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Franco's Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936
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Franco's Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936

3.05  ·  Rating details ·  55 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
An open-minded and clear-eyed reexamination of the cultural artifacts of Franco's Spain

True, false, or both?

Spain's 1939–75 dictator, Francisco Franco, was a pioneer of water conservation and sustainable energy.

Pedro Almodóvar is only the most recent in a line of great antiestablishment film directors who have worked continuously in Spain since the 1930s.

As early as 1943,
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published August 13th 2013)
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Received through first reads...
The entire time that I was reading this, I was trying to figure out how to describe/review it. It's a history book, but it's not. After the first couple chapters about mass graves and dam building, it feels a lot like reading an anthology. It's basically a catalogue of Spanish art, literature and film, with a good description of each selected piece, as well as some background on the author/artist. It has made me aware of some books I wouldn't have otherwise known o
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spain
not quite as apologist as the goodreads/publisher summary sounds, a fairly even handed look at art, letters, "culture" in spain after franco took over. a rather simple view recognizes franco and his fascist henchman and church dogs as ultimately cruel and chillingly backward in their idea to put spain back to "the good old days" of 1%ers calling the shots and workers just need to shut the fuck up and work, not go to plays or read novels. but in reality much art and thought and even free thinking ...more
Angel Serpentine
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this through Goodreads First Reads.

I will say that I quite enjoyed this book. It had very detailed histories regarding the literature and art pieces that arose in Spain despite Franco's rule. I will acknowledge that I have a basic foundation of knowledge regarding Spanish art and a degree of fluency in the language, so I understood Treglown's analyses quite well, but do acknowledge that someone without the interest in Spanish fine arts could easily have gotten lost, or more simply, bo
Bruce Reiter
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I bought this book after reading a review in Foreign Affairs. The author is British and spends a lot of his time in Spain. I had hoped to get an idea of Spanish culture as it evolved after the Civil War and during the transition to democracy. I got way more than i bargained for and it will take some time for me to really understand the implications contained within the book. I went to Spain my college Junior-Senior summer. Franco was still in power, the universities were on strike and i travelle ...more
Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Overall it's a worthwhile read, especially the chapters on the politics and culture of water (specifically dams), the movement to recover the graves of the civil war and dictatorship, and museums and monusments. And the book does us all a great service by translating and reproducing the priceless (in the mind-boggling sense) interview with the director of Spain's Royal Academy of History about the much-criticized Diccionario biográfico español. There are other gems too.
Ironically, though, Treg
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The flyleaf blurb for this book makes it seem like modern social history -- "a compelling investigation of collective memory ... Jeremy Treglown talks to the descendants of men and women killed during the civil war and ensuing dictatorship and stands on a hillside with them as remains are excavated ...". In fact these scenes comprise only a tiny part of the book. The majority of it is a fairly academic overview of art, films, and literature during the civil war and Franco's dictatorship. I found ...more
Michael Flick
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best
Are you deeply intimate with Spanish culture? If not, this a place to start, to get an overview of the arts, especially novels and film, but also broadly culture, during and after the Spanish Civil War and the consequent long fascist dictatorship. This is a book about memory, good and bad, and forgetting, the vagaries of history, the uncontrollability of meaning, the quandary of the malleable past. The detailed discussions of novels is particularly strong--I've added 10 to my "must read" list an ...more
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
For me, the beginning part of the book with its coverage of the mass grave at Malaga (and the haunting photo with a skeleton looking like it was begging for mercy)was by far the best part of the book. The lit/film crit part lacked the intensity of the parts where the author visited sites. Other illustrations are good, but a map would have been nice.
Ed Terrell
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, 0-eurovelo-8
Good introduction and review of the political and artistic life in Spain since the civil war. While not as gut wrenching as Hemingway's "For whom the Bell tolls", it never-the-less provides a keen insight into Spain's Civil War and the brutal right-wing dictatorship, under Franco.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Did you think the lights went out in Spain for 40 years? Apparently not according to Treglown and the subjects and personalities he presents in this intellectual survey of life in Spain during the Franco years.
Josh Muhlenkamp
Are you deeply intimate with Spanish culture? If not, don't bother with this book, because you'll be lost. This is not a book for beginners.
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