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Spanish civil war

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Offline Jill

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« on: September 03, 2007, 21:19 PM »
Hola,

Not a nature related question, but it is an Iberian thing:- My elder daughter is very keen to learn everything that she can about the Spanish civil war. General history books don't give enough info about what life was like then for the people, and nor has she found a website with enough information to satisfy her requirements. I can't remember where I put Hemingway - we'll obviously have to get another copy - but I was wondering if anybody could recommend any other books (history books, novels, or memoirs) which cover the subject or which are set during that era.
She'd rather they were in English, of course.

Jill

 

Offline Clive

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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 21:40 PM »
Hi Jill,

I am not sure if you will be able to find a web based factual and unbiased deposit of information.

As an example you could start the research at http://lacucaracha.info

Clive
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 09:49 AM »
Hi Jill and Xöe,
apart from Hemingway, I read Orwell's Homage to Catalonia which only confused me even more, so many different factions and sub-factions involved in the fighting. I found Laurie Lee's As I Walked Out One Mid-Summer Morning much easier going and would suggest that as a start.
I wonder if there's a local hero/bandit (depending on one's political leanings) round your way? The last "emboscado" (fugitve hiding in the woods) around our way, "Juanín", was eventually shot by the Guardia Civil in 1957!
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Offline nick

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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 10:29 AM »
I think she would want something in Spanish wouldn't she? I loved Laurie Lee but he's a poet more than a social recorder and so not exactly an accurate recorder of reality.

The iberianture.com position is unconcerned by liberal worries of bias:

Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
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Offline lucy

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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007, 15:00 PM »
I can really recommend Robert Fraser  "Blood of Spain: an Oral history".  I read it years ago and found it rivetting, as it's based on people narrating their personal experiences of the civil war.  I don't know if it was published in Spanish too, but I imagine so.  I keep meaning to get another copy as someone borrowed mine and disappeared with it.

Offline nick

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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2007, 16:14 PM »
Yes, I'd forgotten about that. Very good
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2007, 17:22 PM »
And coincidentally the Olive Press newspaper has just published some info about the writers and publications about the civil war

http://www.theolivepress.es/2007/09/04/the-spanish-civil-war-and-the-written-word-2/

Clive
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2007, 17:28 PM »
Hi Jill,

This may be a heavyweight book to recommend but it's beginning to be seen as the definitive history:

Beevor, Anthony, (2006). The Battle for Spain. ISBN 13: 978-0-7538-2165-7

What's more it's available here in peperback  at €15.90

Although it is an academic book it is highly riveting and unputdownable, but I should say it makes pretty depressing, not to say shocking reading. It changed a lot of my views of the Republic and opened my eyes big time.

Regards

Simon

Offline Jill

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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2007, 10:40 AM »
Thank-you, to everybody, for all your suggestions.

Yes, I must buy another copy of "As I walked out..." Xoe will like it, just as she liked "Cider with Rosie", precisely because of the poetic style. However you are right, Nick: she also needs some social recording of reality. You're wrong about her wanting it in Spanish - teenagers are very lazy people; just like the rest of us - but I would imagine that we are more likely to find first-hand accounts in Spanish, so if you know of any do, please, add them to the list.

Xoe is a prolific reader and is always hungry for more; if I can only get my hands on these books she will devour the whole lot. The Robert Fraser book sounds as if it would be especially useful because what she is actually aiming to do is write a novel set in the civil war era. So, although she needs the facts about the fighting, and needs to understand the politics, she also needs to be able to get into the mind of the people.

