Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Dying for the Nation: Rite of Passage, Homoeroticism and Martyrdom in the Falangist Narrative during the Spanish Civil War

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2012), 89, (3), 271–292.

Abstract

Eugenio o proclamación de la Primavera (1938) by Rafael García Serrano, and Unificación (1937) by Jacinto Miquelarena are two propagandistic works in which the male protagonists most fully embody the core values of Falangist masculinity. The glorification of youth appears clearly in the two texts, along with an emphasis on violence. War becomes the rite of passage for the two male protagonists, who also renounce romantic relationships to devote themselves to the nation. The two main characters find in their fellow comrades a substitute for their families; in this sense, the nation is constructed as a masculine project. The presence of male bonding and affection among the soldiers allows for a homoerotic interpretation that challenges the heteronormative values of military masculinity. When the protagonists die at the end of the works, they are identified with Christ, since their blood becomes part of the national landscape and will produce new heroes.

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Anderson, Benedict, 1991. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism Google Scholar

Braudy, Leo, 2003. From Chivalry to Terrorism: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity (New York: Alfred A. Knopf). From Chivalry to Terrorism: War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity Google Scholar

Canal, Jordi, 2000. ‘La violencia carlista tras el tiempo de las carlistadas: nuevas formas para un viejo movimiento’, in Santos Juliá (ed.), Violencia política en la España del siglo XX (Madrid: Taurus), pp. 25-66. Violencia política en la España del siglo XX 25 66 Google Scholar

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Connell, R. W., 2000. The Men and the Boys (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press). The Men and the Boys Google Scholar

Connell, R. W., 2001. ‘Studying Men and Masculinity’, Resources for Feminist Research, 29.2: 43-55. ‘Studying Men and Masculinity’ Resources for Feminist Research 29 43 55 Google Scholar

Dawson, Graham, 1994. Soldier Heroes: British Adventure, Empire and the Imagining of Masculinities (London: Routledge). Soldier Heroes: British Adventure, Empire and the Imagining of Masculinities Google Scholar

Díaz-Plaja, Fernando, 1979. Si mi pluma valiera tu pistola: Los escritores españoles en la guerra civil (Barcelona: Plaza y Janés). Si mi pluma valiera tu pistola: Los escritores españoles en la guerra civil Google Scholar

Doctrina e historia de la revolución nacional española, 1939 (Barcelona: Agustín Núñez). Google Scholar

Eisenstein, Zillah, 2000. ‘Writing Bodies on the Nation for the Globe’, in Sita Ranchod-Nilsson and Mary Ann Tétreault (eds), Women, States and Nationalisms: At Home in the Nation? (London: Routledge), pp. 35-53. Women, States and Nationalisms: At Home in the Nation? 35 53 Google Scholar

Farrar, Adam, 1985. ‘War: Machining Male Desire’, in Paul Patton and Ross Poole (eds), War / Masculinity (Sydney: Intervention Publications), pp. 59-70. War / Masculinity 59 70 Google Scholar

Faust, Drew Gilpin, 2001. ‘The Civil War Soldier and the Art of Dying’, The Journal of Southern History, 67.1: 3-38. ‘The Civil War Soldier and the Art of Dying’ The Journal of Southern History 67 3 38 Google Scholar

Fussell, Paul, 1975. The Great War and Modern Memory (New York: Oxford University Press). The Great War and Modern Memory Google Scholar

Fussell, Paul, 1989. Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War (New York: Oxford University Press). Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War Google Scholar

García-Posada, Miguel, 1998. ‘Un andaluz profundo’, in José Caballero, El tiempo de un poeta (Madrid: Consejería de Educación y Cultura), pp. 17-33. El tiempo de un poeta 17 33 Google Scholar

García Serrano, Rafael, 1938. Eugenio o proclamación de la Primavera (Bilbao: Jerarquía). Eugenio o proclamación de la Primavera Google Scholar

Gilmore, David D., 1982. ‘Anthropology of the Mediterranean Area’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 11: 175-205. ‘Anthropology of the Mediterranean Area’ Annual Review of Anthropology 11 175 205 Google Scholar

Gilmore, David D., 1990. Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press). Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity Google Scholar

González-Allende, Iker, 2004. ‘Eugenio o proclamación de la Primavera, de García Serrano: Narrativa falangista durante la guerra civil’, Letras de Deusto, 34.102: 77-99. ‘Eugenio o proclamación de la Primavera, de García Serrano: Narrativa falangista durante la guerra civil’ Letras de Deusto 34 77 99 Google Scholar

González Cuevas, Pedro Carlos, 2000. ‘Política de lo sublime y teología de la violencia en la derecha española’, in Santos Juliá (ed.), Violencia política en la España del siglo XX (Madrid: Taurus), pp. 105-43. Violencia política en la España del siglo XX 105 43 Google Scholar

Greene, Patricia V., 1998. ‘Testimonio visual: Iconografía femenina en los carteles en la Guerra Civil’, Letras Peninsulares, 11.1: 119-43. ‘Testimonio visual: Iconografía femenina en los carteles en la Guerra Civil’ Letras Peninsulares 11 119 43 Google Scholar

