Event Title

Panel I: “A Trip to the Underworld: Finding a Ladder, Exploring the Wreckage (the case of Euskadi)”

Presenter Information

Annabel Martin, Dartmouth College

Abstract

In her captivating work Negotiating with the Dead, Margaret Atwood invites us to embark with her on a hermeneutical trip through, what many would consider, a somewhat uncomfortable and unchartered terrain. She proposes that we stop for a moment and consider the work of the writer as one of rescue for as she suggests, "All writing of the narrative kind, and perhaps all writing, is motivated, deep down, by a fear of and a fascination with mortality—by a desire to make the risky trip to the Underworld, and to bring something or someone back from the dead" (157). The dead are no strangers to Basque society, for political violence has been an unwelcome traveler there throughout contemporary history. The excesses of Spanish nationalism, the legacy of the Francoist dictatorship, the uneven processes of historical reparation and national reconciliation during the early years of the Spanish democracy only underscored yet again that every modern state needs to fertilize its foundational roots with the blood or expulsion of those who destabilize the necessary social homogeneity required of power. The Basque context was no exception. ETA terrorism and the state's response camouflaged a toxic fire as a "circle of love" towards the homeland/the other/the I-you, i.e., both hid the dirtiness of nationalist violence under the powerful emotional ties the communal space elicits. But the dead have found their way back. This paper will study the recent work of Basque novelist Luisa Etxenike (El ángulo ciego--2008) and Basque photographers Iñigo Ibáñez and Manuel Díaz de Rada (Hutsuneak/Vacíos--2010) on political violence in Euskadi and formulate their trip to the Underworld and back.

Presenter Bio(s)

Annabel Martín, an Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair of Women’s Studies at Dartmouth College, specializes in contemporary Spanish cultural studies. She is the author of La gramática de la felicidad (Madrid: Libertarias, 2007), a detailed study of the politics of melodrama in mass culture during and since the Franco dictatorship. Her most recent publications explore the ethics of memory and affect in present-day Spain.

Location

Mount Holyoke College, Mary Woolley Hall, New York Room

Start Date

14-10-2011 11:15 AM

End Date

14-10-2011 12:00 PM



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Oct 14th, 11:15 AM Oct 14th, 12:00 PM

Panel I: “A Trip to the Underworld: Finding a Ladder, Exploring the Wreckage (the case of Euskadi)”

Mount Holyoke College, Mary Woolley Hall, New York Room

In her captivating work Negotiating with the Dead, Margaret Atwood invites us to embark with her on a hermeneutical trip through, what many would consider, a somewhat uncomfortable and unchartered terrain. She proposes that we stop for a moment and consider the work of the writer as one of rescue for as she suggests, "All writing of the narrative kind, and perhaps all writing, is motivated, deep down, by a fear of and a fascination with mortality—by a desire to make the risky trip to the Underworld, and to bring something or someone back from the dead" (157). The dead are no strangers to Basque society, for political violence has been an unwelcome traveler there throughout contemporary history. The excesses of Spanish nationalism, the legacy of the Francoist dictatorship, the uneven processes of historical reparation and national reconciliation during the early years of the Spanish democracy only underscored yet again that every modern state needs to fertilize its foundational roots with the blood or expulsion of those who destabilize the necessary social homogeneity required of power. The Basque context was no exception. ETA terrorism and the state's response camouflaged a toxic fire as a "circle of love" towards the homeland/the other/the I-you, i.e., both hid the dirtiness of nationalist violence under the powerful emotional ties the communal space elicits. But the dead have found their way back. This paper will study the recent work of Basque novelist Luisa Etxenike (El ángulo ciego--2008) and Basque photographers Iñigo Ibáñez and Manuel Díaz de Rada (Hutsuneak/Vacíos--2010) on political violence in Euskadi and formulate their trip to the Underworld and back.