Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Ana Rueda

Abstract

My dissertation explores the narrative of Aurora Bertrana (1892-1974), an unknown writer today, but a successful and recognized female author in Catalonia and Spain during the mid 20th century. The written work of Aurora Bertrana is almost never mentioned in manuals of literature. Relegated almost to absolute oblivion, her rich, intellectual writting has not received the attention it deserves. I have studied seventeen of Bertrana’s novels –practically her entire oeuvre– written in Catalan and Spanish, including the following excellent books that have escaped critical attention: Ariatea (1960), “El pomell de les violes” (mn.), L’inefable Philip (mn.), La aldea sin hombres (mn.), La madrecita de los cerdos (mn.), Entre dos silencis (1958), La ninfa d’argila (1959), Fracàs (1966) and La ciutat dels joves: reportatge fantasia (1971). I have analyzed her writing, published and unpublished, from a feminist approach, taking into account the intellectual history of Spain and Catalonia. Bertrana’s strong commitment to controversial, social issues reveals her association with the modern and noucentists Catalan trends of her time. Her novels also reveal a unique interest in Europe at war and in non-Western cultures and lifestyles that draws attention to the situation of women in different circumstances and cultural geographies. My research is therefore anchored on interpretive and theoretical parameters that intersect, with a consideration of gender, such as class-and-gender, war-and-gender and travel-and-gender. I have used the work of feminists such as Simone De Beauvoir, Shulamith Firestone, Jelke Boesten, Margaret and Patrice Higonnet, Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo, and Julia Kristeva to help assess Bertrana’s engagement with gender and socio-political issues. This approach is particularly well suited for a writer like Aurora Bertrana, a Catalan and Republican intellectual woman forced into exiled during the Spanish Civil War and the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.