Franco's Crypt by Jeremy Treglown
Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936

58%

5 Critic Reviews

But this book is not without its blemishes. Mr Treglown’s revisionist aims are undermined by his tendency to digress needlessly...the author largely ignores architecture, poetry and drama. That prevents what might have been a valuable discussion about why some art forms flourished under the dictatorship, while others wilted.
-The Economist

Synopsis

An open-minded and clear-eyed reexamination of the cultural artifacts of Franco's Spain

True, false, or both?

Spain's 1939-75 dictator, Francisco Franco, was a pioneer of water conservation and sustainable energy.

Pedro Almodóvar is only the most recent in a line of great antiestablishment film directors who have worked continuously in Spain since the 1930s.

As early as 1943, former Republicans and Nationalists were collaborating in Spain to promote the visual arts, irrespective of the artists' political views.

Censorship can benefit literature.

Memory is not the same thing as history.

Inside Spain as well as outside, many believe-wrongly-that under Franco's fascist dictatorship, nothing truthful or imaginatively worthwhile could be said or written or shown. In his groundbreaking new book, Franco's Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936, Jeremy Treglown argues that oversimplifications like these of a complicated, ambiguous actuality have contributed to a separate falsehood: that there was and continues to be a national pact to forget the evils for which Franco's side (and, according to this version, his side alone) was responsible.

The myth that truthfulness was impossible inside Franco's Spain may explain why foreign narratives (For Whom the Bell Tolls, Homage to Catalonia) have seemed more credible than Spanish ones. Yet La Guerra de España was, as its Spanish name asserts, Spain's own war, and in recent years the country has begun to make a more public attempt to "reclaim" its modern history of fascism. How it is doing so, and the role played in the process by notions of historical memory, are among the subjects of this wide-ranging and challenging book.
Franco's Crypt reveals that despite state censorship, events of the time were vividly recorded. Treglown looks at what's actually there-monuments, paintings, public works, novels, movies, video games-and considers, in a captivating narrative, the totality of what it shows. The result is a much-needed reexamination of a history we only thought we knew.

 

About Jeremy Treglown

See more books from this Author
Jeremy Treglown is a British writer and critic who spends part of every year in Spain and has written about the country for Granta and other magazines. His previous books include biographies of Roald Dahl, Henry Green (Dictionary of Literary Biography Award), and V. S. Pritchett (short-listed for the Whitbread Award for Biography; Duff Cooper Prize for Literature). A former editor of The Times Literary Supplement and a Fellow of the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, he has taught at Oxford, University College London, Princeton, and Warwick, and has written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review. Treglown lives in London.
 
Published August 13, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 337 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Franco's Crypt
All: 5 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 3

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 20 2013

Treglown’s elegant and thoughtful meditation shows us that authoritarian power is neither monolithic nor immune to the soft power of civil society and individual creativity.

Read Full Review of Franco's Crypt: Spanish Cultu... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Valerie Miles on Sep 22 2013

There are, though, some strange tangents and omissions. The book mostly avoids discussing poetry, and Barcelona, a city famous for its vibrant cultural underground, is given only an ancillary role.

Read Full Review of Franco's Crypt: Spanish Cultu... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Helen Graham on Mar 21 2014

...I expected much of a book whose sub‑title promises an analysis of "Spanish culture and memory since 1936". But what the reader gets instead is really a compendium of freestanding reviews, in which Treglown summarises individual films, novels and occasionally art produced in Spain under the dictatorship and since.

Read Full Review of Franco's Crypt: Spanish Cultu... | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Stanley Payne on Sep 13 2013

The main part of "Franco's Crypt" is devoted to an analysis of the treatment of recent history and of life under Franco in major expressions of Spanish culture since the civil war. Mr. Treglown offers a stimulating new reading of the chief milestones of Spanish culture since 1939. I

Read Full Review of Franco's Crypt: Spanish Cultu... | See more reviews from WSJ online

The Economist

Above average
on Aug 08 2013

But this book is not without its blemishes. Mr Treglown’s revisionist aims are undermined by his tendency to digress needlessly...the author largely ignores architecture, poetry and drama. That prevents what might have been a valuable discussion about why some art forms flourished under the dictatorship, while others wilted.

Read Full Review of Franco's Crypt: Spanish Cultu... | See more reviews from The Economist

Reader Rating for Franco's Crypt
67%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 9 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×