- ItemOpen AccessIs Manuela Carmena a politician? Spanish journalists and politicians in the spotlight(Taylor & Francis, 2018) Oró Piqueras, Maricel; Martin-Rubió, XavierThe purpose of this paper is to better understand how the participants involved in a specific radio interview use categorization to (re)produce a dominant discourse in the Spanish political arena. In this discourse, politicians are seen as untrustworthy, and certain journalists are portrayed as serving specific political interests. The interview needs to be analyzed within its sociopolitical context. The wider context is one in which two new political parties claim to represent a new way of doing politics: old politics is described as opaque and untrustworthy, and they want to create a politics of renewal. The more specific context is the reason behind the interview. It occurs right after the publication of a book of interviews by Maruja Torres, the interviewee, with Manuela Carmena. Manuela is the current mayor of Madrid and an important figure in one of the new parties mentioned above. But most importantly, the interview takes place after several Spanish newspapers focused on a specific statement in the book, in which the mayor admits she feels overwhelmed and tired. This article aims to show the categorial and positioning mechanisms employed by the participants in the interview to co-construct a given discourse regarding the various social actors involved in contemporary Spanish politics. Spanish politics is not just made up of big events; it is also the accumulation of small affairs like this one. When people read these newspaper articles or listen to a radio interview, they must position themselves in relation to the small event, and it is the sum of these stances that configures people’s political beliefs.
- ItemOpen AccessForever Young: Consumer Culture and the Ageing Body in Hanif Kureishi’s “The Body”(Universidad de Zaragoza, 2007) Oró Piqueras, MaricelContemporary British society is growing older and older. However, the blind veneration for the youthful and beautiful body, reflection of a range of good personality attributes, is becoming more and more equivocal. Whereas the industrial revolution contributed to the undermining of the social and cultural status of those reaching old age, a contemporary society based on a postmodernist ideology and consumerist culture seems to give an opportunity to those who keep the signs of age at bay from their bodies with the use and abuse of rejuvenatory products and techniques. In this paper, I aim to analyse the contradictions existing in relation to the conceptions of the young and old body and, by extension, of youth and old age in contemporary British and contemporary Western society by analysing Hanif Kureishi’s short story “The Body.” Kureishi pushes such contradictions to an extreme by presenting a surrealist story in which a desire to remain young forever merges with the need to keep one’s sense of self and identity within a community that is increasingly changing ethics for aesthetics.
- ItemOpen AccessAgeing without remembering: Fantasy, memory and loss in Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant(Elsevier, 2020) Oró Piqueras, Maricel; Falcus, SarahIn his most recent novel, The Buried Giant (2015), Ishiguro presents an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, who live in a Britain afflicted by a mist that makes everyone forget not only their common historical past but also their own life experiences and memories. By focusing on the journey of the two elderly and increasingly frail protagonists within a fantastic, neomedieval world, the novel challenges the chronometric and future-oriented model of time in which youth is an asset and old age inevitably a burden. Related to this, the novel interrogates the model of generational succession as straightforward renewal and progress, instead positing a cyclical movement through which the mistakes of past generations are repeated once and again. In this novel, endurance in the face of vulnerability, as experienced by the elderly characters of the novel, seems to be the only plausible answer to an inevitable repetition of mistakes and the cyclical nature of trauma.
- ItemOpen AccessShaking Words: memoir as confrontation in Markus Zusak's The Book Thief(Taylor & Francis Group, 2019) Domínguez Rué, EmmaDeath is the unusual narrator of The Book of Thief (2005), a fictional memoir set in a small Bavarian Town at the onset of WWII that tells the story of ten-year old Liesel Meminguer, who is taught to read and write by her foster father and ends up being a voracious reader. Liesel's foster parents decide to help a German Jew, Max Vandenburg, an event that will eventually catalyze major changes in their lives and which will in turn be embebbed in Liesel's account together with the stories of many others. The character's memoirs, written against a background of death and destruction, embrace the untold stories of those who did not manage to tell their own, thus providing another perspective of one of the darkest episodes od German history. This is a novel about death and the devastating effects of war, but it is also about words and their potential. This paper attempts at analyzing the role of words and stories and how they relate to and simbolically recover the accounts of those who were silenced: in this light, Liesel's memoirs become acts of confrontation against de destructive potential of the nazi discourse that in turn provide further nuances to the interaction between fictional memoirs and historical accounts.
- ItemOpen AccessMandarin Oriental: The Cosmopolitan Stranger in Lisa See’s Dragon Bones(Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 2022) Santaularia Capdevila, Isabel