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The participants summarise their talks

  • The consolidation of a canon
    Jordi Gracia
    The aim of this conference is to be a reflexion about the stability of a canon for autobiographical literature in the Spanish cultural system: not only due to the evident current value of the many classics in this genre -from Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Rafael Alberti or José Moreno Villa up to Juan Goytisolo, Carlos Barral, Carlos Castilla del Pino or Antonio Martínez Sarrión-, but also for the plurality of the resolutive forms and literary sieges that this literature mode of the ego has experienced (which goes beyond the memoirs or the autobiography): the diary, the dietary, autobiographical novels, or the border of the auto-fiction, with essential names of the literary scene of democracy like Francisco Umbral, Pere Gimferrer, Andrés Trapiello, Miguel Sánchez-Ostiz or Esther Tusquets.
  • The remains of genres: on autofiction and postmodernism
    José-Carlos Mainer

    The crisis of the literary genres is something inherent to their own existence, but modernity has provided an essentially creative dimension to this dynamic. As a matter of fact, the two modern genres -novel and essay- were born as transversal  genres, forging their personality from previous ones, and at the same time, their history has been one of permanent crisis. If the narrative of the 19th century was born as a daughter of History (and the associated knowledges like Geography, Law or Sociology), the novel of the 20th century -and its heir along the present first decade- has collected the most abstract echo of Philosophy: anthropological self-perception, the theory of language, and the general theory of knowledge.

    Two denominations coming from a distant past were strengthen in the 1980's: metafiction (defined by Linda Hutcheon in 1980) and the auto-fiction (a term applied by Serge Doubrovski in 1977): both recognize in the figure of the author the decisive role as organizer of texts, in the first case, but also as the administrator of the memory that flows through the novel, as a clarifier of the moral sense of the narration. Obviously, the climax of both formulas occurred in parallel to the good health of the autobiographic forms, and with an important constellation of novel writers that emerged in the end of the 1960's. In these conference we will refer to them and some of their Spanish contemporaries: José María Merino, Javier Marías, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Javier Cercas…

  • The influence of Josep Pla and the Catalonian tradition
    Enric Sòria
    This is about highlighting the importance of the diary works of Josep Pla, especially the Quadern gris, within the context of Catalonian literature, where the practice of this genre has always been a deeply rooted tradition (although not always valued enough). The publication in the 1960's of an ambitious and very elaborated diary like this one, had immediate consequences in both the critical perception of the genre, and in the writing of it. From there I will attempt to examine the literary method of Pla for the writing of El quadern gris, and some of the replies to his challenge in other important diaries, such as the Dietari by Joan Fuster.
  • Autobiography and historiography. The case of Antonio Muñoz Molina
    Justo Serna
    I will speak of what differentiates and what brings closer both genres: what separates memorialists from historians, what brings together autobiographers and researchers. I will speak about the literature of ego, of the testimony; I will speak of the value that historians can give to the subjective versions of the past; and I will speak, after all, about the novel as a space of auto-fiction and historical recreation. I will use the case of Antonio Muñoz Molina, his condition of novelist, his condition of (art) historian, and his perspective and observations starting from the memory and the emotional memory of the facts.
  • Memoirs and press
    Miguel Ángel Aguilar

    The memoirs, in the context of this series, are the result of adding to the historical re-enactment, the personal prominence, because the author merges being a historian of himself, with his circumstances and his experiences. It happens that upon the irruption of press, the intellectuals find a space where they can give account of themselves to a guaranteed audience and obtain this way immediate retribution. In the pages of the newspapers we find serial novels and also memoirs. A genre to which journalists are automatically prone. Journalists who from the practice of showing the present, can track back, either voluntarily of obligated, to the events witnessed from the field side, and to the decisive figures they dealt with along their political management or cultural trajectory.

Fundación Juan March
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