Harrison, Deborah, 2003. ‘Violence in the Military Community’, in Paul R. Higate (ed.), Military Masculinities: Identity and the State (Westport, CT: Praeger), pp. 71-90. Military Masculinities: Identity and the State 71 90 Google Scholar

Hewitt, Andrew, 1996. Political Inversions: Homosexuality, Fascism, and the Modernist Imaginary (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press). Political Inversions: Homosexuality, Fascism, and the Modernist Imaginary Google Scholar

Llorente, Ángel, 1995. Arte e ideología en el franquismo (1936-1951) (Madrid: Visor). Arte e ideología en el franquismo (1936-1951) Google Scholar

MacClancy, Jeremy, 2000. The Decline of Carlism (Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press). The Decline of Carlism Google Scholar

Mainer, José-Carlos, 2001. ‘Sobre la imagen del fascismo en la novela española de la primera postguerra’, in Paul Aubert (ed.), La novela en España (siglos XIX-XX) (Madrid: Casa de Velázquez), pp. 175-92. La novela en España (siglos XIX-XX) 175 92 Google Scholar

Miquelarena Regueiro, Jacinto, 1938a [1937]. Unificación (Tolosa: Gráficas Laborde y Labayen). Unificación Google Scholar

Miquelarena Regueiro, Jacinto, 1938b. El otro mundo: La vida en las embajadas de Madrid (Burgos: Aldecoa). El otro mundo: La vida en las embajadas de Madrid Google Scholar

Mira, Alberto, 2000. ‘Laws of Silence: Homosexual Identity and Visibility in Contemporary Spanish Culture’, in Barry Jordan and Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas (eds), Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies (London: Arnold), pp. 241-50. Contemporary Spanish Cultural Studies 241 50 Google Scholar

Mosse, George L., 1985. Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe (New York: H. Fertig). Nationalism and Sexuality: Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe Google Scholar

Mosse, George L., 1990. Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (New York: Oxford University Press). Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars Google Scholar

Mosse, George L., 1996. The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculinity (New York: Oxford University Press). The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculinity Google Scholar

Mosse, George L., 1999. The Fascist Revolution: Toward a General Theory of Fascism (New York: Howard Fertig). The Fascist Revolution: Toward a General Theory of Fascism Google Scholar

Payne, Stanley G., 1961. Falange: A History of Spanish Fascism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press). Falange: A History of Spanish Fascism Google Scholar

Mosse, George L., 2003. ‘Fascism as a Generic Concept’, in Aristotle A. Kallis (ed.), The Fascism Reader (London: Routledge), pp. 82-88. The Fascism Reader 82 88 Google Scholar

Poole, Ross, 1985. ‘Structures of Identity: Gender and Nationalism’, in Paul Patton and Ross Poole (eds), War / Masculinity (Sydney: Intervention Publications), pp. 71-79. War / Masculinity 71 79 Google Scholar

Primo de Rivera, José Antonio, 1945. Obras completas (Madrid: FET y de las JONS). Obras completas Google Scholar

Rodríguez-Puértolas, Julio, 1986. Literatura fascista española: Historia (Madrid: Akal). Literatura fascista española: Historia Google Scholar

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky, 1985. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press). Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire Google Scholar

Snyder, R. Claire, 1999. Citizen-Soldiers and Manly Warriors: Military Service and Gender in the Civic Republic Tradition (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield). Citizen-Soldiers and Manly Warriors: Military Service and Gender in the Civic Republic Tradition Google Scholar

Theweleit, Klaus, 1989. Male Fantasies: Male Bodies, Psychoanalyzing the White Terror. Trans. Stephen Conway, Erica Carter and Chris Turner (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press). Male Fantasies: Male Bodies, Psychoanalyzing the White Terror Google Scholar

Thomas, Gareth, 1990. The Novel of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1975) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). The Novel of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1975) Google Scholar

Trapiello, Andrés, 1994. Las armas y las letras: Literatura y guerra civil (1936-1939) (Barcelona: Planeta). Las armas y las letras: Literatura y guerra civil (1936-1939) Google Scholar

Vettel-Becker, Patricia, 2002. ‘Destruction and Delight: World War II Combat Photography and the Aesthetic Inscription of Masculine Identity’, Men and Masculinities, 5.1: 80-102. ‘Destruction and Delight: World War II Combat Photography and the Aesthetic Inscription of Masculine Identity’ Men and Masculinities 5 80 102 Google Scholar

Wakefield, Wanda Ellen, 1997. Playing to Win: Sports and the American Military, 1898-1945 (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press). Playing to Win: Sports and the American Military, 1898-1945 Google Scholar

Woodward, Rachel, 2003. ‘Locating Military Masculinities: Space, Place, and the Formation of Gender Identity in the British Army’, in Paul R. Higate (ed.), Military Masculinities: Identity and the State (Westport, CT: Praeger), pp. 43-55. Military Masculinities: Identity and the State 43 55 Google Scholar

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González-Allende, Iker