Chapter Four. Performing the Self: Federica Montseny’s Exilic Identities in Seis años de mi vida 71
• C H A P T E R F O U R • Performing the Self: Federica Montseny’s Exilic Identities in Seis años de mi vida ederica Montseny published her autobiography Seis años de mi vida (1978) more than thirty years after the conclusion of the Spanish Civil War and the onset of her exile. Despite the decades passed, the text conveys an immediacy to the reality of war and the hardships of exile, because it focuses on Montseny’s first six years of life as an expatriate in France. An intimate record emerges as this author recounts private moments of migration, homelessness, destitution, and uncertainty suffered with her family. As Shirley Mangini has already observed in her essay “Three Voices of Exile,” Montseny’s singular purpose is to “relate her story” and “to provide us with a piece of history” that goes beyond the literary or the philosophical (213). Seis años de mi vida presents readers with a compelling personal account of historical events relating her crossing of the French borders; her migration through various towns; her family struggles; her experience of the German invasion; and the every day survival in an occupied France. There is a limited amount of scholarship dedicated to Seis años de mi vida. Scholars mainly examine Federica Montseny’s political activism (Fredricks & Iréne Lozano), the feminism in her novels (Cruz-Cámara), and the woman’s question in light of anarchist thought (Nash & Scanlon). In terms of her autobiographies, the main interest centers on Mis primeros...
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