aroused heated disputes in the political, civic, and academic arenas. The palimpsestic nature of Spain’s memory horizon testifies to shifting generational perspectives both on the past and on its significance for the present.

Keywords

Mass Grave Transitional Justice Cultural Memory Historical Memory Political Opportunity Structure 
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Notes

  1. 2.
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    Santiago Carrillo has played down his own heroism somewhat, writing in his memoirs: “Estaba claro para mf que aquello sólo podf a pararlo el rey, con el peso de la autoridad que le había otorgado Franco mi s que con la suya propia por entonces muy en entredicho entre los militares. El pueblo español, traumatizado aún por la memoria de la guerra y del terror que le siguió, no estaba en condiciones de salir a la calle a hacer frente a los sublevados como ocurrióen el 36.” Santiago Carrillo, Memorias ( Barcelona: Planeta, 1993 ), 714.Google Scholar
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    A similar view is proposed in Juan Francisco Fuentes’s recent biography, Adolfo Suárez: Biografía política (Barcelona: Planeta, 2011 ). See also the debate on Suárez’s role offered in Charles Powell and Pere Bonin, Adolfo Suárez ( Barcelona: Cara and Cruz, 2004 ).Google Scholar
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© Alison Ribeiro de Menezes 2014

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  • Alison Ribeiro de Menezes

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