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The following quotation from La noche is exemplary of the technique:. There is a self-consciousness about the use of this technique in the novel, such as when Ignacio is travelling on the train to Burton College and he reflects upon his ignorance of what was to come:. The second and third narrative chronotopes also combine to form a structural chronotope of exile. As is commonly perceived in such a chronotope there is a doubling of space and time.
En su conciencia dos relojes marcan dos horas distintas como dos pulsaciones discordantes que percibiera apretando en dos puntos distintos del cuerpo. Son las cuatro de la tarde y son las diez de la noche [ En Madrid es noche cerrada desde hace varias horas […]. In his consciousness two clocks mark two different times like two discordant pulses which can be perceived by pressing against two different points of the body.
In Madrid it has been fully light for several hours [ In the house in the mountains where his children might still be living, the dry ticking of the pendulum and the mechanism of a clock which is always behind time will be audible in the darkness. The slowness of the clock in the house in the mountains is in contrast to the precision of those in Penn Station, alluded to a number of times in the opening pages of the novel eg.
The exile not only experiences the homeland as a different chronotope, distanced in space and time from the one he is presently inhabiting, he also takes with him a way of conceptualising space and time which is particular to his community. For Ignacio, everything in Spain, such as the clock and the house in the mountains which belongs to his conservative in-laws, moves slowly.
It therefore exists in an anterior time to other parts of the world; it is backward and behind.
Thus, at the very end of the novel, he says to Judith that. All of his life thinking that he belonged to the present and the future, and now he was starting to realise that if he felt so out of place it was because his country was the past. Ignacio is not only out of place because Spain is part of his personal past but also because he still conceives of himself within the chronotope of Spain where everything always moved too slowly for him, placing him comparatively at the vanguard.
In La noche, this chronotope of exile has the function of both creating nostalgia for the homeland while at the same time creating an emotional and critical distance from it by highlighting its imperfections. It is they who might have eventually brought Spain into line with modern, democratic Europe had it not been for the coup and the machinations of the European powers. In order to reinforce both of these points, the novel ends with a declaration by Judith that she is returning to Spain as a member of the International Brigades to fight against the Francoists.
La noche also contains hints of the chronotope of adventure time as well as of the road which is intimately related to both exile and adventure; the essential randomness of events, their dependence on a particular place and time for their very occurrence, are constantly alluded to. Such reflections also serve to resist a deterministic reading of past events, quashing the temptation to view history as inevitable and encouraging us to see each moment as unique and irrepeatable. Finally, the melding and joining of different chronotopes involves a rich use of heteroglossia in the novel.
Just before one striking section of such technique, the narrator indicates his intentions:. En los libros de historia los nombres tienen una rotundidad abrumadora y los hechos se suceden como cadenas inapelables de causas y efectos. In the history books, the names have an astonishing finality and events happen like inevitable chains of cause and effect.
In the pure present that one would like to be able to imagine, in the true and intimate pulse of the time, everything is minute agitation, a bewilderment of voices speaking over one another, of newspaper pages hastily turned over and only half read, immediately forgotten, mixed up with one another […]. The following serves as an example:.
En la noche de los tiempos () - IMDb
Calvo Sotelo had spent Sunday in Galapagar. Minutes before being assassinated, Lieutenant Castillo said goodbye to his young wife in the door of their home. A car runs over a motorbike, seriously injuring the driver and passenger of the latter. We have seen, then, how La noche de los tiempos adds a modernist twist to the conventions of the historical novel in order to create a sense of the past that is vividly realistic, while at the same time pointing to its own fictionality and to the artificiality of human constructions of time. This means that, even while some of the events portrayed evoke sadness, sympathy and even horror, there is a certain distance which prevents nostalgic over-identification.
In this way, the novel seeks to put the past to rest and refuses to see it as a haunting of the present, while at the same time acknowledging that the present has arisen out of this past and that by coming to terms with it, a better collective future might be forged. As a result of these techniques, the practice of writing and interpreting history is foregrounded in both novels and the reader is called upon to question prior beliefs and expectations. The novels therefore provide an interpretation of the past which might be acceptable to all Spaniards, acknowledging the crimes committed on both sides, rejecting misplaced nostalgia and, above all, emphasising the need for mutual tolerance, understanding and respect.
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El autor dialoga junto al historiador Justo Serna en el Hay Festival de Segovia
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La Mujer De Los Tiempos
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