The book develops three perspectives: that of two works produced in contemporary times that looks back to the years of Mussolini’s and Franco’s regimes – focusing on Habíamos ganado la guerra (2007) by Esther Tusquets and L’Alba di un Mondo Nuovo (2002) by Alberto Asor Rosa; that of two works produced after a few decades from the collapse of the regimes – concentrating on Con la miel en los labios (1997) by Esther Tusquets and La Storia (1974) by Elsa Morante; and finally that of two works produced directly following the end of the regimes – concentrating on L’Isola di Arturo (1957) by Elsa Morante and El amor es un juego solitario (1979) by Esther Tusquets.
This study defines two innovative concepts in literature: ‘implicit’ and ‘explicit’ suffering. ‘Explicit suffering’ is understood as the way the characters become aware of the unexpressed suffering within their private sphere over time, unambiguously comprehend it and finally express it. ‘Implicit suffering’ is understood as that type of intimate distress that is not totally comprehended, which its victims are not conscious of and which is therefore only manifested through unconscious behaviours; on this count, it will be noted that even if suffering may seem inexistent it may be unveiled easily. The analysis of these two realities is integrated by a third one, namely an intermediate perspective that includes elements of ‘explicit’ and ‘implicit’ suffering and that sheds light upon the complex process of transition from ‘implicit’ to ‘explicit’ suffering, in which the concept of acquisition of awareness by the characters will be involved.
The book is intended mainly for postgraduate researchers and university lecturers, in the fields of Italian and Hispanic studies. The book may also be of interest to scholars and organisations in the field of Comparative Literature. As the work is set into the historical temporal frame of post-dictatorial Spain and Italy, it may be of interest to historians too, particularly due to its representations of past and personal and social responses.