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Romancing the Early Franco Regime: the Novelas Románticas of Concha Linares-Becerra and Luisa-María Linares

Abstract

This paper considers works of romance fiction produced between 1933 and 1943 by two prolific writers, both with Nationalist sympathies, whose works sold widely (and can still be purchased today), attracting numerous film adaptations. It explores the ways in which their romances illustrate a conservative modernity, through their choice of upwardly mobile, active female protagonists and through their plots driven by change and speed. The paper also examines the self-reflexive dimensions of these romances, arguing that we should not assume that self-reflexivity is the prerogative of high culture. Particular stress is based on the repeated plotlines based on fraudulent marriages which blossom into ‘true love’. The paper concludes that, although these novels in no way reflect the reality of their time, at a structural level their stress on spatial dislocation, chance, and impersonation speaks to the popular imaginary in two periods – the Second Republic and the early Franco regime – characterized by personal and political upheaval.

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