Conflicting memories and families in conflict: Identity and otherness in contemporary Basque literature

Main Article Content

Izaro Arroita Azkarate


Contemporary Basque literature shows a clear interest in our conflictive past. A growing number of works deal with the Spanish Civil War, Franco's dictatorship or all that we commonly call the ‘Basque conflict’. Although there is a variety of literary perspectives and approaches, we can observe some recurring motifs that may be especially significant for understanding the negotiations on memory and identity in the Basque Country. Specifically, we will analyze some narratives in which that Other who can be represented as a perpetrator or as a political opponent (a Falangist, a terrorist), also appears as a relative, as a member who destabilizes the family genealogy, and provokes an identity crisis, both individual and collective. From this perspective, we will analyze novels such as Atertu arte itxaron (Agirre, 2015, translated into Spanish as Los turistas desganados) or Soinujolearen semea (Atxaga, 2003, translated into English as The Accordionist's son), but also chronicles such as Gurea falangista zen (Barandiaran, 2021, ['Ours was Falangist']). This analysis will lead us to reflect on the problematic (de)construction of Basque identity in the present, and on the main role played by our conflicting memories in this process.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Identity and Otherness: A Comparative Overview of Basque and Georgian Literature