"Soñar la vida": La narrativa de Carmen de Icaza (1936-1960)

Universidad de Córdoba
Publication year

Although this is written in Spanish, there's an abstract in English:

This is a study of Carmen de Icaza y León (1899-1979), a very popular sentimental novelist in the first years of Franco’s Spain. Several aspects are analysed in her narrative: firstly, her re-elaboration (or reconstruction) of post-romantic and realistic popular stereotypes aimed at indoctrinating her public in the moral values of the regime; secondly, her narrative techniques (agile dialogues, focalizations and incipient interior monologues to show the protagonist’s dualities), intended to communicate easily with uncultivated readers, who now have less time for reading); thirdly, her influence on Carmen Martin Gaite, who re-uses her narrative “mirror” technique; fourthly, La casa de enfrente (1960), her last novel, the most complex, ignored by the critics, where she depicts herself as “Jefa de Auxilio Social” (her post in real life), and also showing certain degree of discontent towards some practices of this institution. Finally, her figure is singularized and compared to another sentimental (or “rosa”) novelist, Luisa-Maria Linares. We conclude that both writers contributed to a relative modernisation of women, in spite of their conformity with the regime, by adapting and softening the hard principles of the Falange Movement, and also by divulging the image of an independent woman, similar to that portrayed in films of that time.