Non-Fiction Books:

Valley of the Fallen

The (N)ever Changing Face of General Franco's Monument


Paperback / softback

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Valley of the Fallen by Gareth Stockey
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Perhaps the most notorious symbolic and material expression of the bitter "memory wars" that have gripped Spain in recent years is a monument which remains one of the country's most popular tourist sites, El Valle de los Ca dos (The Valley of the Fallen). It was erected by the Franco regime in the aftermath of the civil war "to defy time and oblivion" and commemorate Franco's victory. It also became the resting place of the dictator himself after 1975, and a site of nostalgic homage for those groups and individuals who remained supportive of the regime after the transition to democracy in Spain. This book examines the ongoing controversies over The Valley of the Fallen and its place within the wider memory wars. It demonstrates that the monument was intended as a site of triumphalist Francoist memory, and a means of further dividing the nation between victors and vanquished in the aftermath of civil war. The book treats The Valley of the Fallen as an historical source in its own right, contextualising the cultural universe in which the monument was constructed, and within which visitors were expected to read its message since it was opened to the public in 1959. Finally, the book examines some of the ways in which the meaning and purpose of The Valley of the Fallen have been (deliberately) obscured in order to respond to criticism from both inside and outside Spain.
Release date Australia
December 1st, 2013
Critical, Cultural and Communications Press
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