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Academic journal article Romance Notes. HOLLYWOOD cinema is carmen Martin Gaite's constant source of reference for her essay usos amorosos de la postguerra espanola as the model for a modernity the Spanish Post-Civil War generation was eager to access from a society in ruins and isolated by a dictatorial government. As a consequence, s and s Spain was a nation that had more cinema seats per capita than any other European country as a society of film addicts immersed in the culture of evasion from the rigors and oppression of that dictatorship Carr Hollywood films were favored by this Spanish public of cinema addicts over national, mostly folkloric films, for their understated social criticism even though some were subject to rigorous censorship with many banned from release.
Still, American movies were preferred for their emphasis on entertainment over controversy or critique, in contrast to the more social and politically conscious cinemas of Italy, France, and Great Britain Vernon 2. Generation-of writer, Jose Martinez Ruiz Azorin , reiterated this preference in Spain for Hollywood films in the introduction to his book on cinema, El cine y el momento, when he said that he preferred foreign movies and, in particular, American movies 5.
This preference was also the result of the unavailability of national films in a post-war economy in which the few films released were folkloric musicals and religious dramas. Moreover, since the s generations of movie enthusiasts were subjected to a high exposure of Hollywood that made them eager for the modernity, economic progress, and independent women these films promoted.
For example, in , out of the five hundred films released that year in Madrid, were American, 43 were American dubbed in Spanish, and only three were Spanish productions Gubern Still, the Republican government of the s, more liberal in every aspect of society in contrast to previous governments, particularly as regards to women's rights, curbed and censored modern patterns of behavior in Hollywood films as well in spite of the progressive ideology of its policies.
The dictatorial regime of Francisco Franco that followed heightened even further the extent of this censorship. Censorship, however, did not prevent Hollywood films from having a great impact in the Spanish screens. Edited Marlene Dietrich movies, for instance, affected greatly the desires of the adolescent Catalan protagonist of Merce Rodoreda's novel Aloma. In this novel, Aloma fantasized she was "una Dietrich d'estar per casa" when she saw her reflection in one of the windows of a subway car And films were indeed an influence Rodoreda stressed in her introduction to her novel Mirall trencat when she said that a fragment of a good movie could be the source of inspiration for a novel 9.
Although the bibliography and references on the subject of the influences of Hollywood on Spanish literature, cinema, and society are numerous, few address extensively specific Hollywood films targeted in Spanish literature for an influence in plot or character. However, neither of these collections offer specific examples of direct influences or source of inspiration in plot outline or character development.
References to Hollywood stars are frequent as well in Carmen Martin Gaite's novels, particularly in the autobiographical and metafictional El cuarto de atras. These references do not reveal influences in plot or an explicit source of inspiration but they lead to a hidden path Belen Gopegui revealed in the prologue to Martin Gaite's posthumously published novel Los parentescos. Gopegui writes that Carmen Martin Gaite always avoided speaking about her novels during the writing process, opting instead to refer to a movie to express her views.
El Cuarto De Atras
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El cuarto de atras
View Larger Image. Synopsis: Durante una noche de insomnio, la escritora recibe la visita de un desconocido interlocutor cuya identidad permanecera oculta en todo momento Los recuerdos de infancia y juventud en Salamanca se iran mezclando con sus reflexiones sobre los suenos, el amor, la escritura o la memoria. El cuarto de atras es un ensayo sobre el oficio de escribir, un libro de memorias y una novela fantastica. Pero, por encima de todo ello, es una larga conversacion.