Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Ana Rueda


My dissertation focuses on the narrative works by Galician writer Álvaro Cunqueiro (1911-1981): Merlín y familia, Las crónicas del sochantre, Cuando el viejo Sinbad vuelva a las islas, Las mocedades de Ulises, Un hombre que se parecía a Orestes, Vida y fugas de Fanto Fantini della Gherardesca and El año del cometa con la batalla de los cuatro reyes. Specifically, I analyze their existential dimension through the study of three concepts—journey, dream and myth—which, in my view, articulate Cunqueiro’s peculiar form of existentialism. Filled with fantastic characters and situations, Cunqueiro’s work has been critiqued as “escapist” given the historical situation from which it emerged: the years following the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the literary production written in Spain tended to portray and denounce the social conditions of the moment. In my study I defend that fable does not remove Cunqueirian characters from their milieu; instead, it serves as a bridge to their innermost desires and as a force that liberates them from the constraints that prevent their happiness. In parallel fashion, identity, loneliness, and death lie at the core of these narratives. Combined with the fabulous, they reveal a deep concern for humankind. Therefore, I propose that Álvaro Cunqueiro’s narrations are best described as ‘fantastic-existential.’

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Available for download on Friday, March 28, 2025