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Gerald Brenan’s Fight for Freedom

By: María Dolores Ortega-Munoz  

This paper highlights the characteristics that have created a fighter for freedom (Brenan, 2003). The study analyses the main Brenan’s books and their publishing houses. Brenan had fought against the authoritarianism of his father and social class to choose a life on his own. Thus, he decided to become a writer. Brenan was in Spain when the Spanish Civil War broke out (1936) and he had to return to England. The military uprising had made him committed to the Republican cause. He expressed the background of this war in "The Spanish Labyrinth" (1943, Cambridge University Press). Later, he wrote “The Literature of the Spanish People"(1951). Accordingly, Brenan’s reputation as a Hispanist was established and was offered the "Alfonso XIII Chair of Spanish" at Oxford, but he refused the proposal. In 1949, Brenan toured Spain and investigated the murder of Lorca, then he penned “The Face of Spain" (Turnstile Press, 1950). Hence, Brenan’s character was born in his autobiographical work "South from Granada" (Hamish Hamilton, 1957): a young man who leaves the enslaving modern society and seeks his way in the mountains. "The Spanish Labyrinth" was translated into Spanish by Ruedo Ibérico (Paris, 1962) and "The Literature of the Spanish People" by Losada (Buenos Aires, 1958). Brenan’s books were banned in Spain, but they were a cry for freedom against Francoist censorship and seed for other researchers. Nowadays, Brenan’s fight is alive online.

G. Brenan, Publishing Houses, Censorship, Fight, Freedom, Past, Present, Future
Publishing Practices: Past, Present, and Future
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Mrs. María Dolores Ortega-Munoz

PhD candidate, Doctoral Programme in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature , Málaga University, Spain


María Dolores Ortega-Muñoz is a PhD candidate under the guidance of Dr. Enrique Baena-Peña, professor of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at Málaga University.  Ortega-Muñoz holds a Degree in Spanish Philology  and a Master in Literary and Linguistic Spanish Heritage from Málaga University. She got a Superior Diploma in English from the Official School of Languages in Spain. Her dissertation is based on the British Hispanist Gerald Brenan. She has written and published different works about Gerald Brenan. Master's Thesis (2015): "Gerald Brenan, The Forge of a Writer." Article in Cafe Montaigne, Digital Magazine (2018): "Gerald Brenan and The Art of Persuasion." Chapter of a book (2017): Brenan, Writer of the Modern Self. In Experiences and Cultural Manifestations of the Avant-Garde. Editorial Mc Graw Hill.  She has given various papers about Gerald Brenan at Málaga University: "The Literary Universe of Gerald Brenan" (2016), "The Homo Fictus Gerald Brenan" (2017), "Gerald Brenan and the Irreverent Circle of Bloomsbury" (2018), "Gerald Brenan according to the Media and New Technologies" (2018). Most recently, Ortega-Muñoz has presented her research in Greece (June, 2019) at the 22nd Annual Mediterranean Studies Association International Congress, University of Crete: "A Mediterranean Village, South from Granada by Gerald Brenan."  Currently, Ortega-Muñoz is completing her Doctoral Programme in Linguistic, Literature and Translation, at Málaga University.  Ortega-Muñoz is also the President of the Gerald Brenan Cultural Association, which disseminates Brenan's life and works.