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Nada by Carmen Laforet
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Nada (1945)

by Carmen Laforet

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8183817,251 (3.76)108
Loosely based on the author's own life, Nada is the story of an orphaned young woman who leaves her small town to attend university in war-ravaged Barcelona.
  1. 10
    The Evenings by Gerard Reve (thorold)
    thorold: Young author, just after the war, claustrophobic atmosphere, homoerotic subtext...
  2. 10
    In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda (caflores)
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» See also 108 mentions

English (18)  Spanish (14)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Me parece muy interesante que digan que el libro de Laforet es como un mal Cela... Más bien me parece que Cela es un mal Cela.

Es cierto que la historia de Laforet me recordó mucho a [b:Cumbres borrascosas|30812936|Cumbres borrascosas|Emily Brontë|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1467222535s/30812936.jpg|1565818], pero también tiene un ambiente y una voz propia, muy fresca, aunque joven. A diferencia de Cela, que parece utilizar una violencia gratuita, cada golpe dado en "Nada" resulta estremecedor, brutal. Laforet no necesita exagerar una violencia sin sentido para mostrarte el ambiente de desesperación y sofoco de la Barcelona de postguerra. Excelente libro. ( )
  LeoOrozco | Feb 26, 2019 |
I didn't really enjoy the book. I think the distant writing of Carmen Laforet can be a good thing to showcase the horror of the situations Andrea lives, but it also can be a really boring thing.
The best thing about the books is, of course, the characters, and the evil inside all of them. Really, is astounding.
Overall, I give it a 6.5/10. ( )
  melosomelo | Jan 13, 2019 |
Es un deleite personal incorporar a estas alturas una nueva obra a mi reducido grupo de novelas favoritas. Y, cuanto más, si se trata de literatura castellana pura, escrita por una jovencísima Carmen Laforet y galardonada con el Premio Nadal en 1944.

La ficción autobiográfica de Laforet, quien se esconde tras la figura de Andrea, una joven que arriba a la gótica Barcelona de la posguerra para vivir en casa de su abuela mientras estudia letras. Su entorno, en ese nuevo hogar, está alejado de la calma: además de la abuelita, convivirá con su tía Angustia, su tío Román, su tía Juan y la esposa de éste, Gloria. Las relaciones interpersonales son catastróficas y, en ocasiones, rozan la locura. La pobreza y el hambre se apropia de los cimientos de esta pequeña burguesía de la España de entonces, reflejando las terribles secuelas de la guerra.

La visión de la protagonista, con matices fríos y poco sentimentalismo, a pesar de lo angustiosas que llegan a ser sus situaciones, crea una narrativa nueva, moderna y muy diferente a la literatura de la época. Cabe destacar el complejo desarrollo de los hechos, la psicología trabajada, caótica y pulida de cada uno de los personajes. El manejo de las conversaciones, los monólogos y las descripciones de las diferentes acciones. Si bien todo gira entorno a Andrea, lo demás también tiene relevancia y belleza (u horror) en la historia.

El aspecto ennegrecido, aterrador, bohemio, gótico, esperpéntico de la realidad que se resiste a aceptar como suya, forman parte del cuadro que Andrea transmite a través de las páginas, cargadas de metáforas maravillosas, diálogos profundos y personajes inolvidables.

Y es que Ena se convierte en un pilar fundamental en la vida de la joven y, por lo tanto, es un pilar fundamental del argumento. Andrea y Ena congenian una amistad intensa, lo que la impulsará a ella (y al lector) a conocer otra nueva visión, más abierta, más alejada de la que se muestra en un primer momento, a la que se aferrará con fuerzas, con grandes ansias de superarse a sí misma. Resuelta a valerse por sus propios medios, la protagonista se abrirá paso a duras penas en una sociedad y en una familia que parece no tener hueco para ella. ( )
  MiriamBeizana | Dec 3, 2018 |
Libro #62 en la lista de los 100 libros de Pasión por la lectura.
http://www.pasionporlalectura.itesm.mx/que_leo/cultura_general.htm
  celia.castro | Oct 4, 2017 |
This semi-autobiographical bildungsroman, written in 1943 when the author was 22 years of age, is widely considered to be one of the best novels of the post-Spanish Civil War period. It was largely unknown in the English speaking world until Edith Grossman's translation of it was published in 2007. It won the inaugural Premio Nadal, one of the oldest and most prestigious Spanish literary prizes, in 1944, and it continues to be widely read more than 70 years after its initial publication.

