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Chaos and Coincidence in Contemporary Spanish Fiction

Anne L. Walsh

This book is an investigation of contemporary Spanish fiction, specifically a group of fictional texts (written and film) that appeared in Spain in the first decade of this century (2001- 2010). The author focuses on textual analysis and studies how chaos and coincidence appear in these narratives and shape them. The texts analyzed are Soldados de Salamina (2001) by Javier Cercas, Tu rostro manaña (2002-2007) by Javier Marías, La catedral del mar (2006) by Ildefonso Falcones, Volver (2006) directed by Pedro Almodóvar, Instrucciones para salvar el mundo (2008) by Rosa Montero and El asedio (2010) by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, with reference to other texts by these authors also included. Though very different storytellers, these authors share an interest in chaos as a theme and as a narrative device. This work shows that the recurrence in their stories of the theme of chaos indicates a move away from postmodern apathy to a growing sense of empowerment, both for characters and for their readers.

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Foreword ............................................................................................. 11 1 The Trend Thus Far ....................................................................... 17 Making Sense of Chaos ................................................................. 17 The Link with Fiction .................................................................... 23 The Link with Spanish Fiction ...................................................... 28 2 Patterns within Chaos .................................................................... 47 Soldados de Salamina (2001) by Javier Cercas ............................. 49 3 Confidence and Control ................................................................. 59 Tu rostro mañana (2002-2007) by Javier Marías .......................... 62 4 The Past is Ever Present ................................................................ 79 La catedral del mar (2006) by Ildefonso Falcones ....................... 80 5 Tragedy is Comedy ........................................................................ 93 Todo sobre mi madre (1999) directed by Pedro Almodóvar …….96 Volver (2006) ................................................................................. 97 Abrazos rotos (2009) .................................................................. 103 6 Loss and Memory ........................................................................ 107 Temblor (1990) by Rosa Montero .............................................. 109 Instrucciones para salvar el mundo (2008) ................................. 111 7 Happy Endings? ........................................................................... 119 El pintor de batallas (2006) by Arturo Pérez-Reverte ................ 120 El asedio (2010) .......................................................................... 125 Conclusions ...................................................................................... 137 Bibliography ..................................................................................... 143 Index ................................................................................................. 159

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