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

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Carvalho


In 2019, the Mexican government commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Spanish exile in Mexico. After the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), around half a million Spanish Republicans were forced to leave their country due to the imminent threat of persecution and death by the nationalists led by Franco. Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas offered political asylum to all the Spanish Republicans who wished to seek refuge in Mexico and around 20,000 Spanish Republicans relocated in this nation. What they thought would be a temporary stay ended up lasting over 30 years until the death of Franco in 1975. Some of the Spanish refugees were never able to return to Spain.

In this dissertation, I analyze La guerra perdida trilogy that encompasses the novels Los rojos de ultramar (2004), La última hora del último día (2007), and La fiesta del oso (2009) by Mexican author of Catalan origin Jordi Soler. Through the lenses of Autofiction, Decoloniality, Travel Writing and Trauma Studies, I argue that, like their historical counterparts, the Mexican-born children and grandchildren of Spanish Refugee characters in these works must contend with the trauma of the Spanish Civil War, the loss of the mother land, and the constant desire to return to Spain, while also facing the resentment that Mexicans display towards them as descendants of the Spanish colonizers. In the trilogy, the association of this Catalan-Mexican generation with Spanish-Mexican families that had inhabited Mexico for generations and benefitted from the Colonial Period, coupled with a yearning to return to Spain, eventually interferes with the formation of their own identity and their sense of belonging to the host country. I show that processes of self-representation, decolonization, displacement, and trauma reveal that the third generation of Spaniards –Catalans in particular– exiled in Mexico inherit the exile that previous generations experienced.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

1. University of Kentucky. Lyman T. Johnson Award. (2012-2015)

2. University of Kentucky. Department of Hispanic Studies. Teaching Assistantship. (2012-2016)

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