Lisa, your comments about local heroes really set me thinking. Looking at this place - with its holiday apartments  and its shiny new cars and boats; its increasingly thick veneer of super-abundant, superfluous wealth; its permanent party atmosphere - it's just so hard to imagine it torn by war. Indeed, you alerted me to the fact that my subconscious mind had placed the civil war Somewhere Else. This place - La Manga - is just too affluent, too greedy and grab-what-you-can, in its nature, to be a place that has come through the very worst kind of war... It all makes no sense. I suppose, perhaps, it's simply a case of people having been so appalled by what they went through that they deliberately and purposefully stamped out the memory. (If so, I think they should stop stamping now.)
   Then I realise that, of course, there was nothing and nobody here at La Manga during the civil war era. Or was there? There were no villages - no houses even - but that dosn't mean that nobody was around. The military were certainly around. San Javier was already an air base, I'm sure. Isla Grosa was a naval base - some sort of training ground for SAS style divers, if the rumours are correct - and Perdiguera (the island inside the Mar Menor) is said by some to have been a munitions dump. The tunnel where Caesar found the snake is said to have been made by Franco's troops. It all sets my mind wondering... as, indeed, it has Xoe's.

By the way Lisa; congratulations on managing to put the dierysis on Xoe. Actually, it goes over the e, rather than the o, but it's the thought that counts. I'm thinking about it too... but I can't remember how to do it.

Jill

Offline Dave

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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2007, 13:05 PM »
Hi Jill and Xoe
This is an excellent web page, with links to various Articles on the Civil war. Agreed, it is based on the point of view of the Anarchists, but it has individual stories as well as a general overview all in English.
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/spaindx.html#People.
Regards
Dave

Offline lisa

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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2007, 15:01 PM »
Sounds like there's already civil unrest in La Manga Dave. Mind you don't get blamed for an uprising.

 :-[ Xoë  :lighttbulb: (From Windows character map, no idea about a Mac.)
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Offline John

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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2007, 00:46 AM »
Hello Jill

Laurie Lee's " A Moment of War" deals more with his experiences in the Civil War, than does"As I walked out....."
"Winter in Madrid" by CJ Sansom...story set in Madrid shortly after the end of the Civil War...easy read but good description of Madrid at the time.
Also recommend "Doves of War" by Paul Preston....women's participation in the Civil War.

If you go on my website to

 http://www.tuktuktours.co.uk/links.htm

You will find a fair number of links to sites on the Civil War that maybe you will find interesting

Hope I've been of some assistance

John
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Offline Jill

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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2007, 21:30 PM »
Thank-you to everybody!

Xoe (with a dierysis on the e) has now ordered pretty much every book that was suggested.... so I just hope that we can fit them all on board!

Jill

(P.S. Lisa, you forgot to tell me where the character map is hidden. Isn't there a nice quick link? There used to be on my old computer... )

Offline lisa

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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2007, 22:44 PM »
Mine's in Accessories - System tools (Windows PC.)
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2007, 01:30 AM »
Greetings All,
Jeez, folks! Y'all gone and done it again - embark on an interesting thread while muggins 'ere was being slowly roasted alive on the beach.

You've covered just 'bout everything, and John's web site and Dave's excellent recommendation were very interesting, with references and links etc. that were new to me. Thanx.

One of the most powerful books covering that period is Arturo Barea's trilogy La forja de un rebelde (Forging of a Rebel) - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arturo_Barea. First published in English, it wasn't published in Spain until after Franco's death, although a Spanish version had been published earlier in Argentina.

RTVE has been broadcasting an "interesting" (if you can stand the awful acting, which I can't and so have not watched more than 10 minutes) soap opera over the last few months Amar en tiempos revueltos (4 p.m.-ish?) which is currently set in the 50s, I think, but which started with episodes set at the end of the war. Apart from the poetic licence to be expected from a soap, according to some of my sources (family-in-law), it did/does portray very accurately the atmosphere of mistrust, repression and dire circumstances in the post-war period. Anyway, Xoë's missed the period she was specifically interested in and will have to wait for the re-run (unless there's a change in government next year, in which case she will certainly not be able to watch it - and you think I'm joking!).

