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The Subversion of Francoist Rhetoric in Blas de Otero’s Pido la paz y la palabra

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/08/2021
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date27/08/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article explores the ways in which socially and politically engaged poetry challenged the Franco regime in mid-twentieth-century Spain. A close reading of the work of Blas de Otero reveals how this poet crafts a discordant voice by alluding to, mimicking, and subverting the very myths and rhetoric of Franco’s regime. Working against the strictures of state censorship, Blas de Otero usurps the linguistic idiosyncrasies and thematic tropes characteristic of Francoist discourse and redeploys them in a distorted form in his poetry of protest. This article shows ultimately how poets such as Otero were able to engage with the social realities the regime was anxious to conceal by contesting one of the most conspicuous manifestations of the regime’s power—its monopoly of public discourse—and how such writers were able thereby to contribute to the erosion of the regime’s authority and to its discredit among cultivated readers in 1950s Spain.