Niños perdidos y memorias encontradas en Mala gente que camina, de Benjamín Prado
Barragán, Manuel Pinto
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In Mala gente que camina (2006), Benjamin Prado employs strategies that are peculiar of the metafictional novel for the purpose of revealing among the most insidious of crimes against humanity committed by the Nationalists during and alter the Spanish Civil War: the kidnapping of Republican children and their placement in adoptive families in order that they be “educated” as Francoist/Falange sympathizers. The thesis relies upon the theories of metafiction provided by Linda Hutcheon, Patricia Waugh and Brian McHale in the analysis of Prado’s novel. Among the salient metafictional features to be found in Mala gente que camina are: fictional self-consciousness and referentiality, and the dichotomous, ludic interplay between fiction and history/reality. In addition to the metafictional characteristics, this study examines the postmodern sensibility to which the novel ascribes itself. Finally, the characters are studied as representing a variety of generational and ideological perspectives pertaining to contemporary Spanish history. The study concludes with a discussion of how Prado's novel makes a literary contribution to the recuperation of the collective historical memory that is prevalent among Spanish novelists of the current century.