As for Orwell's Homage, despite the smear campaign apparently carried out against him a few years ago back in the UK (of which I only have secondhand information) and depsite Lisa being confused by the different factions involved - possibly you read it before coming to Spain or shortly after having arrived? - it does portray the chaos and bleakness surrounding the whole tragic affair and was the first to reveal the in-fighting taking place within the Republican government factions, as well as the deplorable behaviour of certain foreign governments who shall be nameless but whose head lives at no. 10.

Because of Orwell's critical stance, his then publisher, Victor Gollancz, refused to publish it because it put many of the people involved in the fight against the fascists, especially the Communist Party, in very bad light. But I'm speaking from memory, and may be putting my foot in you-know-where again.

Several films covering that period have also been released over the last few years, but as I'm not a cinéfilo (En. anyone?), so maybe someone can recommend some.

Regs.
Technopat

PS.
Caesar's tunnel, rather than having been made by Franco's troops, would have been dug out by forced labour gangs aka prisoners-of-war.

PPS.
Not sure that I agree with Jill's logical assumption that we're more likely to find first-hand reports in Spanish. Second-and-third-hand possibly. History was written by the victors and the few survivors left have only recently started being taken into account, much to the horror of certain factions - as in the Salamanca Archives - over to Nick in BCN or Simon in TGN?
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2007, 07:38 AM »
Hi there peeps
 You seem to have covered my liist. It was Winter in Madrid that really got me going.  Excellent notes section at the back.
 When I was looking for material on Freddie Garcia Lorca the internet took me to some very interesting places and consequently gave me a peek into the Spanish psyche.  Apart from the obvious differences in political thought there are those people who want to put a lid on the past and those who still need answers to what happened to them and their loved ones. I have one or two references at foot of FGL article on the blog.

However the Beever book is being mooted I believe by both English and Spanish academics as the best book written so far on this part of Spanish (and European) history.
SueMac
psI have a copy of AS I went out...... Zoe which I am prepared to donate to the cause if you would like....email me.
SueMac

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Offline glennie

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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2007, 09:25 AM »
Several films covering that period have also been released over the last few years, but as I'm not a cinéfilo (En. anyone?), so maybe someone can recommend some.
Regs.
Technopat

Land and Freedom - Ken Loach. Must be one of the best. Attests to what Orwell had to say about the Communists and their attempts to get a stranglehold on the revolution.

There have been a lot of Spanish movies, though all titles escape me. Spanish conservatives often complain about what they see as constant charicaturing in these movies - almost all Nationalists are bad and mean and monstruous and (nearly) all Republicans are salt of the earth idealists. Inevitably there is some oversimplification; maybe the reality was just too complex at times and does not lend itself to film making.

But I guess it is true that, whether the Left like it or not, there is a film/documentary to be made about the thousands of priests and nuns that were 'put to the sword', which is just something that is generally ignored now (of course, you could argue that this is just redressing the balance after almost 40 years of the dictatorship rowing in the opposite directioin). While some  claim that such bloodletting was simple historical inevitability given the historic role of the Church in Spain (same kind of 'inevitability' explanation could be given for the raping of almost all German women by Soviet troops in 44-45), it all gets a lot less simple once you start looking at the fate of individuals.

Simon

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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2007, 11:07 AM »
Hello all,

The Must Read book of them all has got to be The Forging of a Rebel (a trilogy) by Arturo Barera. It's recently been replrinted in one volume by Granta.

Enjoy

Simon X

Offline nick

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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2007, 11:49 AM »
There were a number of propoganda films made in the 1950s about priests as victims.

My favourite Spanish-made Civil War film is Ay Carmela. I think it does well to portay people as humans not as caricatures
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 11:52 AM by nick »
Nick
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Offline glennie

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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2007, 11:55 AM »
There were a number films made in the 1950s about priests as victims.

That's what I meant by 'rowing in the opposite direction'. Doubtless, all the Republicans are bad and mean and monstruous and all (and I mean all) of the Nationalists are salt of the earth idealists!

And I don't seem to be able to spell any more: charicatures; monstruous !Maybe I'm reading too much Spanish (and German, I should add)  and not enough English.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 12:07 PM by glennie »