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Literary Censorship in Francisco Franco’s Spain and Getulio Vargas’ Brazil, 1936–1945

Burning Books, Awarding Writers

In the series
The Portuguese-Speaking World: Its History, Politics and Culture

Gabriela de Lima Grecco is a PhD in Modern History at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, with an International Mention from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Currently, she is Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Modern History at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

This book presents two systems of censorship and literary promotion, revealing how literature can be molded to support authoritarian regimes. The issue is complex in that at a descriptive level the strategies and methods “new states” use to control communication through the written word can be judged by how and when formal decrees were issued, and how publishing media, whether in the form of publishing companies or at the individual level, engaged with political overseers. But equally, literature was a means of resistance against an authoritarijn regime, not only for writers but for readers as well. From the point of view of historical memory and intellectual history, stories of “people without history” and the production of their texts through the literary “underground” can be constructed from subsequent testimony: from books sold in secret, to the writings of women in jail, to books that were written but never published or distributed in any way, and to myriad compelling circumstances resulting from living under fascist authority. 

A parallel study on two fascist movements provides a unique viewpoint at literary, social and political levels. Comparative analysis of literary censorship/literary reward allows an understanding of the balance between dictatorship, official policy, and what literary acts were deemed acceptable. The regime need to control its population is revealed in the ways that a particular type of literature was encouraged; in the engagement of propoganda promotion; and in the setting up of institutions to gain international acceptance of the regime. The work is an important contribution to the history of twentieth-century authoritarianism and the development fascist ideas.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-997-5
Hardback Price: £74.95 / $89.95
Release Date: May 2020
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-065-1
Paperback Price: £29.95 / $39.95
Release Date: January 2021
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp. 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: Yes



Chapter 1
A New Authoritarian Culture: New States and Fascist Movements

The Vargas and Franco New States: A Comparison
Fascism and Culture: The Fascist Pen in Spain and Brazil
Fascist Culture: Modernism, Aesthetics and Intellectuals
Fascism Within the System of Power

The Spanish Falange: The Fascist Movement in Spain
The Republic of Letters: A Fertile Ground for Fascism?
José Antonio's Literary Court: Writers and Fascists
From Pen to Weapon
Two Conflicting Paths: The Falange and National-Catholicism

Tropical Fascism: Ação Integralista Brasileira, The Fascist Movement in Brazil
Plínio Salgado's Literary Court: Paranoia or Mystification?
Integralism as a Movement: Its Development and Core Ideology
The New State, Fascism and the Integralist Movement
One Political Plan, Two Sites of Action: Intellectuals in the Political Sphere
Chapter 2
The Literary Panorama: A Negative Configuration

Literary Censorship During the Early Years of the Franco Regime
The Pen in Action: The Process of Censorship
Beyond the Censor's Pen: Indirect Forms of Censorship and Strategies to Evade the Red Pen

Literary Censorship in Brazi's New State
Creation of the Department of Press and Propaganda
The Censorship Process: The DPP and DPSO's Censorship Work
A Posteriori Censorship: The Political Police's Control

Chapter 3
The Nation's Books: The Book as a Motor for Policy

The Nation's Book in Spain
The Spanish National Book Institute
National Book Fairs During the Early Years of the Franco Regime
Foreign Policy and the Book
The Spirit Prizes: A New Type of Literature for a New State
National Prizes During the Early Years of the Franco Regime

The Nation's Book in Brazil
The National Book Institute in Brazil
The Brazilian Encyclopaedia and Dictionary of the National Language: Creation of the Brazilian Spirit 
Public Libraries: Teaching to Read the Nation
Publications of the National Spirit
National Books Beyond Brazilian Borders
The Spirit Prizes in Brazil: The Writer as Protagonist
The New State National Prizes
Private Prizes as Creators of the New National Literary Canon



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