Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

From Spaces of Intimacy to Transferential Space: The Structure of Memory and the Reconciliation with Strangeness in El cuarto de atrás

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2006), 83, (3), 181–192.


Carmen Martín Gaite in El cuarto de atrás concomitantly performs two moves: 1) the exploration of spaces of intimacy as the medium through which childhood memories of the Spanish Civil War are structured; and 2) the questioning of the eventual repression of these childhood spaces of intimacy. With selected theoretical references to Gaston Bachelard, Emmanuel Levinas, Sigmund Freud, and Peter Brooks, this article explores how C., the protagonist, reconnects with those spaces of intimacy and changes them into a transferential space in which dialogue is fomented, and atonement with the past and reconciliation with her own strangeness are achieved.

Carmen Martín Gaite en El cuarto de atrás concomitantemente realiza dos objetivos: 1) la exploración de los espacios de intimidad como el medio a través del cual se estructuran los recuerdos de la niñez de la Guerra Civil Española; y 2) el puesto en duda de la represión eventual de estos espacios de intimidad. Con referencias teóricas selectas a Gaston Bachelard, a Emmanuel Levinas, a Sigmund Freud, y a Peter Brooks, este artículo explora cómo C., la protagonista, reconecta con esos espacios de intimidad y los transforma en un espacio de transferencia en el cual el diálogo se fomenta, y la expiación y la reconciliación con su propio 'Otro' se hacen realidad.

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Author details

Vilaseca, Stephen Luis