“It Was the End of Solo Singing”: I revisit a monarchist’s epic about the Spanish Civil War

for the University Bookman:

When Eric Hobsbawm suggested that the period 1914–1991 could be called “the short twentieth century,” he not only defined an era but separated it from our own. Few conflicts are as emblematic of that final modern century than the Spanish Civil War; the familiar English-language writings on the war can seem remote from us, Orwell and Hemingway. If you want to see what’s only too contemporary in the Spanish clash of ideologies, turn to a novel by a man of the Spanish Right: José María Gironella’s 1953 epic The Cypresses Believe in God.

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