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  • ODonoghue_Identification and Empathy in Perpetrator Fiction on the Spanish Civil War

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Identification and Empathy in Perpetrator Fiction on the Spanish Civil War

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>25/05/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Modern Language Review
Issue number4
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)495-519
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article analyses the ethically suspect processes of identification and empathy mobilized by Miguel Dalmau’s 2009 work of perpetrator fiction, La noche del Diablo. It draws on narratological perspectives on character identification and narrative empathy and on philosophical discussions on the necessity of attempting to comprehend the motivations of those who commit evil acts. Informed by these narratological and philosophical insights, the article argues that perpetrator fiction about the Spanish Civil War is a psychologically useful tool for expanding our understanding of how individuals commit atrocities and for enhancing our awareness of ourselves as potential agents of perpetration.