In this absorbing and atmospheric historical narrative, journalist Aaron Shulman takes us deeply into the circumstances surrounding the Spanish Civil War through the lives, loves, and poetry of the Paneros, Spain’s most compelling and eccentric family, whose lives intersected memorably with many of the most storied figures in the art, literature, and politics of the time—from Neruda to Salvador Dalí, from Ava Gardner to Pablo Picasso to Roberto Bolaño.
Weaving memoir with cultural history and biography, and brought together with vivid storytelling and striking images, The Age of Disenchantments sheds new light on the romance and intellectual ferment of the era while revealing the profound and enduring devastation of the war, the Franco dictatorship, and the country’s transition to democracy.
A searing tale of love and hatred, art and ambition, and freedom and oppression, The Age of Disenchantments is a chronicle of a family who modeled their lives (and deaths) on the works of art that most inspired and obsessed them and who, in turn, profoundly affected the culture and society around them.
Aaron Shulman is a journalist whose work has appeared in publications including The Believer, The American Scholar, The New Republic, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. A collaborative writer and editorial coach, he works with visionary scientists and thinkers to bring their research to a wide readership. Shulman first lived in Spain while studying abroad and moved back in 2010 after falling in love with a Spanish woman. There, he published pieces about Spanish culture, social movements, and the economic crisis. In 2012, he watched “El Desencanto,” the 1976 documentary about the Panero family, and from that night onward became hopelessly obsessed. He now lives in Santa Barbara, California.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the worthwhile books on the Spanish Civil War have almost all emphasized its international ramifications and have discussed its political crises entirely in the vocabulary of the French and Russian revolutions. Relatively few of the foreign participants realized that the Civil War had arisen out of specifically Spanish circumstances. Few of them knew the history of the Second Spanish Republic, which for five years prior to the war had been grappling with the problems of what we now call an "underdeveloped nation."
In Spanish Republic and the Civil War, Gabriel Jackson expounds the history of the Second Republic and the Civil War primarily as seen from within Spain.
This authoritative introduction illuminates the many different interpretations of the conflict by examining a variety of perspectives. Franco and the Spanish Civil War places the war in its national and global contexts, exploring both nationalist and republican points of view, and giving attention to foreign participation in the conflict.
The House of Ulloa follows pure and pious Father Julián Alvarez, who is sent to a remote country estate to put the affairs of the marquis, an irresponsible libertine, in order. When he discovers moral decadence, cruelty and corruption at his new home, Julián's well-meaning but ineffectual attempts to prevent the fall of the House of Ulloa end in tragedy. The House of Ulloa is the finest achievement of Emilia Pardo Bazán, a prolific writer, feminist, traveller and intellectual, and one of the most dynamic figures of her time.
Fans of Zola or Hardy will enjoy the novel's rich naturalism, which combines gothic elements with evocative descriptions of Spanish customs and the countryside. At the same time, the novel evokes the social comedy of a Dickens or Thackeray with its biting social satire, frank exposure of sexual mores, and gentle mockery of its innocent hero-priest.