Ventanas adentro y afuera: sobre algunas protagonistas de Montserrat Roig

Maria Àngels Francés Díez


Critics have pointed out Montserrat Roig’s tendency to excavate, through layers of silence, concealed stories that have never been written. Deeply attached to the city of Barcelona, she depicts female characters that also feel strongly attracted to the city, with which they have a conflictive relationship —conflictive because, for them, it is forbidden. This paper analyzes the ways in which the three generations of women in Ramona, adéu (1972) perceive and respond to the space they inhabit. In particular, it focuses on their gradual process of identification with the streets of the city, which gets more vivid when the novel centers on the youngest one. Mundeta Jover, at the beginnings of the 20th century, lives confined in her flat at the Eixample, and exerts her particular way of subversion —the only one she is allowed— through her diary; Mundeta Ventura walks across Barcelona during the war but she is defeated, too, by Franco’s repressive morality. It is not until the sixties and seventies, when the Spanish society starts its way towards democracy and new moral values, that we find in Mundeta Claret what Deborah Parsons calls an alternative, albeit precarious, version of Baudelaire’s flâneur. I will argue that Mundeta’s rebellion, no matter how painful it may be, breaks the genealogical circle of the novel that confines women to their homes, and represents the first step in the process of emancipation that other female characters will complete in Roig’s later novels.


Gender; Private and public space; Flâneuse; Roig, Montserrat; Ramona, adéu


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