Remembrance Map, a Literary Homeland Cover Image

Emlékezettérkép, irodalmi haza
Remembrance Map, a Literary Homeland

Author(s): Krisztina Nemes
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature
Published by: Scientia
Keywords: contemporary history; unconventional history; historical memory; national and ideological memory group; Catalans of Aragon; poetics of space; regional identity in the novel;
Summary/Abstract: The Franco era’s forced industrialization policy wiped off the map the Aragonese mining town, the old Mequinensa. The inhabitants fought for fifteen years to survive and managed to preserve the community in a newly built town. Jesús Moncada immortalized the communicative memory of the city, in a novel form, thus conveying a unique literary witness to the destruction and history of his birthplace as a chronicler of Mequinensa from its storytellers’ tradition. His main work is a novel: the towpath that draws a map of the town’s memory from individual memory threads, showing a pre-modern, small-town community in Aragon, its economic, social and political life, and the ideologically split “two Spains”. The literary form allows understanding through identification, and the reader gains an inside view of the history. This strange viewpoint allows Moncada to remain loyal to the community while unveiling the small-town mechanisms of legend making. Since narrative forms do not inherently contain referentiality, we cannot claim that Moncada is historically authentic only by examining the novel, but the examination of the reception of his works and treatises of history confirm that the history of small places is many ways connected to the central history, and a great creator is able to incorporate a previously unknown universe into a literary public awareness of a national community.

  • Page Range: 123-134
  • Page Count: 12
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: Hungarian