Through the sartrean lens: Existential freedom in Camilo José Cela's la colmena

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Abstract

Readers return once and again to Camilo José Cela's innovative novel La colmena (1951) and note its gritty and unapologetic approach to the problem of existence. This approach, however, has never been elucidated with any degree of precision, particularly when it comes to the fundamental question of existential freedom that is palpable in the text. In this article I propose to take up the discussion of how La colmena offers an existentialist view on the dialectic of freedom. My argument is that the very concept of freedom and its attendant responsibility as articulated in this early novel can be considered part and parcel of Cela's broader social critique of post-Civil War Spain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-867
Number of pages21
JournalBulletin of Spanish Studies
Volume91
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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