“Hitherto, the rights and wrongs had seemed so beautifully simple.” (George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia)
Technically a Civil War, the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) was also an intensely international conflict in a number of ways: though no other nations officially entered the war, German forces used it to rehearse the blitzkrieg tactics they would employ in World War II; hundreds of thousands of Spanish citizens went into exile; some ten thousand Spaniards were condemned to Nazi concentration camps. Many historians also see the Civil War as a prelude to the fight against fascism that was World War II. Our intention in this course will be to consider the war from both inside and outside. Reading literature by Orwell, Lorca, Neruda, Hemingway, Laforet, Cela, Martín Gaite, and Cercas, among others, we will study works born of and inspired by this war. We will also study historical accounts and essays to gain a deep understanding of the political climate of the pre-war and post-war periods.