Bulletin of Contemporary Hispanic Studies

Eastern European Immigrants in the Spanish Crisis Novel: Crematorio by Rafael Chirbes and La carne by Rosa Montero

Bulletin of Contemporary Hispanic Studies (2020), 2, (1), 1–16.

Abstract

Crematorio by Rafael Chirbes (2007) and La carne by Rosa Montero (2016) belong to the expanding genre of the Spanish crisis novel that arose in response to the global economic crisis of 2007–2009. The novels’ protagonists realize that neoliberalism is eroding the institutions associated with the welfare state model. These characters attempt to exorcise the anxieties that the crisis awakens in them by projecting them onto Eastern European immigrants, whom they associate with the depredations of savage capitalism in their countries of origin. Rather than casualties of globalization, immigrants are seen as emissaries of the new economic order that fosters fluidity and rootlessness, and are blamed for the hardship created by the structures of exploitation that are implicit within late capitalism.

Crematorio de Rafael Chirbes (2007) y La carne de Rosa Montero (2016) pertenecen al género creciente de la novela peninsular de la crisis que surgió como una respuesta a la crisis económica global de 2007–2009. Los protagonistas de estas novelas empiezan a darse cuenta de que el neoliberalismo está socavando las bases de las instituciones que asociamos con el estado del bienestar. Los personajes de estas obras intentan ahuyentar los miedos y las ansiedades que les provoca la crisis, a los inmigrantes provenientes de la Europa del Este a quienes asocian con los efectos devastadores del capitalismo salvaje en sus tierras de origen. En vez de reconocer que los inmigrantes son víctimas de la globalización, se les ve como emisarios del orden económico que promueve fluidez y desarraigo, lo cual resulta en los intentos por culpabilizarlos por el sufrimiento que causan las estructuras explotadoras existentes dentro del capitalismo tardío.

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BEZHANOVA, OLGA