chapter  5
20 Pages

A Resistant Barcelona: Hidden Transcripts in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s La sombra del viento

José Marí a Merino's 2009 novel, La sima, portrays the lifelong quest of a 34-year-old named Felix to comprehend the Spanish propensity for violent confrontation. Felix's intellectual quest, which encompasses a doctoral thesis on the Carlist Wars, a voyage to Peru, and his involvement in an exhumation, proves the veracity of Cela's words. La sima can be construed as a fundamental part of Merino's critique of the politicization of memory, hypostatized in numerous interviews. This chapter examines the site's centrality to Felix identity through an exploration of Merino's treatment of liminality in all its guises-ghostly, spatial, and familial. It also explains that Felix, an orphan hybrid, identifies with the Republican ghosts occupying the site through rememory and that the recuperation of these ghosts' memory becomes primordial to the clarification of his own bifurcated memory. Merino portrays Félix's memory odyssey as conflictual, cerebral, solitary, and ultimately futile, resisting as it does essentialization or closure.