The novel opens in Barcelona in 1939, shortly after the Civil War has ended, as Andrea, an 18 year old orphan from the country who has won a scholarship and a small stipend to the Universtat de Barcelona, arrives in the city. She intends to stay with her grandmother on Carrer d'Aribau in the city's well to do L'Eixample neighborhood, in a home that she remembers fondly from her stay there as a young child.

The Civil War has been devastating to the residents of Barcelona, including Andrea's grandmother and her family. What was once an opulent and spacious apartment is now one half of its original size, decaying and filthy, and filled with decrepit relics from her grandparents' former wealth. Andrea provides a powerful description of the main bathroom on the night of her arrival, as she prepares to take a shower:

That bathroom seemed like a witches' house. The stained walls had traces of hook-shaped hands, of screams of despair. Everywhere the scaling walls opened their toothless mouths, oozing dampness. Over the mirror, because it didn't fit anywhere else, they'd hung a macabre still life of pale bream and onions against a black background. Madness smiled from the bent faucets.

The sense of claustrophobia and inhospitality is intensified by Andrea's extended family, and their struggles with poverty and hunger. Her grandmother, once a proud and virile matriarch, is now a senile and frail old woman, who doesn't recognize Andrea at first, and she confuses her with Gloria, her beguiling but maddening daughter in law. Gloria is tormented by her abusive and domineering husband Juan, his musically talented but shady and mentally unstable brother Román, and their suffocatingly devout and controlling sister Angustias. The family members routinely engage in bitter and sometimes violent arguments, similar to the characters in Jean-Paul Sartre's existentialist play No Exit, and Andrea is frequently dragged into the middle of these heated battles.

Andrea finds respite from this house of horrors in her studies, and especially in the company of her classmate and best friend Ena, a beautiful girl from a merchant family whose wealth and social standing have not been adversely affected by the war. Their relationship is occasionally fractious, due to Andrea's diffidence and to Ena's desire to know more about her friend's family and particularly her uncle Román, who Ena is strangely attracted to.

As the novel proceeds, Andrea's sense of independence grows, while at the same time she recognizes that she needs intimacy and friendship as an essential balance to the chaos and increasingly disturbing behavior of her family and her best friend. However, she is caught in the middle of a contracting whirlwind surrounded by these characters, one that she has little control over and that threatens her own sanity.

Nada is a fascinating and superbly written novel about adolescence, despair and escape, set in a city under siege that is attempting to regain its footing and former glory after a crippling war. This insightful debut novel reminded me of Carson McCullers's first book The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and Laforet's effort is nearly as good as that masterpiece. ( )
2 vote kidzdoc | Apr 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laforet, Carmenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ebels, FennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ennis, GlafyraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grossman, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Menken, PaulContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vargas Llosa, MarioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vargas Llosa, MarioAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wintermans, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nada (1947IMDb)
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Epigraph
Nada (fragment)

Sometimes a bitter taste,
A foul smell, a strange
Light, a discordant tone,
A disinterested touch
Come to our five senses
Like fixed realities
And they seem to us to be
The unexpected truth...

Juan Ramón Jiménez
Dedication
To my friends Linka Babecka de Borrell and the painter Pedro Borrell
First words
Because of last-minute difficulties in buying tickets, I arrived in Barcelona at midnight on a train different from the one I had announced, and nobody was waiting for me.
Quotations
I remember the first autumn nights and how they intensifed my first moments of disquiet in the house. And the winter nights, with their damp melancholy: the creak of a chair interrupting my sleep and the shudder of my nerves when I discovered two small shining eyes—the cat's eyes—fixed on mine. In those icy hours there were certain moments when life broke with all sense of modesty before my eyes and appeared naked, shouting sad intimacies, which for me were only horrifying. Intimacies that the morning took care to erase, as if they'd never existed. . . . Later came the summer nights. Sweet, dense Mediterranean nights over Barcelona, with golden juice flowing from the moon, with the damp odor of sea mymphs coming their watery hair over white shoulders, over the scales of golden tails. . . . On one of those hot nights, hunger, sadnes, and the power of my youth brought me to a swoon of feeling, a physical need for tenderness as avid and dusty as scorched earth with a presentiment of the storm.
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