Journal of Romance Studies

The city’s renovating virtue: urban epiphanies in the novels of Carmen Laforet, Carmen Martín Gaite, Montserrat Roig and Rosa Montero

Journal of Romance Studies (2007), 7, (1), 7–20.

Abstract

This article explores the role of urban epiphanies in four novels by postwar Spanish and Catalan women writers. At certain key moments in these narratives, particular urban locations play a transformative role in the female characters’ self-development. It is argued here that these descriptions of mental states provide valuable insights into the impact of urban space on female identity. The urban epiphanies created by these women writers challenge, albeit temporarily, the patriarchal culture and ideology of the Franco regime which attempted to fix women’s place within the domestic sphere. All of the texts illustrate how these women writers represented the urban environment as a place in which their protagonists can find psychological freedom and briefly experience a fluid, non-gendered self.

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Author details

Wells, Caragh