Rafael Alberti’s Poetry and Artwork: Final Update

After the summer’s research, I constructed a final paper which discusses Alberti’s relationship with Spain before and after his exile, using his poetry and artwork as the basis for my conjecture on how his exile both shaped his artwork and damaged his ability to connect with Spain at the same level, after so many years away. I also used several articles, and past speeches made by Alberti as evidence. I found that, although Alberti always maintained his role as the mouthpiece for Spain, it seemed more difficult personally for him to do so, a mix of survivor’s guilt and feeling that he could not connect with the new post-Franco generation. Instead, his work continued to focus on his deceased friends, and shifted to focus on the landscapes of Spain rather than the people. This most likely also influenced his decision to resign from his role in the local government of Cadiz, voicing that he feels other people would be more qualified and able to understand the needs of the people.

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Rafael Alberti’s Poetry: First Update

After arriving to Cadiz, Spain and meeting with the organizing professor, I realized that I had to shift the scope and subject of my research. For one, I had initially planned on reading much more of his work than time actually allowed. I have now limited myself to one of his most famous poemariosEntre el clavel y la espada (Between the Carnation and the Sword), and to a short collection of poetry, Sonetos para la Diputación de Cádiz (Sonnets for the Deputation of Cadiz). The first collection represents Alberti’s works immediately after the Spanish Civil War, and the second, Alberti after a long period of exile. I own a copy of Entre el clavel y la espada, and am working on finding the sonnets, and plan on checking a rare book store this week. 

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Abstract: Rafael Alberti’s poetry and artwork as a response to Francoist Spain

            Often overlooked by Americans, Francisco Franco’s authoritarian regime is still in Spain’s recent history, with Franco in power from 1936 to 1975. Francoism had and continues to have long-lasting implications for modern and post-modern Spanish culture and literature. I will study the life and works of poet and artist Rafael Alberti through the lens of Francoist Spain, viewing him as an opposition figure vying for interpretative power while under a censored regime. Completed while participating in William and Mary’s study abroad in Cadiz program, I hope to use Alberti’s birthplace and home in Cadiz to provide further insight into his work, along with visiting the Museo Fundación Rafael Alberti to further aid my research. My research will be multidisciplinary, drawing from literature, history, and Hispanic studies, and consider the importance of Alberti as a seminal literary figure, both through his works while in Spain and in exile.

El americano no deseado: an Analysis of the Negative Opinion of Donald Trump among the Spanish Media (Post one)

When I first completed my research proposal, I planned to examine multiple forms of the Spanish media’s perspective of Donald Trump and the cultural/social representation of him. However, as my research progressed, I decided to narrow my research to newspaper articles, cartoons and the occasional magazine article. In the end, I read 100+ Spanish articles about Donald Trump from both right-leaning and left-leaning Spanish newspapers. Although there were a few articles, maybe three or four, that supported and advocated for Donald Trump, the mass majority were against the United States president. At first, I theorized that the overwhelming negative opinion of Donald Trump might be a result of the recent dictatorship, 1939-1975, of alt-right leader, Francisco Franco. However, my research did not find sufficient evidence for this. I did not encounter any articles comparing Franco to President Trump. When I interviewed a reporter and asked her if the comparison between Franco and Trump is just, she replied that it was not. In fact, she said that the two are very different, both in their culture and politics, and could not possibly be compared. In my next post I will discuss my findings for the reasoning behind the ubiquitous negative opinion of Donald Trump in place of the Franco theory.

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