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2. Mercè Rodoreda

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Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí
(October 10, 1908 – April 13, 1983)

Mercè Rodoreda is considered one of Spain’s most significant post-Spanish civil war writers, though her name remains widely unknown. Her private life is a mystery, despite the fact that some of her writings are rooted in events she experienced or saw happen to people who were close to her. She began writing La Plaça del Diamant, first published in 1960 (and translated into English under the title The Time of the Doves), while in exile in Geneva, and many years had passed since the time described in the novel: the years prior to the proclamation of the Second Republic, followed by the Spanish Civil War, and ending in the early years of the Franco dictatorship. Rodoreda mentions that she was about fourteen years old when she walked with her parents through the Diamond Plaza and heard music emanating from the tent in the middle of the plaza. She wanted to dance, but her parents forbid it; they thought dancing improper for a decent girl (García Márquez 14). She said that her parents’ restriction was perhaps the trigger that brought her to express herself in another way, through writing.
She wrote in Catalonian, a language from the East cost of Spain that was censored after Franco won the Spanish Civil war and made Castilian (Spanish) the official language of the country. Not only did she write “in a language of limited range” (13) but chose as her topic stories that occurred in the private corners of her native Barcelona (13).
The Time of the Doves has been translated into many languages and has won great international praise, much greater praise than in her native country. Among her works are:

  1. Aloma (1938)
  2. La Plaça del Diamant (1960)
  3. El Carrer de les Camèlies (1966)
  4. Jardí vora el mar (1967)
  5. Mirall Trencat (1974)
  6. Semblava de seda i altres contes (1978)
  7. Quanta, quanta guerra… (1980)

To read everything related to The Times of the Doves, go to the menu on your right and under CATEGORIES press the link “2 Rodoreda.”

Bibliography:
Fernández, Josep-Anton. “The Angel of History and the Truth of Love: Mercè Rodoreda’s La Plaça del Diamant.” The Modern Language Review 94.1 (1999): 103-09. Print.
García Márquez, Gabriel. “Do You Know Who Mercè Rodoreda Was?” World Literature Today 81.3 (2007): 13-15. Print.
Keown, Dominic. “No Time for the Doves? Intrusion and Redrafting in the English Translation of La Plaça del Diamant.” Modern Language Review 100.3 (2005): 659-72. Print.
Nichols, Geraldine Cleary. “A Womb of One’s Own: Gender and its Discontent in Rodoreda.” Hispanic Research Journal 9.2 (2008): 129-46. Print.
Rosenthal, David. Introduction. The Times of the Doves. By Mercè Rodoreda. Trans. David Rosenthal. Saint Paul: Graywolf Press, 1981. Print.

 

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