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The War in Images: The Poetics of Plasticity in Juan Benet’s Herrumbrosaslanzas

Abstract : Herrumbrosas lanzas (1983–1986), Juan Benet’s major novel of the Spanish Civil War, is an epic account of war set in the fictional area of Región which becomes briefly the focus of attention for two opposing military commands. The novel, intended by Benet as a picture of the war, is characterized by a descriptive hypertrophy which this chapter analyses as part of the visual and plastic dimension of the text. The different types of description and images, and the reflexive pictorialism of Herrumbrosas lanzas, are informed by Benet’s conception of the “theatre of war” as a place governed by a poetics of simulacrum where military actions unfold in artificial décors, and which cannot resist the corrosive effects of reality. The narrative thus progressively deconstructs the appearances and values of war until the theatre of war, in the literal and metaphorical sense, is destroyed and the whole representation dissolves into nothingness.
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Submitted on : Sunday, November 1, 2020 - 3:11:07 PM
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Sandrine Lascaux. The War in Images: The Poetics of Plasticity in Juan Benet’s Herrumbrosaslanzas. Representing Wars from 1860 to the Present. Fields of Action, Fields of Vision, 85, Brill | Rodopi, pp.31-50, 2018, Textxet: Studies in Comparative Literature, 9789004353244. ⟨hal-02984923⟩

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