In an attempt to demonstrate Spain's obligation to recover its ignored historic memory, Almudena Grandes evokes the poetry of a man whose past itself has been manipulated, misused and partially forgotten: the great poet Antonio Machado. In this study I examine the use of the famous "two Spain" imagery from Machado's "Españolito" as a tool for subverting many erroneous concepts about the war that, according to Grandes, are still prevalent in Spanish society. I also examine how this "two Spain" conflict demonstrates the crossroads that faces the third generation of Spaniards after the Civil War: that of collectively remaining in silence or turning openly to the past. To capture this conflict Grandes uses images of water and ice as symbols of the fluidity (or lack of fluidity) of time, images similarly used by Machado throughout much of his poetry. As Ãlvaro, the protagonist, progressively discovers the past his father had so desperately tried to hide, his heart breaks free of the ice that had surrounded his life. His example demonstrates the actions that Grandes desires for a society that still suffers from the effects of the prevailing historic ignorance: that of turning to the past for a foundation on which to build. By evoking Machado´s name and exploring similar imageries, Grandes not only strengthens him as a defender of the Republic but suggests that the only way for Spain to become normal again is to turn to the Republic and its ideals and build upon what they started and what has been overlooked since the Civil War.
College and Department
Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Henricksen, Richard A., "Thawing the Frozen Heart: Turning to Antonio Machado to Overcome the Silence in El corazón helado by Almudena Grandes" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 2849.
Almudena Grandes, Antonio Machado, Henri Bergson, historic memory, El corazón helado, “Españolito, ” fluidity of time, recovery of memory, “two Spains”