Academic journal article Hispanic Review

Esther Tusquets, El Mismo Mar De Todos Los Veranos

Academic journal article Hispanic Review

Esther Tusquets, El Mismo Mar De Todos Los Veranos

Article excerpt

Esther Tusquets, El mismo mar de todos los veranos, Ed. Santos Sanz Villanueva. Madrid: Castalia, 1997. 275 pages.

After the death of Franco in 1975, Spain witnessed a substantial increase in the number of novels published by women. One of the first and most original voices to emerge in the early years of democratic Spain was that of Esther Tusquets. Editor of the Barcelona publishing house Lumen, Tusquets did not publish her first novel until after the age of forty. Her first novel, El mismo mar de todos los veranos (1978), was followed in 1979 by El amor es un juego solitario, in 1980 by Varada tras el ultimo naufragio, and in 1985 by Para no volver. After a silence of twelve years, Con la miel en los labios appeared in 1997. Her short stories include the collection Siete miradas en un mismo paisaje (1981), considered a novel by some, several other narrations, and children's stories.

From the beginning, her fiction met with noticeable critical acclaim both in Spain and among American Hispanists. Not only have numerous scholarly articles explored her works, entire books have already been devoted to her publications. The literary value and critical acceptance of her work is now confirmed by the Castalia edition of El mismo mar de todos los veranos.

Santos Sanz Villanueva, professor at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, prepared the edition, wrote the introduction, and provided a series of footnotes for this version of El mismo mar. He also includes a simple bibliography of Tusquets's work and a brief list of secondary sources. He touches on the major points associated with her fiction: the theme of love; the configuration of her discourse; and the peculiarities of her language. Throughout his discussion, he stresses what he considers the traditional structures underlying her fiction. Despite the complexities of her language, he does not see her as part of the formalist or experimental trends of the seventies. For example, he sees in the relationship between an older woman and a young girl not so much a challenge to accepted sexual arrangements as echoes of the May-December love in Moratin. He also refuses to label the novel feminist because, as he states, it lacks a propagandistic dimension. And he does not perceive evidence of oppression or marginalization in the novel. His position is particularly perplexing since the book is published as part of Castalia's "Biblioteca de Escritoras."

In his sixty-four footnotes, Sanz Villanueva explains the novel's mythological, literary, and diverse cultural references. …

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