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The influence of Carmen Laforet in Spanish literature

The journalists and writers Rosa Montero and María Folguera are from Madrid but from different periods. During the Frankfurt Book Fair, they had a pleasant conversation about Carmen Laforet and how she has influenced Spanish literature as a writer and as a woman.

Montero and Folguera discussed the difficulties that Laforet went through in the 50s and 60s in Spain. Her life was not easy but, she managed to be an excellent writer. Following Nada‘s phrase, “They were like old and dark birds with throbbing breasts having flown a lot in a very small piece of sky”, Montero highlighted that for her Carmen Laforet refers to how she felt in her life. Folguera commented the even though she was in a “small heaven”, referring to the complicated time in which she was born as a woman, Laforet wrote as much as she could and expressed what she felt.

Rosa Montero and María Folguera.

However, Rosa Montero perceives the figure of Carmen Laforet in a different way than Folguera does. She sees and feels her as a mother, while the writer and playwright sees her as a grandmother, due to their age difference. Both have read Nada at different stages in their lives, influencing each one in a different way.

Laforet today

Other women from that time like Elena Fortuny, Silvia Plath, and how each one managed to develop as writers have come out of the conversation. They have referred to how Laforet would be in today’s world and how he would have gone much further due to the opportunities that would have been presented to them.

María Folguera has found herself very identified with Carmen Laforet since she made a narrative success at an early age (Laforet was 20 years old when she wrote the novel, Nada). And how after a work written in full freedom and that ends up being a success, the outcome becomes complicated, since society expects you to repeat, or even improve, what you have done. That pressure, which the two have commented on, was what also blocked Carmen Laforet in a certain way.

For Montero, Laforet needed writing to live.

“One is through one’s work. Not out of vanity, it is what makes you join the world, it is what makes you live ”.

Rosa Montero


Find out how Laforet’s writing has influenced our society and also how the way women writers express themselves has changed in this video.

“One is through one's work. Not out of vanity, it is what makes you join the world, it is what makes you live ”, Rosa Montero.

“One is through one's work. Not out of vanity, it is what makes you join the world, it is what makes you live ”, Rosa Montero.

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